Non-profit organizations that offer assistance to individuals and families provide a necessary social service to many. Whether they operate as a shelter, or offer job coaching, residential care, mental health or drug and alcohol treatment, or crisis counseling, these entities provide a way for individuals and families to work through problems or difficult periods in their lives. Because of the nature of the services offered to residential and out-patient clients, employees providing these services, and directors and officers of these social services businesses, are exposed to many risks. This is why they need comprehensive commercial insurance coverage.
If a person slips and falls while attending an appointment at an organization’s office; confidential healthcare information is inadvertently disclosed to someone without a privilege; or an employee alleges wrongful termination or retaliation, these non-profit organizations should be prepared to protect themselves legally and financially in case of a claim. They can do this by maintaining a commercial insurance policy, and a local independent business insurance agent will assist them in finding the right coverage.
Individual and family services operations may have outpatient medical facilities on-site, and may employ nurses, psychologists, and social workers. Psychiatrists and mental health and drug and alcohol counselors may also be on staff. To assess an organization’s business insurance needs, an experienced independent insurance agent will likely ask about the various workers employed there, and will want to discuss their licensing requirements, and the scope of services they typically provide to clients or patients on the premises. He may also inquire about security measures in place at the facilities, including whether the company uses a centrally monitored alarm system, if security personnel are present 24 hours per day, and whether doors remain locked on the premises at all times.
To evaluate the commercial insurance needs of a humans services organization, a local independent insurance agent will want to know about procedures in place for keeping information about mental health counseling and other patient care confidential, and how client records are maintained. Since some services provided to individuals and families may be government-sponsored, or otherwise free of charge, an independent insurance agent will probably inquire about funding for such care, and associated record keeping. He may also want to know whether an organization has had a loss in the past few years, and if so, the amount of the loss, and whether an owner or company has ever been named as a defendant in a lawsuit.
If an organization that provides individual and family services utilizes motor vehicles to transport patients or clients to and from appointments or other care or treatment facilities, an independent insurance agent will want to learn more about driver training procedures for employees, and will likely recommend that an organization purchase auto insurance along with their commercial insurance policy. Also, an independent insurance agent may describe other kinds of coverage that might be necessary for a non-profit to include with its commercial insurance. Along with commercial general liability coverage, building insurance, and business property insurance, he may, for instance, mention liability coverage for sexual abuse and molestation, directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, and additional property coverage.
Through a seasoned independent insurance agent, familiar with the coverage needs of human services organizations, and the concerns of their directors and staff when it comes to purchasing business insurance, these organizations can secure the proper commercial insurance. With sufficient coverage, their business’s operations can continue, and its employees and directors can be shielded from liability exposure, in the event of a financial loss or claim.
Child Welfare Services Insurance
For at-risk youth, disadvantaged children, and homeless teenagers, child welfare organizations can provide an opportunity for structured learning, socialization, affordable healthcare, and development. Child welfare programs can come in the form of clubs, recreational organizations, and alternative schools; counseling initiatives and group homes; and shelters and foster care agencies. In running these programs and providing counseling, care, and educational services to youth, directors and employees of child welfare organizations need to make sure that their actions and business operations are legally and financially covered. They can do this by purchasing a commercial insurance policy through an experienced independent insurance agent.
In connecting with a local independent insurance agent to find out about supplementing existing commercial insurance, or evaluating a policy for gaps, or because of an interest in buying a new policy, directors of child welfare program can expect that an independent agent will want to learn about their operations, structure, and the services they provide. Besides discussing commercial general liability insurance, building coverage, and business property insurance, she will probably describe other kinds of commercial insurance that may be suited to a particular youth services organization, depending on its unique coverage needs.
In meeting with directors of court-appointed special advocates or community reading programs, or residential care facilities for children, an independent insurance agent will likely discuss property, liability, and management liability insurance coverage that might be appropriate. An independent insurance agent might also describe options for inland marine, accident medical, auto, and crime insurance coverage that are available. She will likely mention how some insurance companies allow businesses to combine various kinds of commercial insurance into one policy, and she might suggest that even if this is not possible, an organization should consider buying its policies from a single insurer. An independent insurance agent may also mention that umbrella liability insurance can also be purchased.
In discussing property insurance, an independent insurance professional will mention that a social services operation may require a business income extension endorsement, which includes food contamination and communicable disease, along with coverage for recreational property enhancement, and for systems breakdown. As to liability insurance, an independent commercial insurance agent may discuss available general liability enhancements, a child abduction expense reimbursement, abuse and molestation, employee benefits liability coverage, and coverage for special events and fundraisers. She might also recommend that a child welfare organization buy directors’ and officers’ liability insurance, along with coverage for fiduciary liability and employment practices liability.
By working with a local independent insurance agent, directors of child welfare programs will receive answers to their questions about purchasing a commercial insurance policy, or modifying their current coverage. They can learn more about endorsements that are available, along with limits and exclusions found in the terms of business insurance policies from a number of different insurers. Purchasing coverage through an independent commercial insurance agent means that non-profits that provide child welfare services can protect their operations, and staff and directors, from legal or financial exposure in the event of a claim.
Commercial Insurance for Non-Profit Community Programs
Non-profit community programs in large urban areas, suburban complexes, or small towns have similar concerns when it comes to risk exposure. Allegations against a staff nurse or counselor, a slip and fall at their offices, or property damage to their building as a result of vandalism are just some of the many incidents that can leave directors and the organizations they run open to potential legal and financial consequences. Purchasing commercial insurance coverage for their program is a step that directors can take to make sure that in the event of a claim, or loss, their organization, and its administration and staff, are protected.
Depending on an organization’s structure, the services it provides, and risk management concerns of directors and officers, head start programs, foster family agencies, recreation centers, and grant-making foundations require various kinds of commercial insurance coverage. An experienced independent business insurance agent, familiar with local non-profit community organizations and the available options for policies from a number of insurance companies, will provide advice and guidance about supplementing existing commercial insurance coverage for a non-profit program, or buying a new policy.
For home companion care operations, Camp Fire Boys and Girls organizations, and not-for-profit nature centers, an independent insurance agent will likely describe options for liability (such as molestation or abuse), management liability, and property insurance coverage that she would suggest they include in a policy. She will probably discuss general liability insurance, along with special events coverage, and umbrella liability insurance. And, depending on a group’s needs, she might also mention child abduction liability insurance, general liability plus extension coverage, and the possibility of adding volunteers as additional insureds under a business insurance policy. Also, an independent insurance agent will likely talk about options for management liability insurance, including coverage for fiduciary liability, directors’ and officers’ liability, and employment practices liability.
When it comes to considering property coverage for a non-profit community program, an independent commercial insurance agent can describe the details of typical property insurance policies. For some organizations, she may mention commercial property extension endorsements, which provide multiple coverages in one form, including coverage for fire department service charges, outdoor property, and refrigerated goods spoilage. She might also discuss systems breakdown insurance, which can protect a non-profit if a mechanical, pressure, or electrical system in their building breaks down, and may refer to key employee replacement coverage, in case an important staff member departs suddenly, and an organization requires a temporary replacement until they can permanently fill the open position.
Other kinds of commercial insurance that a seasoned independent insurance professional might recommend for a community program include crime coverage, in case of theft of money, forgery, or employee dishonesty; inland marine insurance for property off premises, valuable papers, and signs; and accident medical insurance for staff, volunteers, or clients injured at an organization’s facilities, who do not have adequate health insurance to cover medical bills. She might also describe auto insurance for owned, leased, hired, and non-owned vehicles and buses used by a non-profit, and business income insurance, in case a program’s facilities must temporarily close as a result of a covered loss, like a fire, or lightning.
By contacting an independent insurance agent to discuss their organization’s commercial insurance needs, directors of non-profit community programs like CASA, the Boys & Girls Club, or support resources for prison families, can gain an understanding of the appropriate coverage for their entity. They can get answers to their questions about endorsements, exclusions, and additional insureds, and learn about policy limits and umbrella coverage options. With commercial insurance purchased through a local independent insurance agent, despite a loss or claim, non-profit programs can continue to provide their services to the community.
Commercial Insurance for Social Service Organizations
Free clinics, food banks, substance abuse recovery facilities, and other social service organizations provide homeless people with a place to stay, disadvantaged youth with opportunities for recreation and alternative education, and healthcare and wellness services for families. In the event of an allegation of abuse by a client or patient, an injury to a child while visiting a YMCA, or the inadvertent disclosure of privileged medical information by a drug counselor, these organizations need to have commercial insurance coverage.
For directors of Jewish community centers, counseling hotlines, and Goodwill thrift stores interested in supplementing their current commercial insurance, or in buying a new policy, an independent insurance agent is a valuable resource. A local independent insurance agent can explain the available options for coverage for human services programs, and discuss policies that can be purchased from different insurance companies. With the assistance of a licensed independent insurance professional, directors and officers of social services programs can secure commercial insurance coverage suited to their organization’s unique needs.
In working with directors of social service institutions or programs, an independent business insurance agent will likely describe the basic commercial insurance necessary for their entity. She will mention commercial general liability coverage, building insurance, and business property insurance, and she may suggest that an operation purchase these options for coverage in a single policy, or at least through only one insurer. She might also discuss auto insurance, if vans or other vehicles are operated by social service program staff, and can review the details of workers’ compensation insurance, which is governed by state statutes. An independent agent may also mention accident medical, crime, and inland marine insurance coverage, depending on the needs of a particular group.
A local independent insurance agent working with United Way, a family service agency, adult group home, or parenting education program may describe other kinds of coverage that a certain organization might require. As to property insurance, she may suggest systems breakdown coverage, and recreational property enhancement insurance. And, besides general liability insurance, she might recommend purchasing employee benefits liability coverage, abuse and molestation liability insurance, coverage for off premises activities, and insurance for medical personnel, including volunteer and employed physicians. An independent insurance agent may also wish to discuss umbrella liability insurance, along with typical policy limits, and options for social services management liability coverage, including insurance for directors’ and officers’ liability, fiduciary liability, and employment practices liability.
With the guidance of an independent insurance agent, social service organization directors can get advice on the appropriate commercial insurance coverage for their program, and learn about the claims process, and other important aspects of buying a policy. A local independent business insurance agent will help directors make sure that they purchase coverage that affords their organization, and its staff and administration, legal and financial protection.
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