When Nonprofits Need Workers’ Compensation Insurance for Volunteers

When Nonprofits Need Workers' Compensation Insurance for VolunteersUnderstanding volunteer liability at nonprofit organizations.

As a nonprofit organization, you may rely on the hard work and dedication of volunteers. They may run everyday operations, deliver important materials, sort through inventory, and further your cause. When you take on volunteers, it’s important to remember that you need to protect them. Your nonprofit may need workers’ compensation insurance depending on:

  • State workers’ compensation laws
  • The roles that volunteers play in your organization

Colorado’s state workers’ compensation laws are as follows:

“All public and private employers in Colorado must provide Workers’ Compensation coverage for any full- or part-time employees. A person hired to perform services for pay—whether in the public or private sector—is presumed by Colorado law to be an employee.

CO Workers’ Comp: Key Details

  • Sole proprietors can purchase WC for themselves, but are not required to.
  • A corporate officer of a corporation or a member of an LLC may choose to reject the requirement to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance.
  • The following types of occupations / individuals are exempt from mandatory WC coverage in Colorado:
    • Certain professionals who perform casual maintenance or repair work for a business for less than $2,000 per calendar year.
    • Certain domestic work, maintenance, or repair work for a private homeowner that is not done full time.
    • Licensed real estate agents and brokers working on commission.
    • Independent contractors who perform specific for-hire transportation jobs.
    • Drivers under a lease agreement with a common or contract carrier.
    • Any person who volunteers time or services for a ski-area operator.
    • Persons who provide host home services as part of residential services and supports.
    • Federal employees and railroad employees (covered under federal laws).
    • Independent contractors who don’t have employees.
  • Insurance must be purchased through a commercial provider, or if you have state approval, you can self-insure.”

Understanding Volunteer Liability

Say your nonprofit organization delivers food to the homeless. Your volunteer is carrying a box of overflowing beans when he trips down the stairs and breaks his leg in the fall. Your organization could be sued over injuries like this, paying legal costs as well as medical expenses you may owe the volunteer. Luckily, your insurance can cover it a couple of different ways, including:

  • General liability insurance can help to pay for injury lawsuits for short-term volunteers.
  • Workers’ compensation insurance can cover injury lawsuits for long-term volunteers. If the same trustworthy volunteers for years, you may need workers’ comp to cover any injuries sustained on the job. Insurers view these long-term relationships like employee-employer relationships, so you’ll need workers’ compensation.

Talk to a trusted agent to find out if your nonprofit needs workers’ compensation for volunteers. Contact the experts at Colorado Nonprofit Insurance Agency, part of HUB International in Denver, Colorado at 303-894-0298.  Our dedicated team is ready to assist you with all your nonprofit insurance needs.