Archive for Educational
Accreditation agencies provide important services to their industry by reviewing businesses in it and verifying that they meet that association or organization’s established guidelines. Errors by these agencies can result in a business ceasing operations or losing financing and/or customers. This coverage protects the agency against third-party liability claims that allege financial loss and/or personal injury caused by its wrongful acts, errors, or omissions while performing its accreditation services. Underwriters prefer agencies that work with industries that have well-defined and standardized accreditation and certification procedures.
Charter schools are public schools that operate separate from the public school district. They must be sponsored by an overseeing organization such as a university, municipality, church-based, or other acceptable type organization and operate with a board of directors. They may be for-profit or not-for-profit. The schools may or may not include all school grades. The exposure is similar to public schools but because each charter has a unique approach to education, they must be carefully underwritten based on the background of the administrator, the board, and the sponsoring organization because these will determine the overall health and success of the school.
Colleges & Universities
These risks cater to young children who receive early instruction in ballet, tap, and other dance techniques, youth who want to improve their dancing ability. and adults who want to learn ballroom and other types of dancing. The exposure varies based on the school’s specialty. Classic ballet and tap dance instruction is significantly different than large studios that offer all types of dance instruction from preschool to adult. Specialized programs that offer general liability coverage including liability for injury to participants are available. Coverage applies for classes both on and off premises along with other off-premises operations such as performances. Instructors’ professional liability coverage is usually included. Inland marine floaters are available to cover equipment taken off site. Accident/medical expense coverage may be available in conjunction with the package for schools.
Day Care Centers – Children
Liability insurance on day care centers, preschools, and private kindergartens is difficult to place because of the high degree of responsibility placed on them to care for young children. Underwriting acceptability and the premium charged is based on the age of children, the activities the school provides, the qualifications and experience of teachers, the teacher/child ratio, the school’s accreditation, and the degree of supervision over both teachers and children. Abuse and molestation coverage is usually excluded but can be bought back for sub-limits to cover defense and claims for negligent supervision.
Property and liability coverage for dive shops is difficult to place. The two most important components of surviving underwater are equipment and instruction. Errors or inadequacies in either can result in serious injury or death. Divers must receive instruction and be certified to dive with the equipment before they take their first dive. Dive shop instructors can provide that certification. The certificate verifies that the individual is capable of being underwater for long periods of time so it must be issued judiciously. Coverage for these shops includes commercial general liability and personal property coverage for the expensive merchandise and equipment held for sale or rent. On-site pools are covered. Professional liability insurance for diving instructors is available only to those with proper credentials.
Auto driving schools are difficult risks to place. In addition to the auto liability exposure to others with an inexperienced driver behind the wheel, the workers compensation loss potential to instructors; automobile-related injuries to student drivers; and physical damage to the instruction vehicle must be considered.
Educational institutions have very specific needs that only customized coverage forms and programs can meet. Such programs offer commercial property, general liability, crime, inland marine, equipment breakdown, electronic data processing equipment, fine arts, abuse and molestation, corporal punishment, employee benefits liability, automobile, umbrella liability, workers compensation, educators legal liability, and employment-related practices liability.
Educators professional liability covers school districts against suits brought against their board members, faculty, staff, student teachers, and volunteers for acts, errors, and omissions or bodily injury that results from different types of student-related actions, including corporal punishment. Underwriters consider factors such as prior coverage, litigation history, student-teacher ratio, and school district management.
Film Schools Student Productions
Film schools are eligible for this coverage. Some programs provide coverage only if the school is part of a university. Coverage applies to student projects but only when the school sanctions them. Coverages include property, inland marine, general liability, automobile, and umbrella. Items that can be covered include rental equipment, owned equipment, props, sets, wardrobes, extra expense, and negative and faulty stock.
Independent Testing Services
When a contract or regulation requires that certain standards be met a method must be in place to ensure that those standards are being met. Because multiple parties are interested in compliance, an outside and independent organization is hired. These testing services will typically involve extensive off-premises exposures that require professional, general liability, workers compensation, and inland marine coverages. The degree of hazard will vary based on what is being tested and the equipment and/or chemicals used in the testing.
Martial Arts Liability
Martial arts instruction is a broad term used for schools that teach the martial arts such as karate, judo, jujitsu, mixed martial arts, kickboxing, kung fu, and tae kwon do. Liability programs through specialty insurers cover school owners, instructors, and other employees. Important considerations include the instructorsâ€™ skills and experience, the amount of supervision, and the types of students who receive instruction.
Riding Academies/Hunt Clubs
Insurers that specialize in writing equestrian liability and horse mortality also write this coverage. Riding academies or schools are especially difficult risks to insure because the participants are often either beginners learning to ride saddle horses or are experienced riders attempting to acquire new skills, such as jumping. Riding academies also stable horses for owners who ride their own horses on occasion but will permit the academyâ€™s owner to use the horses for riding lessons or excursions. The academyâ€™s owner has a care, custody, and control exposure for these horses. The riding academy may also conduct special events, such as rodeos, horse shows, and jumping competitions. These events add a spectator liability hazard.
School Bus Contractors
Private school bus contractors do not share the sovereign immunity that publicly operated school bus fleets enjoy. As a result, they must have sufficiently high limits to protect them because of potential injuries to children. These injuries may occur while the child is on the bus, is walking to or from the bus, or waiting for the bus. These contractors also have the traditional automobile bodily injury, property damage, comprehensive, and collision exposures. They also need property, general liability, inland marine, crime, and workers compensation coverages.
Student Accident Insurance
Student accident and youth group accident coverages are written by certain insurers that specialize in such insurance or that have independent divisions that can handle a large number of policies with small premiums. Student accident insurance is usually arranged through schools and colleges under a group coverage approach with coverage for each student being voluntary. Coverage is written for blanket accident medical reimbursement, accidental loss of life, and accidental dismemberment or loss of sight. Two different plans are usually available: A limited plan and an annual 24-hour comprehensive plan. These plans may cover one or more of the following circumstances: while engaged in school activities during the nine-month school year; on school premises while attending classes; during lunch and recess and while participating in school-related after-class activities; while traveling between the student’s residence and school; while traveling with other students in a supervised group to and from school-sponsored activities; or while participating in school-sponsored and supervised athletics. Limitations may apply, such as participation in defined hazardous sports such as football, soccer, hockey, or lacrosse. Athletic teams may purchase special sports activity policies and youth groups can purchase accident insurance for these activities, separating them from regular school activities, even though the school may sponsor them.
Student housing is a difficult class to underwrite because of numerous issues that relate to student behavior. Property hazards to consider include smoking, candles, and forgetfulness, along with general negligent and irresponsible behavior. Liability exposures include issues related to fire, along with those related to assault and alcohol. Housing units may be on or off campus. They may be publically or privately owned. A significant number of student housing units are in older converted dwellings that are often overcrowded and do not conform to building codes. However, there are also a growing number of newly built, well-maintained, and well-managed off-campus student-only high-rise apartments.
Tuition Refund Insurance
Many educational institutions require parents to sign tuition guarantee contracts that obligate them to pay tuition for a complete semester or school year regardless of the student completing that term. Because of the hardship this can cause to parents who must withdraw a child due to a family situation such as death, illness, job transfer or job loss tuition refund insurance is available. The institution purchases a group policy and depending on the selected plan, participation can be mandatory or voluntary.
Water Ski Schools Liability
Water ski schools provide instruction for water skiing, wave boarding, tubing, barefoot water skiing, and other types of propelled water-related activities. Instruction is usually conducted in less hazardous water areas relatively free of other watercraft. Bodily injury and property damage liability coverage is available.