As a teacher, it’s probably never occurred you to get insurance. After all, you’re a public servant, and if someone gets sued, it would be the school you work for, not you personally, right? Not necessarily. Professional liability insurance for teachers is becoming increasingly common as society becomes more litigious. The district where you work has insurance, but that protects their interests, not yours.
According to the AAE (Association of American Educators) there have been lawsuits against teachers. A child was injured in gym class and the teacher was sued for medical expenses. Another child was injured on a field trip, and the teacher was found responsible. And of course, you don’t need to be guilty to be accused of sexual harassment or molestation, but you will incur hefty legal fees if you are accused.
Your union may offer some protection, but it might not be enough.
- Best 4 Providers of Professional Liability Insurance for Teachers
- What does Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cover?
- What doesn’t Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cover?
- How Much does Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cost?
The 4 Best Providers of Professional Liability Insurance for Teachers
Your union might provide some protection, so you should first look into their policy on liability insurance.
In the event that your union doesn’t provide enough coverage, here are the 3 best providers:
- CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
- Forrest T. Jones & Company: Best for Covering Part-Time Educational Activities
- NEA – National Education Association: Best for a Simple Standard Policy
- AIM – Association Insurance Management: Best for Members
CoverWallet: Best for Comparing Online Quotes
CoverWallet is a national digital broker specializing in business insurance. They work with several leading business insurance companies. Providing your information once on their quote form, you will be able to compare quotes from several companies. This is the best way for you to get the cheapest quote.
If you are new to buying teacher professional liability insurance, you may want to contact their agents by phone to discuss your situation. Their agents are very knowledgeable and willing to spend time to explain the details of your situation and which insurance policy might be the best for you.
Forrest T. Jones & Company: Best for Covering Part-Time Educational Activities
Forrest T. Jones is an insurance company that has been around since 1953. Through their partnership with sponsoring organizations, they can offer you a policy for liability insurance.
NEA – National Education Association: Best for a Simple Standard Policy
The NEA (National Education Association) also offers professional liability insurance for teachers. They call it the EEL program (Educational Employment Liability program). You can get a policy through your local NEA state affiliate association. Laws vary from state to state.
AIM – Association Insurance Management: Best for Members
AIM offers professional liability insurance for educators through a number of partnerships. If you are a member of a group that is a partner with this company, you may want to consider that option. When you click on get a quote, you get this screen to choose your group.
Choose your group and get a quote. Any teacher employed by a public school system is eligible. We clicked on Educator’s Professional Liability and were given this quote:
Depending on your state, you may have other options open to you. Teacher liability insurance is a specialty type of insurance and not everyone offers it. Your membership organization will have more information for you. You can also ask your fellow teachers and see what they say.
What does Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cover?
Teacher liability insurance covers you for things like:
- Injuries to students under your supervision
- Failure to educate
- Violation of students’ civil rights
- Hiring unqualified people
- Failure to promote students or grant credit
- Improper method of instruction
- Sexual or Physical abuse
- Privacy rights violations
As you can plainly see, some of these are very subjective. Any parent could sue any teacher for “failure to educate” whether or not the teacher is at fault. And with the prevalence of social media, privacy rights violations are easier than you might think. Teacher liability insurance will protect you in such cases.
What doesn’t Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cover?
- Criminal acts for which you are found guilty
- Activities not arising from teaching
- Intentional bodily injury
Does Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cover Student Teachers?
Yes, the same teacher professional liability insurance policy will cover full-time teachers, substitute teachers, student teachers, or any types of public and private educators.
As a student teacher, you are assigned to supervise a class of students as part of your training. Parents can sue you for anything happened to their children while being under your supervision. Having a professional liability insurance policy will protect you from these claims.
How Much does Teacher Professional Liability Insurance Cost?
Another reason why teachers’ professional liability insurance is a good idea is that it’s inexpensive. You can get a policy with million dollars in liability coverage for about $100 a year.
If my school already have professional liability insurance policy, why do I still need to have my own policy?
The professional liability insurance policy that you school has is under the school district’s name, not yours. When things happen, the policy will protect the best interests of the school district, not yours. You need to have your own policy to protect yourself. For example, in a law suit, the school district’s policy may not cover your lawyer fees. Without your own policy, you may need to be responsible for your own attorney’s fees which may be up to thousands or tens of thousands of dollars.