Raise Your Organizational Standards

I spoke with a prospective client a few weeks ago. This nonprofit youth and community serving organization has never had insurance coverage before. That’s not uncommon. A lot of these have tiny budgets and more pressing priorities.

At some point, we will get the call for coverage.

I’m not sure if it was a board member or a seminar or a contract, but for some reason, the nonprofit decided (rightly, I might add) to look into liability insurance.

After going through the process, they have decided to implement stricter guidelines for nonprofits they work with. They decided to research and implement a variety of other policies and procedures that they hadn’t considered before.

Insurance Applications and Higher Standards

Here are some areas where simply following an insurance application’s suggestions might raise your standards:

Hiring Practices

  1. Background Checks: For nonprofits, insurance applications suggest that all employees go through background checks. It’s a requirement to obtain abuse and molestation liability coverage.
  2. Driver Guidelines/MVR Checks: Most companies require that drivers have no more than 3 minor violations and 0 major violations such as a DUI. Who doesn’t want better, safer drivers?
  3. Professional Coverage for Contractors: If you use 1099s for professional services, most insurance companies would ask that you confirm those contractors have their own Errors & Omissions coverage. That leads to better contractors.


  1. Facility Access: Most apps ask if you have sign in and sign out procedures.
  2. Safety/Crisis Management: Do you have a plan in the case of a lawsuit? Do you have a plan in case of natural or other disaster?
  3. Driver Training/Vehicle Maintenance: Most applications ask about these items. It might not be a condition of coverage, but the question might help encourage putting something formal in place.
  4. One-on-One Client Services: Perhaps it makes sense to put windows on doors or to limit off-site meetings? Or maybe always have two employees or volunteers present in various situations.

I suggest taking note of your applications next time you go through your insurance renewal process. Or for those of you who don’t have coverage for your nonprofit, don’t look at the process as a meaningless exercise.

Use it to up your game. In the long run, I believe it’ll only help you move your organization forward and attract high quality employees, volunteers, and board members.

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