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Volunteers' Most Common Accidents - and How to Avoid Them

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Once in a while, a volunteer is injured, or injures someone else, in the course of his or her work. Sometimes, it is just an allegation that the volunteer injured someone else; whether or not the allegation is true, a legal defense still is required. In many cases, the cost of the incident is greater than the volunteer's own ability to pay, which is why insurance protection for volunteers should be part of every nonprofit organization's risk strategy. Even so, prevention is better than cure, and there is a lot you can do to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.

In this article, we will describe the circumstances involved in the claims we see in our Volunteers Insurance Service (VIS ® ) program, and offer guidance to help you minimize the chance that such claims might happen to your own volunteers.

Injuries caused by volunteers to themselves or to others tend to fall into a few common claims scenarios which we'll cover in this article by the three types of volunteer insurance coverage that respond:

  • accident medical reimbursement
  • personal liability
  • excess automobile liability