Many different types of organizations rely on volunteers to operate. The most common types of organizations using volunteers include non-profit associations, property owners associations, fire departments, municipalities, child care or pet care operations, social organizations and even facilities such as golf courses.
A business or organization that uses volunteers will ask the question "will coverage be provided to a volunteer under a workers compensation policy?" Generally, a person who is volunteering or not being compensated, will not be provided coverage under an Indiana workers compensation policy. However, there are a couple of special exceptions for certain types of volunteers.
In Indiana, there are two groups of volunteers that can qualify for coverage under a workers compensation policy. They are volunteer firefighters and "rostered volunteers."
Under Indiana law, a government unit may elect to cover volunteers for medical benefits. Per Indiana Code 22-3-2-2.1, the unit (county, municipality, or township) must establish a roster (list of the volunteers) to be covered. The law excludes volunteer firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and inmates as rostered volunteers.
The Indiana Code is available on the State of Indiana website.
Rostered volunteers are assigned to Indiana state special code 7698: "Rostered volunteers - medical only & drivers." This code was created March 1, 1994. For governmental units in Indiana, this code is assigned to volunteers. This procedure is an exception to the generic rules on volunteers found in the Basic Manual, Rule 2.J., which states: "Premium must be determined on the basis of the payroll normally received by and the classification assigned to non-volunteer employees doing the same or similar work."
Volunteer firefighters and emergency medical technicians are covered under the statute for medical and burial expense benefits (IC 36-8-12-10).
A volunteer fire company (VFC) is properly classified under code 7711—Firefighters & Drivers—Volunteer. Please refer to the "Volunteer Firefighters" document on the Indiana Compensation Rating Bureau's website for more information.
Always consult with your trusted Briggs Agency advisor. For questions about your business or organizations workers compensation needs, please give us a call.