Volunteers and Insurance Coverage
The University provides limited liability coverage for authorized volunteers. The University's insurance program, administered by the State of Arizona, covers liability arising from the acts of volunteers while providing service in an authorized capacity. This coverage will provide a legal defense for claims made against the volunteer for alleged harm to others or damaging the property of others. Settlement of claims and/or payment of court judgments is by the State of Arizona Risk Management Division on behalf of the University of Arizona. This insurance program is statutory, governed by Arizona Revised Statutes §41-621 et seq.
Volunteers who are injured while performing work for the U of A are provided accident insurance to cover medical expenses incurred up to $25,000. Coverage is excess other available insurance, and there are specific limitations and exclusions. There is no cost to volunteers for this insurance (see: program details).
Departments using volunteers must keep on file sufficient information to document each volunteer's status and authorized duties. Failure to properly document a volunteer's duties and authorization will jeopardize the liability coverage described above. Risk Management Services recommends that this be accomplished with a Volunteer's Letter of Appointment for each volunteer.
A Volunteer's Letter of Appointment should contain the following information:
- Volunteer's full legal name.
- Program title and brief description where the volunteer will be serving.
- Name and title of the person or persons responsible for volunteer supervision.
- Anticipated duration of volunteer service.
- A description of the services the volunteer is authorized to perform, and an acknowledgement that the services rendered will not be compensated.
- Instructions for immediately reporting accidents or other incidents.
Departments should plan for the safety of volunteers just as they would regular employees. Tasks that require special training, certification, or equipment should only be conducted by volunteers who are appropriately equipped and qualified. If a volunteer's duties will include driving on University business, the department must determine that the volunteer has a valid driver's license, and keep a photocopy with the Letter of Appointment.