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If Your Business Uses Volunteers, Make Sure They’re Protected Too

By June 4, 2018 April 1st, 2019 No Comments

Does your business use volunteers? Volunteers are an incredible asset to organizations and businesses, in a wide variety of sectors all around the world. Approximately 62.8 million people volunteered through or for an organization last year in the U.S.  The cost-savings of utilizing volunteers are substantial and obviously quite helpful.

However it is common for many businesses to overlook an important question about implementing volunteer work: are volunteers covered under your insurance? This is a particularly common question in regards to workers’ compensation claims. You must make sure that your Delaware business insurance protects volunteers as well.

What if a Volunteer Gets Hurt?

Injuries to volunteers might not happen often, but they do happen. Workplaces like nursing homes, elder care centers, and healthcare centers or in areas that involve activities like disaster relief, dining services, or running errands are at high-risk for injuries.

Business owners commonly assume that volunteers are automatically covered under workers’ compensation or general liability insurance. Yet for the majority, that’s not the case. If a volunteer becomes injured from performing assigned tasks at your facility and needs medical attention, the medical payments coverage under the general liability policy is likely not to pay.

Speak to an agent to figure out if your volunteers are actually protected and the steps you can take to protect them in the event of an accident or injury.

Volunteers & Workers’ Compensation

Never assume volunteers are covered under workers’ compensation.  When volunteers get hurt, it is typically believed that workers’ compensation insurance will pay for the medical expenses. However, since volunteers are not paid employees, they are normally not covered under workers’ comp in most states or by most insurers.

Some companies add a voluntary compensation endorsement to their policies; but note that this only covers employees who are not covered by the workers compensation law, such as employees traveling overseas, domestic or farm workers, or sole proprietors or partners. The title is very misleading to many people,so it is important to remember that voluntary compensation endorsements do not cover volunteers.

Many companies and organizations don’t realize their volunteers aren’t covered until after an injury occurs. Do not wait till it is too late. Speak to your Delaware business insurance provider today.

Preventative Measures

Be proactive by asking your insurance agent certain workers’ comp related questions, such as:

  • Are volunteers covered under my workers’ comp insurance?
  • If so, to what extent? Where is the coverage identified in the policy?
  • If not, what are my options for adding coverage?

Stay up to date with how Delaware’s workers’ comp regulations apply to volunteers.

Each states treat volunteers and paid employees differently. The workers’ compensation law for every state and insurer policies must be reviewed carefully to determine whether a volunteer qualifies.

Do you know for sure if your volunteers are adequately protected? Check in with your Delaware business insurance provider.

About IFS Insurance

At IFS Insurance, we specialize in protecting homeowners and renters throughout Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Maryland. Our quality solutions and commitment to excellence has allowed us to serve these states for over 50 years. For more information about our products, we invite you to contact us today at (800) 598-0420