Examining the liabilities of non-profit volunteers

Examining the liabilities of non-profit volunteers | Insurance Business

Examining the liabilities of non-profit volunteers
Volunteers play a critical and unique role in the goals of many non-profit organizations. In the last report published by the US Department of Labor Statistics in 2015, about 62.6 million people volunteered through or for an organization at least once between September 2014 and September 2015.

“While volunteers are an integral part of the operations of many non-profits, their service and presence require a closer look,” says Paul Orlando, vice president of marketing and sales at NIF Group. “Each organization needs to ensure that the non-profit, as well as their individual volunteers, are adequately protected against the possibility of lawsuits.”

While the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997 provides some immunity to volunteers acting on the behalf of an agency, it does not provide immunity to the organization itself, explains Orlando. Liability risks such as bodily injury or property damage resulting from the acts of a volunteer can involve demands for large sums of money that can be devastating to a non-profit.

Protecting volunteers under general and professional liability coverage is the first step in ensuring adequate coverage against claims. In addition, non-profit organizations should purchase directors and officers liability insurance for volunteer board members as well as requiring individuals that drive their own vehicles within the normal scope of their designated duties to maintain adequate primary personal auto liability limits to protect themselves against liability suits, suggests Orlando.


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