Volunteer Accident Coverage: Premium Rates Reduced

Premium rates for volunteer accident coverage were decreased nearly 15 percent for 2010, making it even easier for Minnesota cities to turn to volunteers as one way to continue to provide city services while reducing city budgets.

More and more, volunteers are providing services for community celebrations, city construction and demolition projects, city cleanup days, senior citizen programs, and traffic control. It’s important for cities that use volunteers to consider the safety of the volunteers, and how those volunteers would be protected from injuries sustained while providing a service to the city.

What volunteers are covered?
LMCIT offers Workers’ Compensation members an optional policy to cover volunteers if they are injured or cause an injury. Volunteer accident coverage automatically covers most volunteers who work at the city’s direction and control. Those who are covered include:

  • Coaches.
  • Instructors of parks and recreation programs.
  • Volunteers on city-sponsored festivals or celebrations.
  • People who work on city construction and demolition projects.
  • City cleanup day volunteers.
  • Members of advisory boards or committees that do not have independent decision-making authority.

What volunteers are not covered?
Not all volunteers are covered under this policy. Some volunteers are defined by the Minnesota Workers’ Compensation statute as city employees. Those defined as employees include:

  • Volunteer firefighters.
  • Ambulance attendants.
  • First responders.
  • Law enforcement assistance volunteers.
  • Emergency management volunteers.
  • Members of boards or committees exercising some level of independent decision-making authority.

Benefits
Volunteer accident coverage provides the following benefits:

  • No-fault protection for the volunteer. If a volunteer is injured while performing services for the city, benefits are automatically paid.
  • A $400 per week disability benefit for up to 26 weeks if the volunteer is injured while performing city services and is unable to work in his or her normal occupation.
  • A $100,000 death benefit if the volunteer dies from an injury sustained in service to the city.
  • An “impairment benefit” of as much as $100,000 if the volunteer is permanently disabled, either fully or partly, by an injury in the line of service to the city.

The city can add an additional coverage to provide volunteers with coverage for as much as $1,000 of medical costs. This coverage helps cover medical costs the volunteer might otherwise be responsible for under the deductible on his or her health coverage.

Premium costs
The following are a few facts about premium costs:

  • Premiums are based on the city’s population—$.085 per capita, subject to a $125 minimum and a $1,250 maximum premium.
  • The charge to add the optional medical coverage is an additional 45 percent of the basis premium.
  • Cities can choose to only cover volunteer board and committee members and not all other city volunteers at a rate of $8.50 per volunteer board or committee member.

For more information or a quote, contact Barb Meyer at bmeyer@lmc.org or (651) 215-4173; or Liam Biever at lbiever@lmc.org or (651) 281-1212.

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