Workers compensation policies are designed to protect employees who are injured on the job. What happens when the person injured is not technically an employee, though? There are ways for your organization to protect its volunteers.
In most states, volunteers are not typically covered under workers compensation policies. In some states, however, volunteer workers comp requirements can be extended in certain instances:
- Voluntary firefighters
- Voluntary medical workers
- Rostered volunteers
- Volunteers who are compensated in non-financial ways
If your business relies heavily on volunteer efforts, it may be useful to look into ways to protect people, particularly if the work involves lifting or other manual labor.
There are other options if your state does not have volunteer workers comp requirements. One common practice of nonprofit business owners is to extend the payment limits on their general liability policies or invest in umbrella policies to cover anyone – employed or otherwise – who is injured on their property. This would effectively cover volunteers who are injured in the course of their service.
When you rely heavily on volunteer work to make your business operate properly, you may want to find ways to protect the people who donate their time. Talk to your insurance agent about options for making sure everyone who makes your organization successful is protected.