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Volunteers at Food PantryWhether you operate a nonprofit or for-profit business, using volunteers is great for community engagement. Volunteers help you extend your capabilities. They can be where you can't and do the tasks you can't do.

As an extension of your business, volunteers represent you. They act on behalf of your business, good or bad.

Business Liabilities And Volunteers

While volunteering at your business, a volunteer is your responsibility. If you allow them to drive your company car and they get into a wreck, you are responsible. If they cause a client to slip and fall, then you are ultimately responsible.

Many business owners think Good Samaritan laws protect them from liability when it comes to volunteers. However, this is simply not true in some cases. Customers can't generally distinguish between employees and volunteers. This makes a volunteer a representative of your organization. It makes you financially responsible.

Train Volunteers To Avoid Liabilities

In many cases, business owners look for volunteers who have industry experience. By doing so, they avoid a lot of liabilities. Industry experience has taught these volunteers what they can and can't do.

Unfortunately, many businesses don't have access to experienced volunteers. As such, it's the organization's responsibility to educate and train their volunteers. You should always let volunteers know ways to avoid exposing the company to lawsuits.

Always Have An Employee With Volunteers

Your business can limit exposure to liability by having an employee supervise volunteers. With an employee supervisor, you can prevent volunteers from doing whatever they'd like on behalf of your business.

Consider the experience as a form of on-the-job training for volunteers. Your employee supervisor can educate and train your volunteers. That way, there is no doubt that they can handle themselves on their own.

Purchase General Liability Insurance

Consider buying general liability insurance. This is another measure you should take to ensure your business remains secure when utilizing volunteers.

General liability insurance may help you cover negligence. It may also pay for court costs in addition to offering other protections. With the right coverage, you won't have to worry about a volunteer's actions damaging the business.

Your business and your community benefit when you use volunteers at your organization. However, in your efforts to give back, you shouldn't expose your business to additional risks.

Southwest Commercial Insurance is here to help you understand your business coverage. If you are considering working with volunteers, give us a call today at (512) 771-6091 for a free business insurance quote.
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