Things to Know About Insurance for Educational Institutions

Top Things to Know About Insurance for Educational Institutions

Author: Paul Smith

Insurance for educational entities can be simple or complicated based on a number of factors.

To start with the type of education offered will influence the potential exposures a school would purchase insurance coverage for.  At FCA, we offer insurance solutions for the following types of educational settings:

  • Primary school education
  • Secondary school education
  • Post-secondary education
  • Adult learning
  • Career learning

Whether your institution is for-profit, not-for-profit or publicly funded will guide us in developing insurance coverage tailored to your specific needs.  Do you provide educational content on-line, in-person, through one location with a small staff or multiple locations with several employees – these are some of the factors that will affect your insurance needs and your buying decision.

The goal of your insurance purchase is the transfer of risk away from you personally to an insurance company in exchange for the premium paid.   How much risk you are willing to assume and how much you ultimately transfer to your insurer will impact the potential premium you pay.

Some of the categories to consider in custom designing a program that will cover for your unique risk appetite include: property, general liability, educators’ professional liability, cyber liability, employee dishonesty, auto liability, employee benefits coverage and directors’ and officers’ liability.

As you can see there is much more to consider in acquiring an insurance program to address the specific needs of your institution than simply purchasing an off the shelf package.  At first glance it may seem cost effective but it may also be lacking what you truly believe your insurance coverage should be.

At FCA Insurance we take a hands-on risk management approach and work closely with you to navigate your areas of vulnerability and design solutions to address those exposures.

If you would like to learn more about insurance for educational institutions, please visit our Education Practice page.

What basic information do I need to get started?  

  • Name and address of the educational entity
  • Category of education (private, primary, secondary, for profit, not-for-profit, adult learning or career college)
  • Number of students
  • Number of educators
  • Annual revenue
  • Lease requirements
  • Government requirements
  • Website address

What is the cost of insurance coverage? 

The cost of insurance is based on a comprehensive review of your operation and your appetite for risk – both are distinctive to you and your operation.  Your location, educational category, the number of students and educators, annual revenue and specific areas of exposure you wish to purchase coverage for all contribute to establishing a cost for protection.

Does an educational institution need cyber liability coverage?

The substantial increase in cyber liability events in recent years makes this coverage a critical component in an institutions comprehensive program.  Government regulations require educational entities to maintain significant amounts of private information about their students and faculty – both current and historic.  The responsibilities imposed by the Personal  Information and Protection of Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) makes the educational entity liable for the release  of such information regardless of the cause.   In addition, the dramatic increase in on-line learning has resulted in a concurrent increase in exposure to ransom ware that could negate the use of your on-line learning system.

What is educators’ professional liability (wrongful education)?

Educators’ Errors and Omissions coverage responds to protect the educational entity from legal actions against them for alleged or actual failure to provide educational and related services as outlined in their contract with parents, student, clients and staff.

The result of such action can be devastating to the reputation and ongoing operation of the educational entity.

There are several significant potential risks in a school setting.  The following are examples of claims that an educational entity could experience.

EDUCATORS’ ERRORS AND OMISSIOLN LIABILITY CLAIM EXAMPLES

  • Failure to educate, failure to supervise, and failure to respond to prevent injury and promote a safe working/study environment (bullying, abuse and molestation etc.)
  • Failure to provide coverage for exposure to risk in recreational activities on school premises and elsewhere
  • Internet and related exposures (stolen school records, internet abuse etc)
  • Failure to establish crisis management practices and procedures ( lock-down etc.)
  • Violations of students’ rights and freedoms ( transgender washroom issues)
  • Failure to hire qualified individuals
  • Failure to promote students or grant credit
  • Discipline procedures not equally administered
  • Improper (possibly outdated) instruction methods
  • Failure to maintain proper hiring practices and procedures resulting in claims by students and staff
  • Claims resulting when teachers, intentionally or otherwise, introduce materials that are not age, race or religion appropriate
  • Cases where parents of special needs children believe their child is not getting specific educational requirements addressed (misdiagnosis of learning disabilities)
  • Possible breach of contract between school and teacher and school and outside vendors
  • Improper use of school funds
  • Failure to follow staff tenure procedures

With any questions, please reach out to our Education Insurance expert Paul Smith at [email protected] or 416-505-8887.

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