Educator Liability Insurance FAQ'S
Q. Who is eligible?
A. Any active member of F.A.C.T. Education is a W-2 employee of an educational entity (i.e., public or private school, university, or college) is eligible for professional liability insurance coverage. Student teachers are also eligible for a special reduced rate membership that provides liability insurance coverage.
Owners and board members are not eligible for coverage.
Q. What's covered under this policy?
A. You will be protected against a broad range of exposures, including the following allegations (whether those allegations are true or false):
Injuries to students under your supervision
Failure to educate
Violation of students' civil rights
Hiring unqualified persons
Failure to promote students or grant credit
Improper methods of instruction
Accusations of sexual or physical abuse
Q. When will my coverage begin and end?
A. Your coverage will begin with payment of your active or student teacher membership and will be in effect until your membership renews. At that time, your coverage will begin again with renewal of your F.A.C.T. Education membership. Membership renewals coincide with the beginning of each traditional school year, August 1st - July 31st.
Q. Won't my school have liability insurance? Why should I have my own coverage?
A. Your school district liability insurance policy is written in the name of the school district, which means it covers the district, not you. In certain situations your district plan will not cover you, your attorney’s fees, or the act that triggers a lawsuit. The district’s policy must protect the district first and foremost. It is very prudent to have your own insurance policy naming you as the insured party.
Q. Why is professional liability coverage so important to me as an educator?
A. You insure your car, your health, your house and other personal assets acquired through years of investments and hard work. A professional insurance policy acts as a safeguard to protect your assets if you are sued as a result of an event arising out of your educational duties. This policy can even provide a measure of protection for your career through its unique employment right coverage.
F.A.C.T. Education Liability Insurance Program has protected many members in liability suits and/or job actions over the years. In each of these instances, the member needed to access the policy protections because the school district policy did not cover them.
Other professionals, such as medical doctors, would not dream of practicing without liability (or malpractice) insurance. In today’s litigious society, a teacher should not step into a classroom without a liability policy covering them, personally.
Q. What are some examples of recent claims or judgments holding the teacher liable?
A. Here are a few examples:
A child was injured during gym class resulting in a $30,000 judgment against the teacher.
A teacher is accused of sexual molestation and acquitted on all charges. However, attorney’s fees are $13,000.
A student is injured on a field trip and the teacher is found liable resulting in a $42,000 judgment.
All of these judgments and attorney fees are covered under the Professional Liability Insurance Policy.
Q. What kinds of things are not covered by this policy?
A. Criminal acts for which you are found guilty. Activities not arising out of your educational activities. Intentionally inflicting bodily injury (except corporal punishment).
Q. Are lawsuits against educators increasing?
A. Yes. As part of a general trend in increased litigation, the number of lawsuits against schools and teachers has been rising over the last decade. According to an American Tort Reform Association survey, almost 1/3 of all high school principals have been involved in a lawsuit in the last two years, compared to only 9 percent ten years ago.
Q. Does this coverage protect me only if I'm found not guilty?
A. You'll be protected against exposures in civil suits such as failure to educate or violation of student civil rights—whether you're at fault or completely innocent. However, in the event of criminal charges—such as sexual abuse or charges arising out of corporal punishment—the policy will only respond if you are found not guilty or the charges are dismissed.
Q. When does my coverage apply?
A. Your plan will provide coverage for claims brought at any time, as long as the occurrence that resulted in litigation occurred while your Educators’ Professional Liability policy was in effect. You'll be covered even if you've dropped the coverage, as long as your coverage was in force when the incident happened.
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