Accident insurance is available from a number of providers for volunteers working in public institutions and organisations. As they are not actually employed they may not be covered by workers compensation insurance which is the standard for employees. In Australia workers compensation is a statutory requirement when you employ people in your business. Volunteers have a very important role to play and we would be lost without the thousands of people who give up their time and energy to help out in schools, hospitals and other businesses.
Personal accident insurance can be purchased as a single policy per volunteer if you do not have many in your organisation, right up to a group policy to cover hundreds of volunteers who may be involved in a large organisation such as a public hospital. Under a group policy, the employer purchases a number of individual policies at usually a discounted price and provides these to his or her volunteers. This can mean real peace of mind for both the employer (who has a responsibility for the volunteer) and the volunteer who has peace of mind that he or she is protected in the event of an accident.
A bonus for the volunteer is that they have group personal accident insurance policy that do 24 hours a day cover, at work as a volunteer and at home. This can be particularly important if the volunteer has paid work aside from volunteering. Even a minor broken bone can quickly use up your available sick leave and annual leave and there are always bills to pay and living expenses to be covered even when you can’t work. It may also be preferable to use the accident cover rather than using up your work based leave entitlements which you may need for another occasion. I found a number of providers online who offer specialised policies for volunteers and although the policies did differ slightly between insurers, a typical policy will cover accidental death, temporary and permanent disability and a weekly benefit while you are unable to work or volunteer if you are outside of the paid workforce.
Accidental death cover protects your family in the event of a tragedy. A lump sum is paid out to the family which can help with funeral costs as well as daily expenses and bills. This can be a real help at what is a difficult and stressful time. Temporary disability includes accidents like broken bones and muscle strains and you can be paid a weekly benefit to keep things afloat and pay for any medical expenses and hire of equipment. If you suffer a permanent disability you will be paid a lump sum to help to cover your medication, doctors and therapy expenses as well as modifications to your home and the purchase of equipment to help you, as needed. This can really reduce the emotional and financial distress of the situation.