As a PTO organizer, you have a lot of people who rely on you to put on fun, safe and well-coordinated events for your school. You also have to do so professionally and with an eye for detail. After all, if something goes wrong during the event, then you might have to take responsibility for the accident. This includes for damage done to the property where you host the event. How can you do so with the help of your PTO’s liability insurance coverage?
All PTO organizations need insurance to protect their own people and assets. However, they also need to be able to respond if they accidentally cause harm to others. That’s why they have liability insurance. To be able to apply coverage to damage done to a rented premises, you need to make sure your policy contains a type of coverage called rented premises liability coverage.
Understanding Liability Insurance
Running a PTO means that you will interact with a lot of different people in a lot of different ways. In fact, one of your organizational goals is to provide students, teachers, parents and school administrators with the resources that they need. Often, this will involve a lot of fundraising and special events, not to mention a lot of contact with the public.
However, there’s always a chance that not everything is going to go smoothly in the course of your duties. Sometimes, your work might cause harm to someone else. A student might fall and get hurt during a festival, and their parents might sue the PTO because the accident happened.
As a result, the PTO might have to respond to the claim, and they can do so by using their liability insurance. Liability policies help an insured party—in this case, the PTO and its insured organizers—respond when someone accuses it of causing them injuries, property damage or other losses. The policy can help the PTO pay the affected parties for their losses, and cover the related legal fees.
When it comes to property damage that is your responsibility, your policy will likely be able to help. However, when you take your PTO event on the road, you might need to make sure you have rented premises liability coverage.
Property Damage to a Rental Property
Suppose that you decide to host a fundraising event in the banquet hall of a local civic group on behalf of the PTO. The event is supposed to be a birthday party for the organization, and a cake will be served at the event. You bring in the cake from a local bakery, and display it near a window. However, when you go to light the cake, it causes the window’s curtains to catch on fire, and the fire quickly spreads. As a result, the damage to the restaurant that results from the fire might be the PTO’s fault.
As a result, the PTO might have to provide the club with restitution. The group that rented you the banquet hall might not only have to pay for property damage, but also for income lost as a result of not being able to rent it during the time it is damaged and closed for repairs. A settlement from the organization’s rented premises liability coverage can help you do so.
This coverage explicitly applies to damage done to a location that you are using to host a PTO event. However, it does not necessarily apply to property damage of others, such as someone’s camera, computer or projector screen that gets damaged in the fire. For that, you’ll likely need additional property damage liability coverage within your general liability insurance.
Don’t hesitate to talk to your Bene-Marc insurance agent about the best way to structure your liability insurance to your satisfaction.