While it’s not necessary to become an insurance professional, it doesn’t hurt to know a few things about the policies that cover parent-teacher group activities. Here’s a list of ten for you to review:
Your school’s policy probably covers less than you think. Make a list of everything you are planning this year and take it to the Risk Manager in your district to see what you do and don’t have coverage for.
Fill the gaps to cover ALL your event activities. Make sure that when you buy a liability policy, it will cover your activities such as bounce houses, dunking tanks, skating parties, fun runs, silent auctions, and other events you have planned.
Do not pay to have Additional Insured’s or Certificate Holders added to your policy. You might be required to add an additional insured to your policy if you are having an event at a city park, church, or school auditorium. This is a normal practice in the insurance industry and can be done without a fee. When choosing an insurance company, make sure you ask them this question as you might be required to do this several times throughout the school year.
Don’t give your money away. There are many types of bond policies available to you. Make sure that you have a blanket bond that covers anyone that you trust with the money, not just the President or Treasurer. Do not purchase a bond policy that only covers one position or one person. If someone other than this person listed embezzles money, your PTA will not be covered and your money will be lost.
Your assets aren’t covered. Usually, most school insurance policies will not cover items that your PTA has stored in a closet or a room on campus. Most policies only cover property that the school can inventory and depreciate at tax time.
You have more personal property than you think! In general, the majority of PTAs don’t think they have a whole lot of personal property. Personal property is defined as property in your possession. This includes things that the PTA owns such as popcorn machines, barbecue grills, cash registers, etc. At the same time, personal property can include raffle prizes, Santa Shop merchandise, auction items, and fundraising merchandise while it is in your possession. Make sure that if you have any of these items throughout the year that you have a Property policy to protect it against robbery, theft, or natural disaster.
Make sure you get a full year’s worth of coverage. You work too hard all year to pay more money than you are getting coverage for. When searching for your insurance company, make sure that you get a full 12 months worth of coverage for your insurance payment.
Cover it all. Your PTA is just as vulnerable as a commercial business when it comes to being held liable. Make sure that your insurance company can cover you for all of the risks you are exposed to: General Liability, Bonding, Property Coverage, Officers Liability, and Accident Medical insurance.
Education is key. Many PTAs buy an insurance policy without actually knowing what’s covered. Do your homework and find an insurance company that knows your events and knows how to protect you. Paying $1,700/year for a Commercial Liability policy is not a requirement to a good insurance policy. Find a company with a reasonable rate that will take time and educate you about your insurance policies. If you don’t know what is covered, how can you know how to plan effectively?
Service with a smile. There are thousands of insurance companies out there selling policies over the telephone, the internet, and in your community. Check out the reputation of an insurance company prior to buying a policy with them. Do they know how to service your needs? Are you going to get a live person answering the phone or do you have to go through a touch tone option list, followed up by a recording? Do they provide easy access to policy resources? All of these things are important questions to ask of the company servicing you.