Auto Insurance for Volunteers

There is no specific auto insurance for volunteers. Volunteers may need to acquire additional coverage to protect themselves financially.

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Leslie Kasperowicz holds a BA in Social Sciences from the University of Winnipeg. She spent several years as a Farmers Insurance CSR, gaining a solid understanding of insurance products including home, life, auto, and commercial and working directly with insurance customers to understand their needs. She has since used that knowledge in her more than ten years as a writer, largely in the insuranc...

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years (BBB A+). He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like and Safeco. He reviews content, ensuring that ex...

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Apr 29, 2022

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Things to remember...

  • Volunteers for commercial and non-commercial enterprises need to be sure their insurance policies are appropriate
  • Volunteers may need to acquire additional coverage to protect themselves financially
  • Maximizing insurance might be in the best interests of volunteers

Anyone affiliated with a nonprofit may feel like he or she is doing a good service for the public. Volunteers do not usually perceive what they are doing as work. This perception is not only because they enjoy their activities.

The fact the volunteer is not being paid certainly keeps the mind away from categorizing any duties as work. Still, the person is engaged in official business for the nonprofit. The same would be true if a person choice to volunteer work for a commercial enterprise as well.

Unbeknownst to many drivers, volunteer work could have a major effect on car insurance.

In all circumstances, a driver positively must have the right insurance coverage in place. Otherwise, the insurance company may not pay out on a filed claim.

An even more troubling situation may arise with the wrong auto insurance policy. The driver could be held legally liable for all compensation in the aftermath of an accident.

Volunteers for nonprofits or other enterprises should perform the necessary research and comparison work required to procure the best and most appropriate coverage. Comparison shop for car insurance today by entering your zip code above.

The Concept of Volunteer Insurance

“Volunteer insurance” does not really exist. Rather, the driver simply needs to clarify his or her usage with an insurance company.

When a driver is only using his or her vehicles for personal use, a standard car policy needs to be in place. When the person uses the vehicle partially or exclusively for official business, then the policy must reflect such use due to the potentially increased risk.

Someone who is driving from location to location throughout the day to solicit funds or deliver materials on behalf of a nonprofit or for-profit enterprise is likely to be deemed a slight insurance risk even if he or she has a clean driving record.

He or she is on the road more, which opens the door to more risk. Again, seeking out a proper policy is necessary.

The driver is not the only one who needs to address coverage concerns. Some form of business-use coverage is necessary for both non-profit and for-profit enterprises that provide vehicles for volunteers. Loaning an uninsured nonprofit-owned vehicle to an employee driver could be a costly mistake.


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Volunteering on an Occasional Basis

Not everyone volunteers an extended amount of time at any of the following:

  • nonprofit organizations
  • civic events
  • church-related causes

An insurance company may not feel it is necessary to require amend the driver’s policy to reflect the occasional work. No driver, however, should make any assessment by his or herself.

Instead, contact the insurance company to discuss whether or not the current personal policy is enough. If it is, then the representative from the insurance company will say so. If not, then steps can be taken to increase or modify the insurance policy.

Perhaps a mild increase in the premium may result. The increase is definitely going to be preferable to being uninsured in the advent of an accident.

If involved in an accident, the driver will need to file a claim. Physical damage liability and bodily injury liability insurance would be the two types of coverage mandated by law in most all states.

Getting into an accident with an improper policy and, subsequently, suffering from a denied claim could have major financial repercussions.

If the insurance policy does not cover the losses and damages associated with an accident, the driver who is deemed at fault would be required to cover the losses.

Seriously disastrous financial consequences could result from the oversight of not having a volunteer or modified business insurance policy in place.


Expanding on an Organization’s Policy

Drivers who are using a nonprofit’s vehicle could very well be covered under the policy purchased by the organization. As always, the driver must review the policy to make sure they are adequately covered.

Drivers who feel the coverage is lacking do have a right to be concerned. A volunteer should not put him/herself at financial risk getting behind the wheel of the enterprise’s car.

There are a few options a volunteer could reasonably explore.

  • Purchasing temporary policies to cover the time in which you drive the vehicle is one option. Temporary insurance coverage could be purchased for a very limited time and purchased repeatedly.
  • Non-owner car insurance would be cover any driving in a car that is not owned by the driver. Most commonly, this policy is purchased when someone has a driver’s license but does not own a vehicle.

A Unique Insurance Policy

A person who drives his or her car on behalf of an organization on a volunteer basis is responsible for the insurance on the vehicle.

The nonprofit or other organization may also have a non-owned insurance policy in place that would cover losses beyond the driver’s policy if he/she is involved with liability claims that extend beyond the maximum coverage of the driver’s policy.

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Adding on More Insurance

The bulk of the talk about volunteer auto insurance has focused on liability.

Collision and bodily injury coverage would fall under the category of liability since the protect the driver of the vehicle from financial losses when he/she causes damage to any of the following:

  • his/her car
  • property
  • another person

Volunteers do need to be mindful that comprehensive insurance and uninsured motorist insurance could be helpful to add to the policy.

Any additional insurance that cuts down on the potential to pay out of pocket would definitely be worth acquiring.

Compare car insurance quotes right now and see how much you could save.

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