In today’s society, educators have more to deal with than simply coming up with lesson plans and making sure that their students learn those lessons and have the best tools with which to approach the rest of their life. It doesn’t matter whether you’re an educator in a public school system or work for a private or religious school, the challenges are all the same. However, when it comes to private religious schools, the insurance coverage that educators are required to carry is a bit different than that for public school educators.
The Key Difference between Public and Religious Schools
When it comes to liability, the main difference between public and religious schools is that public educators are protected from legal liability by the school system itself. In other words, if a teacher in a public school environment acts in an egregious manner, causing harm to a student, then that teacher may be disciplined by the school system or other governing body, but any legal action brought against the school as far as legal liability is concerned will not be directed at the teacher himself or herself.
Public school systems tend to have massive budgets as they are funded by taxpayers and property taxes, so their monetary means are quite significant. On the other hand, religious schools and private institutions are often limited with their budgets and a major lawsuit has the potential to drive the organization into bankruptcy. Teachers within private organizations, such as a church, are not subjected to the same requirements or standards as public school teachers.
This doesn’t mean that private teachers are less equipped or skilled as educators than their public counterparts, but the protection that these private organizations offer will differ between each private group.
As a private organization, the religious school therefore needs to protect itself in a different manner than that of the public school system. If a public school is held liable for the behavior of one of its teachers, the payments are most often attached to future budgets and therefore there is no need to carry specific church insurance coverage. A religious private school should carry educators liability coverage to ensure that any grievance, real or otherwise, is covered in the event of a lawsuit or claim against the church or organization.
What Coverage is Available?
When it comes to educators liability coverage, there are a number of different types and it’s important to understand what these are so that your religious school or organization has the best coverage possible. Educators legal liability coverage generally covers counseling, educators, employee benefits, employment practices, incidental medical services, and more.
Educators legal liability coverage is designed, at its core, to protect against any wrongful acts, real or perceived, that are committed by the educational staff within an organization. There is a wide breadth of acts that could fall within this liability coverage, including libel, slander, denial of tenure (if offered within the private organization), breach of contract, discrimination, failure to educate, or wrongful termination. As one can see from this brief list of possible acts against an individual, lawsuits or claims that could be brought against a private religious school could come from parents of the students, students themselves, and even the educators who work for the school.
An educator who believes that he or she was terminated for unlawful reasons, whether they are justified or not, could bring a lawsuit against the school and whether or not they would win, the cost of the legal fees can be significant.
Educators Legal Liability Coverage Doesn’t Include Certain Losses
However, the educators legal liability coverage doesn’t include certain losses which may include deliberate acts of theft or fraud. Certain Federal acts or laws that are violated will not be covered under this insurance, nor would other services that are provided to the religious school that fall outside the realm of educational, such as accounting, legal advice, or medicine.
It’s important to understand that insurance of any kind can be a complicate process and the larger the organization, the more complex the coverage that would be needed becomes. The cost for educators legal liability coverage will depend on a number of factors, such as the number of educators as well as students that are enrolled within the school. The number of students that a school would list where it pertains to educators legal liability would include both full and part time students.
Who Should be Covered Under Educators Legal Liability?
While educators are generally covered under this insurance, it’s also vital that the school or organization ensure that the directors and officers, board members, committees, and councils are also covered. The school should also include trustees, appointed officials, and all teachers, from full time to teaching assistants, and substitute teachers.
Sometimes it’s important to cover certain students who volunteer in internship programs as well.
When operating a school or private organization in which young students are being taught or offered instruction of any kind, it is crucial that the group or organization have the proper insurance that will protect its investment and assets, as well as help ensure that those who work within the organization are covered as well.
Educators legal liability coverage is not ideal for every organization, nor is it offered by every insurance provider. That’s why it’s important to find the right insurance provider that can answer any and all questions that you have about educators legal liability. In today’s society, with lawyers at the ready and claims against teachers and staff, or from terminated teachers, etc, there is more of a need today than ever before to be protected against the cost of legal action.
While it may seem to be a burden in the beginning to carry educators legal liability, as with any insurance coverage, the cost of avoiding it for the short term can be more than the private organization can handle monetarily. When you have the need for educators legal liability insurance coverage, contact a qualified provider and find out more.