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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.

Types of insurance

Organisations or groups involving volunteers should have:

  • 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.

If your organisation delivers services such as advice, specifications, training or design work for a fee, it may also need professional negligence insurance. 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.

What to consider when buying insurance

If your organisation uses volunteers, when buying insurance cover, you should:

  • make sure the policy covers volunteers
  • check that the policy documents explicitly mention cover for volunteers
  • find out if there are upper/lower age limits for volunteers
  • make sure the 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, 376KB) lists insurance companies that don’t charge extra premiums for volunteer driving.

Further information

Find out more in our information sheet on insurance for volunteers (members only).

You can also read this guide to insurance products for the voluntary, community and social enterprise sector (PDF, 195KB).

Zurich Insurance is the NCVO Trusted Supplier for insurance. It provides insurance to charities, social enterprises and other not-for-profit organisations. Find out more about the insurance Zurich can provide for public liability, employers’ liability, motor and much more.


Page last edited Sep 18, 2018

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