Business & Finance

Why Volunteer Insurance Is Crucial for Businesses in the Non-profit Sector

Why Volunteer Insurance Is Crucial for Businesses in the Non-profit Sector
Photo: Canva

Do you run a business or work for a charity? How often do you or your staff participate in volunteer efforts? In that case, it’s critical that you learn about the value of volunteer insurance.

Volunteer insurance goes beyond legal protection. For instance, it allows volunteers to focus on their work without worrying about potential accidents or property damage.

According to a Nonprofit Risk Management Center survey, the majority of nonprofits have volunteer insurance. This shows how volunteer insurance protects non-profits financially.

Now let us dive in and learn how volunteer insurance can benefit your company and the community.

Risks of Volunteer Work in the Non-profit Sector

Volunteering in the non-profit sector is a rewarding way to help others and support causes. Non-profit regulation and oversight pose risks to volunteers, who may work with hazardous materials or vulnerable populations without proper training or supervision.

Moreover, non-profits may mismanage or commit fraud. The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners found a median loss of $75,000 per fraud incident for non-profits. If volunteers don’t know the organization’s financial practices and reporting, they may be complicit.

Due to their work schedules, non-profit volunteers may also experience high emotional stress. Volunteers helping abuse victims may experience vicarious trauma or burnout. Without support, this can harm the volunteer’s mental health.

Finally, non-profit organizations may abuse volunteers by making them work long hours without breaks, perform tasks beyond their training, or work in unsafe conditions.

For instance, Cambodian orphanages attract foreign volunteers. Many of these orphanages exploit children to solicit donations from well-meaning volunteers. By supporting these orphanages instead of organizations that prioritize child welfare, volunteers may perpetuate this cycle.

In a nutshell, volunteer insurance provides coverage for individuals who volunteer their time and services to non-profit organizations. VIS Volunteers provides volunteer insurance and risk management services in the USA. They serve organizations and their volunteers by offering a range of insurance policies and risk management tools to ensure that volunteers can focus on making a positive impact.

VIS Volunteers aims to provide peace of mind to those who are serving their communities, knowing that they are protected by reliable and comprehensive insurance coverage.

Related: Tech Tools that Nonprofit Organizations Need

The Benefits Of Volunteer Insurance For Non-Profit Organizations

Volunteer insurance is an insurance policy that protects policyholders if they are injured while volunteering for a nonprofit. Some of the ways in which nonprofits can benefit from volunteers carrying insurance:

  • Volunteer protection: Volunteer insurance can cover medical expenses, disability, and life insurance if a volunteer is injured or killed. This can reassure volunteers and encourage more participation.
  • Protection for the organization: If a volunteer is injured or killed while volunteering, the organization may be liable. Volunteer insurance covers legal fees and damages, protecting the organization’s finances and reputation.
  • Volunteer retention: Volunteer insurance shows volunteers that the organization values and cares for them. This increases volunteer retention and organization loyalty.
  • Enticing new volunteers: Volunteer insurance can be part of a comprehensive volunteer package. This can boost volunteer recruitment and impact.
  • Legal compliance: Volunteer insurance helps non-profit organizations meet legal requirements in states where insuring volunteers is mandatory.

For instance, volunteer insurance was crucial during Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Volunteers who traveled to affected areas without insurance were at risk of injury and other risks. Hence, several organizations now offer disaster relief volunteers insurance.

To sum up, Volunteer insurance protects volunteers and non-profit organizations and helps organizations attract and retain volunteers, demonstrate their commitment to safety and well-being, and comply with legal requirements.

Different Types of Volunteer Insurance and Which One Is Right for Your Business

Non-profit organizations can choose from a variety of volunteer insurance policies. The advantages of the most popular forms of volunteer insurance are as follows:

  • General liability insurance: This insurance covers property damage and personal injury. It can protect the organization and volunteers from volunteer work accidents. The Nonprofit Risk Management Center found 85% of nonprofits have general liability insurance.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance: This covers medical costs and lost wages if a volunteer is injured on the job. Some states require volunteer workers’ compensation insurance for non-profits.
  • Directors and officers liability insurance: This covers claims of wrongdoing or negligence by the organization’s directors and officers. It can shield the organization and leadership from financial losses and legal fees.
  • Professional liability insurance: Covers claims of professional negligence or errors and omissions by the organization or volunteers. It can shield the organization and volunteers from financial and legal losses.
  • Event insurance: Covers special events like fundraising or volunteer appreciation events. If an event injury occurs, it can protect the organization from financial losses and legal fees.

Moreover, consider the non-profit organization’s needs and risks when choosing volunteer insurance. To protect against abuse or neglect claims, a child-serving organization may want to purchase additional liability insurance.

Also, consider the organization’s budget and insurance costs. For instance, volunteer insurance is important because the Boy Scouts of America faced multiple lawsuits in the 2000s alleging volunteer sexual abuse. These insurance policies covered legal fees and damages, protecting the organization’s finances and reputation.

See Also: 5 Best Marketing Strategies for Nonprofit Organizations


In conclusion, volunteer insurance is an important resource for non-profit organizations. It safeguards the volunteer and the organization, letting the former concentrate on their service without fear of legal repercussions. Lastly, non-profits can safeguard themselves and their volunteers, retain valuable staff members, and meet regulatory standards by carefully considering their insurance options.

To Top