Posted on May 17, 2014
Schools and day care facilities work hard to provide care and education to children of all ages, but despite their hard work and efforts, they must, like other businesses and industries, seek commercial insurance to cover a wide range of potential accidents, injuries and unexpected events.
General Liability Coverage
As with most businesses, schools must carry general liability coverage. This important insurance protects schools and day care centers from lawsuits for accidental injuries and damages. It pays legal defense costs and any damages a court may award to claimants.
Educators' Liability Insurance
While educational institutions typically do all they can to protect children, schools must also carry specialized liability insurance coverage to protect school facilities from employees or service vendors that engage in alleged sexual misconduct, molestation and child abuse. Educators' liability insurance is designed to protect educators in a wide variety of risks that might be alleged against them - despite whether allegations are true or false. Some of the covered events include injuries that occur under the supervision of a teacher, civil rights violations, sexual allegations, improper teaching methods, corporal punishment, unqualified personnel and errors & omissions claims. This coverage pays for legal defense costs and awards made by a court that determines school is financially liable for claim.
Directors & Officers Insurance
Many private schools and daycares have directors and officers on boards and in management positions that require additional financial protection in the event they and the school are sued in connection with their duties and management. Because many state laws allow directors to be held personally responsible when they act on behalf of a company, this insurance protects them from personal liability in the event of a lawsuit. Some directors & officers policies will also include additional liability coverage called employment practices liability. This coverage also protects schools and daycares from employee allegations of discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination.
Commercial property insurance protects the physical buildings, equipment, supplies and furniture of schools and day care centers. Because events such as fire and tornadoes can cause catastrophic damages to school buildings, high limits of property insurance must be carried to fully protect school facilities. School property insurance should be maintained on a replacement cost basis so that should buildings be destroyed the insurance will pay the amount needed to replace the buildings at today's pricing.
Student Accident & Health Insurance
Students are at risk for accidents on a daily basis. With sports participation and off campus games, the chances are high that someone at some point will be injured. Schools also must be concerned with potential injuries and even deaths that occur to students or volunteers from unexpected events. This catastrophic coverage provides blanket liability insurance to pay for student medical needs while reducing school's exposure. Blanket accident coverage is an advantage for students with minimal or no health insurance and allows schools to reduce their liability for accidents. Many broad policies will also allow schools to offer voluntary coverage purchased by parents so they have full time health care should their children be injured or require medical care.
Finding the right school and day care insurance coverage enhances the ability for schools to provide comprehensive protection for employees, students and school property. Seeking the expertise of licensed insurance brokers will help schools make the right insurance choices that best serve the entire school community.