Are Volunteers Covered by Public Liability Insurance?

Are Volunteers Covered by Public Liability Insurance?

Worth $25.43 per hour, volunteers are an asset to any organization. However, they quickly can become a liability if they are injured while performing their duties. Discover why volunteers are not covered in standard insurance policies and what kind of additional coverage you need to protect these valuable members of your team.

Public Liability Insurance

The extent to which workers’ compensation protects volunteers varies by state. For example, Oklahoma law excludes volunteers while Hawaii’s includes them. Other states cover only certain types of volunteers. For example, Missouri excludes volunteers of tax-exempt organizations whereas Kentucky makes an exception for volunteer firefighters. Laws can be complicated, so be sure you understand the regulations in your state.

Alternative Coverage 

If volunteers are not covered by workers’ compensation, you need to protect against liability in another way. If they get hurt on the job or harm another person or property, you could be liable for hundreds of thousands of dollars in damages. Especially in states where employers are not required to include volunteers in their liability policy, accident medical insurance is another option. This type of policy pays for medical expenses in the case that a volunteer is injured at work. It is less expensive than workers’ compensation and is generally popular among volunteers.