The kids might be out of school for the summer. Still, that doesn't mean the work stops for the school's administration. Nor does it mean that the school's PTO organizations will fold up shop. Most have quite a few steps to take before the next year starts, after all. In many cases, the summer is a perfect time to look at your insurance coverage. What can PTOs do during the summer to improve their insurance coverage?
PTOs' Places Within Schools
For decades, parent-teacher organizations (PTOs) have been at the forefront of advocacy for teachers, administrators and students. They aim to make schools welcoming, supportive environments for all those who work and study within them.
However, PTOs usually are not part of the school's official administration. They are independent organizations that, while sanctioned by the school, still maintain a high degree of autonomy.
Therefore, the PTO's operations are often their own. Its mistakes therefore might be its responsibility to fix.
This factor will likely play a role in what insurance coverage you must buy for your PTO. Often, the PTO won't have coverage through the school's or the district's respective policies. Therefore, it might be up to the organizers to carry their own protection at all times.
Still, from year to year, your PTO's insurance needs might change. Therefore, the coverage you buy this year might differ from the protection you buy next year. Changes in the organization might also trigger other changes in coverage.
So, during the downtime of the summer, make an insurance review your priority. Make sure it reflects changes in the organization, including changes in leadership. By doing so, you'll make sure you have appropriate coverage when you resume activities next year.
Adjusting Coverage Each Year
To get the right coverage, your organization will likely need several coverage options. It's our job to help you get them. When reviewing the coverage available, ensure your policy includes at least the following coverage:
- Property and Possessions Coverage: Assets owned by your PTO group could sustain damage from multiple hazards, such as theft, vandalism, fires or other losses. This coverage can apply to items that range from art supplies to computers and copiers. Coverage can also help you insure items you plan to sell at PTO events.
- General Liability Insurance: Your PTO's events could be settings for someone to get hurt. A student might sustain a concussion while playing a game. A parent might get burned while trying to serve coffee to participants. This coverage can help you pay for the injury costs that they might sustain. Because the accident occurred at the event, then you might have to pay for this person's losses. This coverage might help you out for property damage the third party sustains, as well. It can even help you cover the costs of defense if the injured party sues.
- Medical Payments Coverage: Within your liability insurance, you'll often find this coverage. It can help injured parties cover some of their medical costs after their health insurance pays its share. Therefore, their personal cost burden could prove minimal. By simply offering this coverage, you might avoid the chances that someone will sue your organization.
- Directors & Officers (D&O) Liability Insurance: PTO organizers are the faces of the organization. Therefore, a lawsuit could target them, personally. This coverage can help them defend themselves and their personal assets. Even if a lawsuit proves frivolous, that doesn't mean defense costs might rise. This coverage can help you.
- Personal Injury Coverage: Should allegations arise that the PTO committed libel, slander or related harm to third parties, it is this coverage that can help with the settlements.
Bene-Marc's PTO Today insurance options provide continuous, tailored coverage that will help you protect your organization throughout the school year. Organizers will hold this coverage separately from the school's coverage, but it will apply to their operations. Even when school is out, you can keep coverage active.
Summer is often the time when your PTO might spring into overdrive to start work for next year. Take some time during your time off to review your insurance options. You might find out you need to make certain changes to your coverage.