PTAs, or Parent Teacher Associations, are a fantastic way for parents and teachers to work together in order to give children and students the motivation and education they need to succeed. Any event or activity concerning children presents a lot of risk, however. Accidents, injuries and misconduct are all possibilities for PTAs both during regular operation and during special events. That’s why it’s crucial that PTAs carry the proper amount of insurance.
Keep in mind that schools don’t always provide insurance for PTAs. While PTAs often operate within schools, they are not always officially recognized as a school organization—meaning PTAs are left with the responsibility of carrying their own insurance. But what kind of insurance does a PTA need?
- General Liability: General liability insurance provides protection in case property damage or bodily injury occurs as a result of typical PTA operations, including special events. It may also cover legal fees if a victim (or the victim’s family) decides to file a lawsuit against the PTA.
- Medical Payments Coverage: This coverage provides compensation if a student or participant is injured. This is especially important if events and activities include sports or other physical participation.
- Excess Accident: Excess accident insurance is a secondary insurance that provides extra coverage for medical expenses due to injuries. This insurance may have a limit (ex: $25,000 a year).
- Directors and Officers Liability: Leaders in PTAs face their own set of risks, which can be covered with a D&O policy. D&O liability insurance provides legal expense help if someone directly sues a director or officer of the PTA.
- Crime Insurance: Even though you trust your staff implicitly, it’s important to have coverage in case a PTA member or volunteer makes the unfortunate decision to steal PTA funds. Crime insurance helps compensate for the stolen money so that a theft won’t ruin the PTA’s plans.
- Property Insurance: PTAs may use school areas to function, but PTA participants also have their own belongings and property. Property insurance helps guard their items from theft and damage.
What is the Difference Between a PTA and PTO?
PTAs and PTOs (Parent Teacher Organizations) are very similar. The main difference is that PTAs pay state and national organization dues for having a voice in larger organization operations while PTOs operate more independently. Both organizations face a similar set of risks and require similar insurance coverage, however.
Additional insurances PTAs—and PTOs—may need include:
- Rented Premises Liability Insurance: While some organizations operate on school grounds, this isn’t always the case—especially for events that require more space. Rented premises liability insurance can provide compensation if damage occurs to the rented space.
- Non-owned Auto Liability Coverage: Say a volunteer drives their own vehicle to pick up supplies or participants for the PTA. They get in a bad wreck, and their insurance isn’t comprehensive enough to cover the damages. This is where non-owned auto liability coverage steps in. This coverage provides compensation if a volunteer causes an accident while driving for PTA-related purposes.
- Personal Injury Coverage: This is another liability coverage that can protect your PTA. If the PTA makes claims on social media, over advertising or in person that someone else takes as libel or slander, a lawsuit may occur. Personal injury coverage helps cover such an incident.
- Sexual Misconduct Insurance: Unfortunately, there are other incidents where a lawsuit might occur due to purposeful acts. When running an organization with young participants especially, sexual misconduct insurance is a must. This insurance steps in if a member of the organization or a volunteer is accused of sexual misconduct or assault.