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Schools can be a second home for the families they serve. Protecting this community hub is crucial. Having the right insurance in place for a school’s unique needs can make all the difference when an incident occurs.
What insurance coverage does your school need?
Schools need insurance for obvious things, such as the building, the desks, and the educational equipment. Beyond that, schools must insure their faculty, their reputation, and their ability to continue to educate students. Business insurance isn’t one size fits all; you need an insurer who understands the business of educational facilities.
Keeping your school up and running with the right insurance.
For example, if something should happen to the school’s building and classes cannot be held, an alternative location may need to be secured so learning can continue. Proper school insurance coverage will provide for managing these interruptions to get classes back up and running as quickly as possible.
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What would you do if a fire impacted the operation of your school? Or what if a pipe bursting caused a system outage? These and other events can destroy your ability to teach or hold class, and may require an alternative location. Public, private, and charter schools need protection not only to the building facility and property within the school, but also the business of running the school.
It is critical you protect the school with business income and extra expense coverage to ensure your school facility and the things you use to operate your school can be put back into place quickly or in an alternate location. Business income insurance also helps cover the loss of income when you cannot run the school because of covered property damage.
Fire, weather, burst pipes, and other losses are frequent for schools given the large amount of physical space required to operate. These losses can cause significant damage to the school’s business personal property.
Business personal property coverage allows the school to replace property that has been damaged or destroyed by a covered cause of a loss. For a school, this may include property like desks, chairs, tables, books, materials, and supplies.
Is your school subject to wind, rain, hailstorms, hurricanes, blizzards, or other weather events? These situations can cause significant damage to a school building or roof, not to mention the dangers that lurk within like a burst pipe or cafeteria grease fire.
Building coverage protects the permanent school structure from most weather perils, burst pipes, a fire, and other losses.
A visitor walking into the school slips and falls, a teacher or employee causes damage to a student’s property, and even certain claims of slander all pose a real risk to your school.
General liability insurance is a necessity for any business. It provides broad coverage when you are deemed liable and will pay to defend lawsuits alleging injuries or property damage which occurred as the result of your school operations.
There are hundreds of reports each year of children being sexually abused by teachers, coaches, and volunteers. Countless more are abused without any report being made.
Obtain the proper abuse and molestation coverage to protect the school in the event an allegation arises. In addition, consider having a written document to address how to prevent sexual abuse from happening and what to do in the event of an allegation.
School volunteers and employees often use personal vehicles to do work for the school.
Make sure to add hired and non-owned auto coverage to the school’s insurance policy to cover this exposure. Also, check the motor vehicle records of anyone who transports students.
Officers, directors, and board members are exposed to increased factors and can be held accountable for acts that claim negligence in the performance of their duties including discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination of employees, inefficient administration or supervision, waste of assets, misleading reports, and other misrepresentations.
Educator’s legal liability insurance protects the decision-makers of the school from lawsuits and claims. Instead of suing the individuals directly, the lawsuit would be defended by the school’s ELL policy. Most people who serve on a board in a volunteer capacity should demand this coverage before serving.
The internet has spun a whole new web of liability exposures. E-commerce, social networking, cloud storage, and other technologies bring great benefits to all businesses. But with these benefits also come challenges, including protection of privacy, data, and financial information of your employees and students.
Cyber liability coverage covers unauthorized access to electronic data or software within your network. It also provides coverage for spreading a virus, computer theft, extortion, or any unintentional act, mistake, error, or omission made by an employee. This coverage is quickly becoming more and more important as you embrace technology to help run your school.
If one of your employees receives an injury or becomes ill due to a work-related occurrence, you are required by law to have the proper coverage in place.
State disability and workers' compensation protects your employees should a job-related injury or sickness occur during their course of employment. This coverage is required by law, so be sure you have it.
What happens when your school faces a large liability loss that exceeds the basic limit of your standard policy?
A commercial umbrella policy provides high limits of insurance, typically between $2,000,000 and $10,000,000. Coverage is extended over your general liability insurance, workers' compensation, business auto, and directors and officer’s liability coverage. It provides a great safety net and helps ensure your school is well protected.
Security in schools is becoming a larger issue as attacks have increased in recent years.
Every school should have a security plan. This plan should detail where students go in the event of an emergency, which entrances are open during school hours, who should contact the authorities, how to spot someone who may pose a security risk and how to react to someone who is trying to cause harm to the students and faculty.
School fundraisers may raise a large amount of cash, or a number of administrators/teachers may have access to a school credit card/account numbers.
Crime coverage can provide coverage against cash stolen on or off the premises, and can ensure that the groups within the school raising the money aren’t left in the dark if a cash box goes missing. Employee dishonesty coverage can help protect against a staff member’s scheme to steal money from the school or district.
Violent acts by students are, thankfully, infrequent on the whole, but they do happen. Violent acts are often excluded in one’s general liability policy. If not dealt with promptly, these can affect the school’s reputation and, if a private school, the bottom line.
Crisis response coverage can provide reimbursement for services like crisis management, public relations guidance, and counseling services to help staff, students, and families grieve.
Protecting your school from potential lawsuits.
Schools must also insure against claims of discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, and negligence. A lawsuit against the school and its officers, directors, board members, and faculty can be very costly to defend, taking away vital resources from the classrooms.
Coverages associated with the educational industry.
And don’t forget other general business insurance elements such as workers’ compensation, crisis response, employee dishonesty, and cyber liability. These coverages will ensure that your school is ready for anything and has the ability to do what it does best.
To learn more about how specialized insurance can benefit your school or district, contact us today.
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