Find out what your workers compensation insurance will cover when it comes to volunteers.
Volunteers are a wonderful asset that many businesses and organizations like to tap into. However, any volunteer that works at your place of business opens themselves up to potential on-the-job injuries. This begs the question: Does workers compensation insurance extend to volunteers? Here’s what you need to know about covering volunteers who sustain injuries in your workplace.
Are volunteers covered under workers comp?
Because volunteers are not paid employees of your company, most states specify that they are not covered under workers compensation insurance. Even if you add a voluntary compensation endorsement onto your workers comp policy, this extra coverage will only apply to employees not covered under standard workers comp insurance. For instance, this endorsement will offer coverage for paid workers, such as employees who are traveling overseas, domestic or farm workers, and so on. So, despite the misleading name, even a voluntary compensation endorsement will not extend coverage to your volunteers.
How can I secure coverage for my volunteers?
This comes down to your state’s laws. As the state laws governing workers compensation can be complicated, businesses who wish to offer workers comp coverage for volunteers are advised to speak to an experienced insurance provider within their state. When speaking to an agent, ask the following questions:
- Are my employees covered under my existing workers compensation policy?
- If so, to what extent are they covered?
- Where in my policy is this coverage identified?
- What are my options for adding workers comp coverage for my volunteers?
If you cannot afford to offer coverage to your volunteers, then your business should only work with volunteers who have coverage through other means. For instance, many volunteers have personal coverage options or are insured through a different management company. If your company is unable to offer coverage, all volunteers should sign waivers that explain your inability to provide coverage. Taking this precaution will ensure your business is not held legally responsible in the event of an on-site volunteer injury.
Interested in speaking to an insurance professional regarding the limits of your workers compensation insurance? If so, contact the experts at Contractors Insurance Agency. Our dedicated team is ready to offer you the advice and assistance you need today.