Professional liability insurance for teachers

Posted on 6th Aug 2019 in International Schools, International Education, Teaching

Professional liability insurance plays a major role in protecting teaching staff from possible accidents and mishaps, among other forms of benefits such as teachers’ health insurance and personal accident insurance. However, the insurance plans typically secured by educational institutions may not be enough to cover the professional liability of individual teachers and school employees. 

In this article by Pacific Prime, our insurance experts will dissect the key coverage elements of personal liability insurance, and explain its importance in detail.

Why do schools need professional liability insurance?

Professional mistakes do happen

Students these days are engaging in a wider variety of extra-curricular and physical activities, which means that teachers have to shoulder more complex responsibilities in protecting students’ safety outside of the school campus. For instance, if a student accidentally injures his/her classmate with a baseball bat, the teacher could be held accountable for his/her negligence and failure to use reasonable care. On top of that, any educational malpractice arising out of educational activities or duties is another significant type of blunder teachers can make.

Litigation has almost become the norm

Societies throughout the world are becoming more litigious. As a result, teachers are more frequently becoming the targets of civil lawsuits, while schools are also spending more on litigation costs, even if the situation can, in fact, be settled privately between the school and the parents. Professional liability insurance can act as a safety net for employees in the education industry to help them address potentially extortionate legal expenses.

False accusations are becoming more common

Even if the teacher has fulfilled his/her due diligence, there's still a chance that they may encounter fraudulent lawsuits out of malice, where allegations are not grounded in facts. Students these days are feeling more empowered than ever before, and may make false accusations against teachers without knowing how serious the consequences could be.

Influence of technology

The advent of social media means that educators are now more vulnerable than ever before, especially when news can be spread like wildfire. One accusation, be it true or false, is enough to ruin one’s career, and the damage to your reputation may be irreversible. Having said that, with professional liability cover at least the teacher won’t have to pay for the defense costs out of pocket.

What exactly does professional liability insurance cover?

Educator's professional liability insurance protects teachers from a whole host of liabilities, including:

  • Injuries to students under the educator’s 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
  • Privacy rights violations

In a nutshell, an adequate professional liability insurance policy does not only protect you in the event you are faced with a lawsuit. It should also offer reimbursement if a student’s personal property, or yours, is damaged as a result of an assault-related incident. For example, if your set of Bluetooth earphones gets damaged when you are dealing with a fight between young students, some policies may be able to reimburse its replacement costs.

What should you pay attention to when selecting personal liability insurance?

When seeking out the right insurance plan, remember to take note of the exclusions. Generally, any liabilities arising out of criminal acts will be excluded. On the other hand, it pays to go through the policy terms in detail. For instance, some plans may cover things like misuse of school resources but some may not. For further information on the different types of coverage educational institutions usually need, download our free School Insurance Guide.

If you are not sure which plan best matches your insurance needs, it’s worthwhile to engage the services of a professional insurance brokerage like Pacific Prime. With over 19 years of experience and nine offices across the world, their teams of experts are adept at selecting, implementing, managing, and renewing different types of insurance, from global health insurance for students and international school employee benefits solutions, all the way to travel insurance and motor insurance. Contact us today for impartial insurance advice, obligation-free quotes, and a free plan comparison.