Did you know that many 501(c)(3) nonprofit organizations have no paid employees? Volunteers provide a critical link between nonprofits and their communities by bringing needed skills, connections, insights and resources to the organization. In some cases, they also serve as valuable public advocates and ambassadors for the nonprofit. Some organizations only have a few volunteers, while others manage hundreds of volunteers – but the fact remains that volunteers are critical to the relationship between nonprofits and their communities.
It’s important that your volunteers know what they can expect in the way of guidance and supervision, as a lack of clear directions and/or difficulty in contacting a supervisor can cause frustration and lead to mistakes. While there are many ways in which to manage a volunteer workforce, consider checking your strategies against the list below to assure your nonprofit is following the best safety practices possible:
When using youth volunteers (anyone under the age of 18), you will want to think about their duties and responsibilities and whether those activities are suitable. There are several things to consider when engaging youth volunteers:
In addition to ensuring that volunteers are safe, don’t forget to show your appreciation on a regular basis! The importance of a simple verbal “thank you” cannot be overstated.
Remember that a volunteer is an individual who performs hours of service for you without promise or expectation of compensation. Any compensation provided to a volunteer, such as a stipend, may inadvertently convert your volunteer into an employee. It can also jeopardize the legal protection for the volunteer under the Volunteer Protection Act.
While the law provides some relief for the negligent acts of volunteers, these laws vary widely from state to state and are often misunderstood. And, don’t make the mistake of assuming that your nonprofit will be exempt from liability because its purposes are charitable, or because the person responsible for the harm is a volunteer.
Managing volunteers is similar to managing paid staff. As with your staff, volunteers expect to be provided with rewarding experiences, treated with respect, trained as needed, properly supervised, and provided with feedback. Millions of volunteers across the country support our communities through all kinds of valuable service. And, they provide this service with an admirable record of safety. Since inadequate or improper training and oversight is frequently the cause of an incident and/or injury involving a volunteer, we hope these suggestions will help make that record of safety even better! Wouldn’t we all prefer to avoid incidents and injury to people and property and spend money on direct services rather than on expensive claims against the organization and volunteer?
Courtesy: Nonprofits Insurance Alliance Group
It’s time for March Madness! Are you planning a blowout that will make render an entirely new meaning to “bracket busting?” Has your neighborhood community center asked for a either a hold-harmless agreement or a damage deposit exceeding your current mortgage payment?
Welcome to the world of personal event risk management! I know, super exciting stuff.
While businesses are typically well versed in the insurance and contractual agreement vagaries of booking meeting rooms or convention locations, many individuals only encounter such complexities when it comes time for the family reunion, wedding or NCAA finals/Super Bowl/World Series/Nascar or just name-your-favorite-sport excuse for a big bash party. When it comes to needing protection for such events, will your current insurance coverage ride to the rescue or leave you standing at the altar?
Am I Covered?
For example, let’s say you’re renting a local meeting hall or church activity center for your daughter’s wedding reception. The owner of the facility asks you to sign a written lease agreement, including a section that states you agree to hold them harmless from any liability claims against them arising from your activities at their location. Will your homeowners policy protect you for liability claims against you arising from the reception? And what about that contract and hold-harmless?
Good news on both fronts! Standard home insurance policies include liability protection for claims against you arising from “insured locations.” While that obviously includes your actual home or apartment, it also typically includes other locations you occasionally borrow or rent purely for personal use. And as for the lease and hold-harmless agreement, your policy also includes coverage for liability assumed under a contract related to the maintenance or use of an “insured location.”
So far, so good. But while liability arising for injury to a guest at the location certainly can represent a huge potential exposure to loss, don’t overlook other critical issues. Here are just a few:
Clearly taking on the responsibility for such events goes far beyond negotiation of rental fees, color coordination of the decorations, and who is going to drive Uncle Fred home after his 15th trip to the punch bowl.
But that is no reason to cancel your plans! When it comes to insurance and risk management questions, help is right here, with Jon Jepsen of SentryWest Insurance in Salt Lake City, your Trusted Choice® independent insurance agent. We are waiting to help you review these and other concerns. We’re armed with answers for what is already provided by your current insurance—including options for filling any gaps. And we have risk management tips to eliminate or minimize many potential sources of loss for others.
Jon Jepsen: keeping March Madness about sports, not your personal risk. Party on!
We recently asked our fans to tell us the most common questions about insurance that they have or that they hear from others. Here are some simple answers for those questions.
• Why did my premium go up when I haven’t had any claims?
Premiums may have gone up for all insureds in your class. Insurance involves a lot of people sharing the losses of a few people. When, overall, losses go up, your share (in the form of your insurance premium) goes up.
• Why did the amount of coverage on my house go up when the value has gone down?
That depends on how you define “value.” If you’re talking about market values which have declined in the current real estate market in the past couple of years, the resale value of your home may be depressed. However, insurance covers the cost to rebuild or replace your home or property. The real estate market has little to do with that. If construction costs rise, your policy limits should increase accordingly.
• Do I need to buy the coverage when I rent a car?
We suggest that you purchase the loss damage waiver in case the vehicle is damaged. While most auto insurance extends to rental cars, your policy probably has exclusions that aren’t in the loss damage waiver. Likewise, there are things the loss damage waiver doesn’t cover that your insurance does. Having both makes it less likely that you will have an uncovered loss.
• Why did my business liability insurance after 18 years and never had a claim go from $17,000 a year to almost $30,000 a year?
Premiums may have gone up for all insureds in your class. Insurance involves a lot of people sharing the losses of a few people. When, overall, losses go up, your share (in the form of your insurance premium) goes up. In addition, your premium may be based on payroll, sales, or some other factor that has increased substantially. If your business is growing rapidly, your exposure to loss probably is too. Your insurance premium may be reflecting that growth.
• Is it true a red sports car costs more to insure than a black sports car (same year, make & model)?
Nope. The color of your car has absolutely nothing to do with the cost of insurance. This myth may be based on the premise that a red sports car is flashier than a black one and might attract the attention of local law enforcement if you’re driving a bit too fast. Getting speeding tickets almost certainly will increase your insurance costs.
• Why does my car insurance go up when my car keeps getting older?
The component of your premium that pays for physical damage claims to your car usually goes down with age. However, other coverages like liability might go up. In addition, experience for that model car or for all insured cars in general may be going up so your increase is similar to that being experienced by others insured by your insurance company.
• What’s my credit got to do with my insurance?
Statistical studies have demonstrated that loss experience is directly proportional to an insured’s credit score. For that reason, some insurance companies use that as a factor in establishing rates if permitted by law in your state.
Courtesy: The Trusted Choice
Jon Jepsen, CIC