• 611110 Elementary and Secondary Schools
  • 611210 Community Colleges and C.E.G.E.P.s
  • 611310 Universities 

Description of operations: Public schools are funded by taxes and are open to the general public. Schools have many exposures that must be evaluated for the applicability to each particular situation.

Property exposure due to fire can be a concern from equipment, machinery, and wiring. If cooking is done on premises, this activity increases the potential for fire loss. Depending on the classes taught, each has potential for additional exposures, from cooking in home economics to wood and metal working in art classes. Chemistry classes and the resultant exposures to fire from chemicals are also a concern. Vandalism and malicious mischief, as well as theft of equipment are areas to evaluate.

Crime exposure is from Employee Dishonesty. Duties must be separated and books must be audited both internally and externally. The external audits should be conducted at least annually.

Inland marine exposure includes Accounts Receivable, Computers and Valuable Papers (student records and library books). All must have duplicates made and those duplicates kept off premises. Contractors’ equipment coverage is needed for equipment used to maintain the buildings and campus area. Mobile equipment coverage is needed for items that are transported between classrooms and possibly off premises. Musical instrument coverage using a Commercial Articles Floater may be needed if the school owns instruments that are used off premises in performances.

Occupier’s Liability exposures are significant. Exits and egress must be controlled. Slip and falls must be controlled through housekeeping and attention to spills and potential problem areas. Athletics and special events need proper planning and control. Are exits clearly marked and visible? Are there regular evacuation drills? Security is important since the school is charged with the responsibility of the safety of teachers, staff, students, and visitors.

Additional items that need to be considered and evaluated for potential loss exposures, if they exist, are liability hazards such as sports, overseas semesters, medical facilities, research and development, and police staff. Liability also comes from libel and slander from TV, radio broadcasting, as well as potential copyright or patent infringement.

Extra caution must be taken because the children are under the age of 18. The younger the child, the more attention must be given to their safety. Closer supervision must be provided. What is the ratio of adult to children? How are the age groups separated? What are the procedures in case of illness or other emergencies? Are there playground areas and how are those monitored? What about off-campus activities? Are backgrounds verified and criminal checks made on all employees?

Abuse and molestation exposure must be considered when supervision of children is involved. There is never coverage for the abuser. While there is some coverage for the institution where the abuse takes place, it is very restricted. More complete coverage should be purchased for the institution through specialized markets. The institution has a responsibility to take all care possible to protect students from predatory adults and older students through background checks, monitoring and supervision, and reporting all allegations of abuse to the proper authorities. The more vulnerable the potential victim, the more vigilant the institution must be.

School board liability coverage is necessary since all school board members are elected officials with set responsibilities. The coverage is similar to Directors and Officers coverage. All members should be required to attend meetings and conferences in order to remain current with provincial law. Responsibilities should be rotated and minutes kept of all public meetings.

Professional liability needs careful evaluation. Are there trained counsellors on staff? Are nurses and doctors available? What are arrangements with local hospitals and doctors? Are there parent notification procedures?

Automobile liability is a major concern since the school regularly transports students. All drivers must have the appropriate licence for the type of transports. MVRs must be checked regularly and be acceptable. There must be procedures in place regarding trips, length of travel, sleep time for drivers and backup plans in case the driver becomes ill. All vehicles must be well maintained and records kept at a central location.

Workplace safety exposure is mainly a concern from exposure to equipment. Moving equipment can result in strains and sprains in addition to the potential of items falling. Instructors also travel with students and often intervene to prevent them from getting injured. They are also subject to repetitive motion injuries and workstations should be ergonomically designed.

Minimum recommended coverage:

Building, Business Personal Property, Dishonesty, Disappearance and Destruction, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Contractors’ Equipment, Mobile Equipment, Valuable Papers, General Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Non-owned Automobile

Other coverages to consider:

Computer Fraud, Extortion, Employment Practices Liability, Directors and Officers Liability, Commercial Articles Floater

Commercial Risk Checklist – Educational Institutions

Broker: The coverages listed below are suggested for consideration. After evaluating each of the listed coverages, check the recommended blank by those that apply specifically to this client. Make sure both the exposure and the coverages are explained to the client.

Client: For each of the coverages that the broker has recommended, initial whether you have chosen to accept or reject that coverage, or if that coverage is not applicable to the client in the blanks provided.