Volunteers are valuable to the numerous companies that utilize volunteer work. The cost-savings of volunteers cannot be understated. While most companies love volunteers, they do not often consider the question of liability. What happens when a volunteer is hurt on the premises or while at work? While injuries might not be common, there are some industries that are more dangerous than others. Some business owners might assume that volunteers have coverage. Unfortunately, for volunteers, this is not usually the case. If you are a volunteer who has been injured while working, there are a few questions that you need to ask.

What Are the State Regulations?

Every state has its own rules for workers’ compensation and for volunteers. In some states and with some policies, the workers’ compensation may cover a volunteer. Volunteers are not employees. This means that the language has to specify volunteers.

What Is Endorsed by Company Policy?

In states where workers’ compensation is permitted for volunteers, then the company needs to have the coverage endorsed to its policy. In some instances, the company might have a volunteer-accident medical insurance policy. This usually will pay for medical bills. The first step to knowing if volunteers are covered is to ask.

What Are the Company’s General Liability Coverages?

General liability insurance may provide coverage for volunteers if said volunteer causes property damage or injury on the premises. These policies sometimes treat volunteers as insured parties and provide protection against third parties. Now, on the other hand, under general liability, volunteers usually cannot make negligence claims. Benefits under medical payments coverage is also something that volunteers don’t often have.

Do You Have Other Coverages?

As a volunteer, you may have coverages elsewhere. For instance, if you are a part of student volunteer program, you may have coverage through the school. In most cases, the coverages that you do have are coverages that another company provided or that you provide for yourself. Personal auto insurance and personal health insurance may be able to cover you in case of an injury while volunteering. It’s smart to talk to your insurance companies in advance.Workers’ compensation laws are complicated and every state has different rules. It’s crucial that if you’re injured in the workplace as a volunteer that you know what your options are. In some states, workers’ compensation laws may cover your injuries. In most cases, however, you will not find coverage as a volunteer. To understand what your alternatives are, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney, like one of the Milwaukee workers compensation lawyers from Hickey & Turim, SC.