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Last reviewed: 12 April 2021

Understand what insurance your organisation needs if it involves volunteers

Organisations need insurance to protect themselves and their volunteers from risk.

The type of insurance you need depends on:

  • your organisation
  • how it works
  • what it does.

Here are some types of insurance that can cover volunteers.

Employers’ liability insurance

If your organisation has paid employees, it’s required by law to have this insurance. Some insurers will cover volunteers too.

It protects your organisation if:

  • it causes injury or illness to an employee while they are working
  • it needs to pay compensation or legal costs following an employee's claim.

Public liability insurance

This covers your organisation’s interactions with other organisations or people (‘third parties’). Some insurers will cover volunteers too.

This insurance protects your organisation if it needs to pay compensation to a third party following a claim for:

  • causing accidental injury to the third party
  • causing accidental damage to the third party's property.

Check with your insurer to make sure your insurance covers your volunteers and what they do. You may need employers' liability insurance, public liability insurance or both.

Motor insurance

You may need this type of insurance if your organisation has volunteer drivers.

  • If volunteers drive your vehicles, check your insurance covers this.
  • If volunteers drive their own vehicles, they should check their insurance covers this. If it doesn't, you can arrange occasional business use cover for them from your insurer.

Some insurers charge extra for volunteer driving. Check with the insurer to see if they do this or not.

Other types of insurance

Your organisation is likely to need other insurance depending on what it does and who it works with.

See our guidance on insurance for voluntary sector organisations.

Other types of insurance

Your organisation is likely to need other insurance depending on what it does and who it works with.

See our guidance on insurance for voluntary sector organisations.

Buying volunteer insurance

When buying insurance, you should:

  • make sure the insurance policy meets your organisation’s needs
  • check the insurance policy covers volunteers
  • make sure the insurance policy covers the activities your volunteers do
  • read the insurance policy terms, conditions and exclusions.

It’s a good idea to speak to an insurance provider about your organisation’s specific needs. Zurich Insurance is NCVO’s Trusted Supplier for insurance.

This page was last reviewed for accuracy on 12 April 2021

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