Sovereign immunity for schools has been modified or waved over the past decades. White tort immunity reduces liability exposure, public entities need various types of liability coverage to protect them against the financial exposure of potential awards and legal defense costs.

A wet floor sign outside of a building entrance.Public Entities need to protect themselves against liability claims for bodily injury (slips, trips, and falls) and property damage arising out of premises, operations, products, and completed operations; and advertising and personal injury liability.

While many public entities benefit from tort immunity, the need for legal defense costs and a backstop for any potential award make General Liability a critical coverage requirement. It is important to note that many types of liability exposures like professional services, liquor service, watersports, pollution, etc. may be excluded and require specialty liability policies to ensure coverage.

A female teacher interacting with one of her students.Educator’s Legal Liability (ELL) coverage was developed to cover a broad range of liability claims made against the administrators, employees, and staff members of both schools and colleges.

ELL, which is also known as “school board legal liability insurance,” is a hybrid of traditional directors and officers (D&O) and errors and omissions (E&O) coverages. Typical claims covered by ELL include:

  • Discrimination
  • Employment Practices
  • Tenure Denial
  • Sexual Harassment
  • Education Malpractice

A pair of glasses sitting on an open notebook on a table at a school board meeting.A type of liability insurance covering directors and officers for claims made against them while serving on a board of directors and/or as an officer.

D&O liability insurance can be written to cover the directors and officers of for-profit businesses, privately held firms, not-for-profit organizations, and educational institutions.

In effect, the policies function as “management errors and omissions liability insurance,” covering claims resulting from managerial decisions that have adverse financial consequences.

A group of police cars parked out front of an emergency situation with their lights on. Law Enforcement Liability insurance typically provides coverage for bodily injury, personal injury or property damage caused by a wrongful act committed by law enforcement personnel on behalf of a public entity while conducting law enforcement operations.

Whether a public entity has its own police force or contracts with local law enforcement agencies, claims will be typically directed at the entity requiring LEL coverage to provide for potential defense and award costs.

A group of teachers having a discussion in an empty classoom.Provides Liability coverage for an employer for an error or omission in the administration of an employee benefit program, such as failure to advise employees of benefit programs.

Coverage of this exposure can provide protection for the public entity in the event of an administrative error resulting in a claim.

An IT professional works on a cyber security issue in a server room.Data Compromise coverage insures a public entity when there is a data breach, theft or unauthorized disclosure of personal information. These policies help the insured to be compliant with breach notification laws and requirements, and offers services to affected individuals, such as credit monitoring and toll-free help lines.

This coverage provides the insured with the expenses associated with notifying affected individuals their personally identifiable information has been breached and helps them to minimize damages that may result.

Coverages typically included:

  • Response Expenses – which may include:
  • Forensic IT Review
  • Legal Review
  • PR Services
  • Defense & Liability Award Costs

Importance of Privacy and Cybersecurity: Two female IT professionals working in a server room.Cyber Liability continues to be an evolving exposure and coverage is typically broader than Data Compromise and may include Data Compromise as part of its coverage package.

Coverages may include:

  • Data Compromise Response Expenses
  • Computer Attack
  • Cyber Extortion
  • Data Compromise Liability
  • Network Security Liability
  • Electronic Media Liability

The school nurse talking with a sick student. Many public entity general liability policies exclude coverage for medical care beyond first aid. Public entities who employ Healthcare Professionals often need professional liability coverage for the employee’s specific healthcare professions. Coverage may also be required for teachers and students participating in on-site healthcare education programs.

Public Entity Healthcare professionals who may need coverage:

  • Art, Dance, and Music Therapist
  • Chiropractor
  • Counselors
  • Dietitian/Nutrition Counselor
  • Licensed Vocational Nurse
  • Medical Student
  • Nursing Student
  • Occupational/Recreational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist
  • Recreational Therapist
  • Registered Nurse
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Speech and Hearing Therapist
  • Speech Pathologist/Audiologist

Propane tankMany public entities may have on-site fuel storage to support transportation or power generation needs. Pollution liability is often required to ensure coverage when storage leaks create a pollution hazard. Many fuel provider agreements also lease the tanks to the client.

While the fuel provider may be liable for accidents caused by their equipment, accidents caused by the lessee are typically excluded and require the entity to obtain pollution liability coverage to ensure coverage for the entity.

Coverage typically includes:

  • Damage Claims
  • Remediation
  • Legal Defense

Find Out More About Our Services and Capabilities

We are here to answer any questions you may have and look forward to hearing from you.