Volunteers are a vital part of the workforce. They fill in gaps that businesses may have when it comes to sufficient employee coverage. Without the willingness of people to volunteer, many businesses could not provide the necessary assistance their customers may need when they need it. Many businesses forget to ask who is responsible if a volunteer is hurt while on their property. Although this isn't common, it can happen, and you will need to know the answers before you allow volunteers to start working for you.
Don't assume that your volunteers are automatically covered by your Worker's comp policy. Most carriers don't include coverage for volunteers as part of their basic Workers' comp policies. It's up to you, as the employer, to ask your insurance carrier what your options are. If you have volunteers working for you, don't wait until someone gets hurt. Contact your insurance carrier as soon as possible. Find out what coverage you do have and where to find it in your coverage.
Each state has different laws governing volunteers and paid employees. If your Workers' comp policy doesn't cover a volunteer's injuries, it's doubtful that your general liability coverage will take care of the costs either. If you have questions about what your state laws are, schedule a consultation with your insurance agent and have them explain them to you. Going over them together will help you gain a better insight as to what your responsibilities are.
Your general liability insurance is meant to cover injuries sustained by third-party individuals who have no connection with your business other than being a customer. Volunteers do not fall under that category. There are instances where a volunteer's injuries may be covered if they are not claiming any type of negligence on behalf of the company. Your insurance agent will be able to explain who is covered and under what circumstances.
When a volunteer begins working for you, ask about their insurance coverage. Do they have their own insurance? Do they expect you to provide coverage if they are injured? Talk to your volunteers about insurance and find out if they are willing to purchase their own policy. This will benefit them in other ways as well, and make sure they are covered at all times, even when they are not volunteering.
In order to uncover what options you have for your volunteers or if they are already covered, you will need to work with your insurance agent. If you are unsure of your coverage, you can ask your agent about a volunteer-accident medical insurance policy. This type of policy will take care of a volunteer if they are injured while working with your company.
When you have questions about the coverage you have for your volunteers, you want to talk to a professional. Contact the agents at Kneller Insurance Agency to learn more about what your coverage options are and how you can make sure your volunteers have the coverage you need. By working together, we can bring your business into compliance with state regulations.