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Insurance and volunteers

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If your organisation or group involves volunteers, you should consider the types of insurance cover needed to protect them and your organisation.


You may need to adapt your volunteer management practice during the coronavirus outbreak. For specific guidance on volunteer management and to see our latest covid-19 guidance for charities, please visit our coronavirus pages.

If you work with volunteers, you should consider the types of insurance cover needed to protect them and your organisation.

Types of volunteers insurance

  • Public liability or employers’ liability insurance – this provides cover for the organisation if a volunteer is harmed due to the organisation’s negligence
  • Public liability insurance – this covers the organisation and the volunteer if a third-party is injured through the volunteer’s actions.
  • Professional negligence insurance - if your organisation delivers services such as advice, specifications, training or design work for a fee, this provides cover for cases of physical injury or financial loss claimed by your clients as a result of these services. This cover only applies to employees, so if volunteers provide services on behalf of your organisation you will need to speak to your insurer to make sure appropriate cover is in place for insuring volunteers. 

What to consider when buying volunteers insurance

  • check that the insurance policy documents explicitly mention volunteers insurance
  • find out if there are upper/lower age limits for volunteers
  • make sure the insurance policy covers the types of activities that the volunteers will be doing.

You should also conduct a risk assessment for each of the roles that volunteers will be performing. This will help your insurer tailor your policy to your specific needs.

Insurance for volunteer drivers

If your organisation owns the vehicle being used by a volunteer, it is responsible for arranging insurance.

If the volunteer owns the vehicle, they are responsible for arranging insurance. They should inform their insurer that they are using it as part of a volunteering role.

The Association of British Insurer’s Volunteer Driving – The Motor Insurance Commitment (PDF, 781KB) lists insurance companies that don’t charge extra premiums for volunteer driving.

Further information

NCVO’s Trusted Supplier Zurich Insurance has various guides for charities to explore what types of insurance might be relevant to them. Included is a document answering 10 questions to make buying insurance simple (PDF, 3,069KB) covering considering when your organisation needs public liability insurance, what cover you need to think about if you have employees, insurance for your vehicles and protection for your trustees.

Find out more about the insurance Zurich can provide for public liabilityemployers’ liabilitymotor and trustee indemnity.

Page last edited Dec 17, 2020

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