Educational Institution Insurance- Philadelphia Insurance Companies

Three Rising Claims School Insurance Should Address

Educational institutions have a wide range of special insurance needs to help protect them from a wide range of physical, mental, and environmental risk exposures. Issues arising from abuse, theft, student instruction, buildings and grounds, equipment, transportation, employment, athletics, health, and safety could result in claims from every aspect of the school's purview.

How the school handles these claims or mitigates their risk exposure can make a big difference to the school's reputation with families, their local and at-large community, and finances. It's vital that the school's insurance agent offers counsel to deliver the coverage, services, and expertise to guide them through these situations.

The insurance carrier they choose should also help lower the risk of claims happening in the first place. When schools are looking for an insurance company, one with experience in these three rising claims areas should top the list.

Schools Today are Facing More Individualized Education Program (IEP), Employment Practices, and Abuse Claims

"Insurance claims are always serious, whether they are for property damage or injury. But what these three risk areas have in common are that they affect people directly," says Robert Groff, Assistant Vice President, Philadelphia Insurance Companies (PHLY). "These claims include additional emotional elements that heighten their sensitivity and impact on the claimants."

Schools should trust their insurance company to guide them through these delicate claim situations to fair resolutions for all parties. Additionally, schools should want solutions to help them manage and control risks. With more than 25 years of experience in the education sector, PHLY has the deep, hands-on school insurance knowledge and claims expertise to do both.

1. Claims by Parents of Students with Special Needs

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, from 2018 to 2019, 7.1 million students received special education services under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Taking care of these children and providing their education while addressing their unique physical, mental, and emotional requirements is always a critical balancing act for schools and teachers. Parents want their children to have access to as many advantages and opportunities as possible.

Unfortunately, when taking learning disabilities into consideration, staying on track with academic progress can be difficult. And that's even during normal times when there aren't additional challenges from the virtual learning environment brought on by COVID. Schools find themselves addressing failure-to-educate claims, often resulting in compensatory education expenses for extra tutors and testing.

An insurance company that understands both the emotions and financial repercussions surrounding an Individualized Education Plan or IEP claim is vital to handle what could be a very explosive situation for the school's children and families.

PHLY's Educators Professional Select Coverage helps with the financial repercussions of these claims. And the schools can also trust that PHLY's claims examiners will take charge of the situation.

2. Claims by Employees for Unfair Practices

When teachers (including those with protected tenure rights), counselors, and other school employees have grievances for wrongful terminations, discrimination, or other issues, they may file an employment practice claim against the school.

As a result, claims today have expanded to include issues surrounding employment during COVID, where employees may have been furloughed, laid off, or don't want to return to what they feel is an unsafe environment.

Because employment law is a complicated and regulated field, schools should partner with a carrier with the right resources to understand the implications and nuances and represent them fairly.

In addition to insurance protection, PHLY offers The PHLYGateway, a suite of resources including online training modules, model forms, a model employee handbook, and a Best Practices Help Line.

3. Claims of Abuse

It is a terrible reality that as many as 4.5 million children a year are exposed to some type of sexual misconduct during their school experience. Statistics also show that one in four children are regularly bullied each year. (And accounts of cyberbullying are on the rise due to cell phones and COVID.)

In the face of these multiple abuse situations, it is critical for schools to have coverage with a carrier that has the technical and emotional expertise to handle abuse, molestation, and harassment claims.

"Because of PHLY's deep experience in the education and human services sectors," says Groff, "we understand the emotional impact of the claim. But we also know the right-and often hard-questions that must be asked for everyone's best interest."

Additionally, PHLY's risk management resources provide essential tools for schools to take advantage of, with no-cost programs on:

    1. Abuse prevention
    2. Sexual harassment
    3. Smart hiring
    4. Ethics
    5. Suicide prevention

Protection and Guidance for Today's Top School Claims

If a school is looking for an insurance company that can help them with the most basic and the most complex protection needs, PHLY is the partner for them. In addition to the key benefits of our General Liability coverage ($1M each occurrence/$3M aggregate), PHLY's school insurance includes:

    1. Property coverage
    2. Auto coverage
    3. Education Professional Select that provides D&O/E&O/EPL
    4. Crime and Fidelity coverage
    5. Abusive Conduct coverage
    6. Umbrella Excess Liability coverage
    7. Student and Participant Accident coverage

Plus, PHLY has specialized endorsements targeted to educational institutions. Combined with our long history serving the education sector and our A++ Superior Rating for financial stability from A.M. Best Company, PHLY is a trusted choice. Visit our product page to learn more about how PHLY can help schools, or contact your PHLY Rep today.

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