Volunteer Insurance: Helping Those Who Help Others in Need

Volunteer Insurance
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Volunteering is a rewarding and essential way to spend your time, but not everyone realizes the risks that can come with it. Volunteers often find themselves in situations where their safety is compromised, and insurance can help protect against those hazards. This article will explore the types of volunteer insurance available and when organizations should consider purchasing policies for their volunteers.

How Can You Help Others as a Volunteer?

Volunteering is a great way to give back and help others. It can also be a good way to meet new people, learn new skills, and make a lasting difference. Here are some ways you can volunteer:

  • Helping at local events: Some cities have organizations that organize events for their community. These events could be anything from food drives to holiday parties or sporting events. Volunteering at these events is a great way to spend time with friends while helping others. You could also get involved in organizing your own event.
  • Tutoring: Many schools have programs where they pair up volunteers with students who need extra help in certain subjects. If you’re good at math or science, this might be a good way for you to help other students succeed in those subjects.
  • Working with animals: Many shelters have programs that match volunteers with animals that need care and attention. This may include walking dogs, cleaning cages, grooming pets, or playing with cats.

Volunteers Hold a Very Special Place in Our Society

Fifty-six percent of Americans reported volunteering their time to a religious or other charitable organization in 2021, according to Gallup. Volunteers hold a very special place in our society. They are the backbone of many non-profit organizations and the heart and soul of many communities. Without volunteers, some communities could not function as well as they do.

Volunteers contribute to making the world a better place by giving their time, energy, expertise, and compassion, often without compensation or even recognition for their efforts. As an organization that relies on volunteers to accomplish its mission, you may have experienced this; your volunteers’ selfless dedication makes your organization run smoothly.

Why Volunteers Need Insurance

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community. Whether you’re helping out at the local animal shelter or volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, you must have protection in place in case something goes wrong while performing your volunteer services.

Insurance for volunteers provides that coverage and protects the charity from liability risks, which could cost them a lot of money if they’re found at fault for an incident that happened during their time there.

Volunteer Insurance Works Similarly to Other Insurance

The most common type of volunteer insurance is a rider on an existing policy. For example, you might have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance with a rider added for volunteers working in the community.

If you volunteer with Habitat for Humanity, your homeowner’s policy might include coverage for damage or injuries incurred during your volunteer activities. The organization will likely pay for the volunteer rider on your existing policy because they want to ensure their volunteers are covered if anything happens while serving the community.

Government organizations also provide limited insurance. For example, the Peace Corps provides one month of paid health insurance for returning volunteers.

Not all organizations will offer this type of service, though. Many organizations host events where they expect participants to be responsible for themselves and their property at all times. 

Therefore, they don’t require extra protection against possible liability issues or accidents during these activities. In these situations, it can be up to each participant whether they want additional coverage. Many people opt out due to privacy concerns.

How Much Coverage Do You Need?

The level of coverage you need depends on the type of volunteer work you do and the risks involved. For example, if you’re a teacher who works with children, you may require less coverage.

You may need more comprehensive coverage if your responsibilities involve heavy manual labor or working in an industrial setting. Better coverage is required for volunteers doing anything from building homes to working at construction sites. You’ll also want to think about any additional endorsements you may want.

When Do Volunteers Need Insurance?

While volunteers are not considered employees, they are still helping the organization by doing the work that needs to be done. As such, volunteers need to have some kind of insurance coverage in case something should happen while they’re working. This could be anything from an accident on their way to or from the organization’s office to getting sick and missing work.

There is also a risk of lawsuits. Volunteer board members can be held liable for wrongdoing. They may be sued for wrongful employment practices, breach of fiduciary duty, fraud, and other causes of action. 

They may also be sued for negligence or gross negligence in caring for a client. In such cases, sometimes, insurance can be helpful, as advised in a guide by NRMC.

Volunteers will typically be covered by their personal insurance for medical expenses and accidents that occur while volunteering with an organization. Non-profit organizations may also offer group plans through which you can purchase additional coverage at a discounted rate based on how many people participate.

This is often cheaper than buying individual policies separately because there isn’t as much administrative overhead involved in managing claims forms when everyone is signed up through a single carrier.

Non-Profit Organizations Should Make Sure They Have the Proper Coverage for Their Volunteers

Volunteering is a great way for people to give back, but non-profit organizations must understand that volunteers are not employees. Volunteers should have insurance policies to protect themselves and other volunteers on-site.

Volunteers are an invaluable resource for non-profit organizations but pose unique challenges when providing proper coverage. Non-profit organizations must ensure they have the proper coverage for their volunteers, whether or not they’re employees.


Volunteer insurance can be a great way to protect the volunteers who help out at your non-profit organization. It’s essential to ensure that you have the proper coverage for all situations, so ensure that you look into volunteer insurance options before it’s too late.

Read Also : Benefits of Volunteering in Your Community