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For nonprofit childcare providers, the overriding trend today is tight state budgets and reduced revenues. 

One way providers are trying to adjust to this new reality has significant implications for their insurance programs: relying on volunteers to do the work that paid employees used to do, says William Henry, executive director of Volunteers Insurance Services Association Inc. (VIS), a part of CIMA Cos. of Woodbridge, Va. VIS covers some 5,000 nonprofits through partnerships with 240 agents and brokers nationwide. 

Driven in part by this trend of nonprofits turning more and more to unpaid helping hands, VIS has created a “volunteer-liability policy” to cover the volunteers of nonprofit childcare centers as a shield for the organization’s general-liability (GL) policy. 

If a nonprofit center does have a claim, “in all likelihood, they don’t want to put their GL policy at risk,” Henry says. “Unless the organization itself is named in a lawsuit, our volunteer-liability policy will provide primary coverage to the volunteer being charged with injury or property damage. It’s a way to separate the risk that volunteers represent.”

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