Jan 16, 2020

Vehicular Safety in Nonprofit and Social Service Organizations

Category: Social Services

Nonprofit and social service organizations depend heavily on transportation services in order to move clients and patients from one location to the next. Whether it’s an activity or a medical appointment or having meals delivered, transportation is a must-have in daily operations for these entities.

However, it’s right for nonprofit leaders to be concerned about putting volunteers behind the wheel and at risk on the road. The cargo they are transporting needs to be taken from one stop to the next safely and soundly.

Let’s look at the importance of vehicular safety for nonprofit and social service organizations.

Insurance for Volunteer Drivers

No matter who is behind the wheel, a nonprofit’s commercial auto insurance policy will apply to any accidents or damage that occurs during driving. The policy should be reviewed in order to make sure it has important components including liability, physical damage, and medical payments coverage.

Policyholders should make sure their policies are adequate enough to cover damage to a vehicle as well as any injury to passengers. Insurance carriers should be sure to go over their policies to determine which specific losses are covered and where there may be gaps. For example, some people may feel their coverage is all-encompassing and covers theft. If theft of a nonprofit’s vehicle occurs and there is a gap in coverage for this liability, then there will be no payout.

Nonprofits and social service organizations should be sure to not stop with their first nonprofit insurance plan and instead look to expand on coverage to ensure all bases are covered.

Risk Management Steps

Nonprofits should take special precautions depending on the role that each volunteer driver plays. For those who provide transportation to children or vulnerable adults in need, they should receive special training compared to drivers who simply pick up and drop off materials for a nonprofit.

Screening volunteer drivers is another important part of risk management as this portion demands a high level of attention. Nonprofits and social service organizations have to determine and outline the level of screening that is right for the driver role. Drivers who take care of transportation needs for minor children and those transporting multiple clients should be subject to much stricter training and background screenings than a volunteer who transports food or materials.

Identify Coordinators or Supervisors

This can help bring leadership to the transportation portion of a nonprofit. Having a supervisor can put someone in charge of hiring and firing drivers if need be. This person will enforce policies and procedures, conduct checks by phone, and carry out evaluations as a program grows.

Screen Volunteer Drivers

Qualifications for drivers need to be laid out to make sure that any inexperienced drivers are taken out of the running for a role and that every driver has proof of a valid license and vehicle registration. A formal training program and orientation should be installed for all volunteer drivers and the nonprofit should have a list of infractions that would terminate a volunteer’s position.

Volunteer Pledge Forms

Having volunteers sign these forms can outline who specifically is responsible for insurance costs while also showing that the volunteer agrees to maintain their vehicle in good working condition. This will protect nonprofits if an accident or incident of some sort occurs while also guiding the conduct of volunteers, helping them to be more accountable.

Driver Conduct

There are a number of issues that can come up when it comes to volunteers. Not everyone can be trusted, even with excellent background screening and references. It’s important to have an understanding among everyone about everything from being along with passengers to how many passengers can ride at one time. This can help to keep everything above board and limit risks between drivers and patients.

About Tangram Insurance Services

Located across the Golden Gate Bridge, just outside of San Francisco, Tangram Insurance Services is a full-service Managing General Underwriter and Program Manager offering specialty programs. We focus on industry-relevant coverage, competitive pricing, and practical business and risk management solutions for your clients. Since we are not all things to all people, we make sure to create outstanding custom-built solutions that matter to those businesses, and the brokers who serve those industries. Contact us at (888) 744-9810.