As a teacher, assuming that you don’t need to purchase your own liability coverage because your district, union, or professional organization covers you a common misconception. Professional liability insurance for teachers is prudent since your district’s coverage may not protect you as an individual.
Today, there are many potential risk exposures facing teachers of all levels across the nation. Consider these reasons why you might want to explore this coverage.
Technology has changed the landscape.
The prevalence of cell phones and social media has made educators more vulnerable. Since just about everyone has the potential to be a YouTube star these days, with the ability to subjectively edit videos, teachers have a right to be concerned about how their actions might be perceived. With any kind of suit against you, it would be career-changing and very difficult to overcome. Given the way social media operates, protection is crucial.
Additionally, teacher interactions with students on social media have also been a subject of numerous debates. Some districts place a blanket ban on all teacher-student online interactions. Others don’t mind if students “friend” or “follow” their teachers, but forbid any interaction. Other districts don’t want teachers to have any publicly viewable social media accounts. In addition, some schools look to monitor student activity on social media, while others feel this is a privacy violation. This new age of technology and social media has presented a number of new risks to teachers and educators, and they need to be accounted for.
Mistakes are inevitable.
Even with great intentions, you could accidentally cause physical harm to students and then be held liable. Or, you could be helping a student one on one and inadvertently knock the student’s laptop to the ground, causing property damage. A professional liability policy would help cover the cost of repairing or replacing it. Professional liability insurance for teachers will protect you from these mistakes that can easily occur on the job.
False allegations can occur.
What if a fight breaks out between two students? A teacher working on a lesson plan at the time of the incident may be sued for not properly supervising. Sometimes situations escalate quickly even when a teacher is doing their best.
Many teachers say they keep their doors open when meeting with students individually to avoid allegations of wrongdoing behind a closed door. Worrying about students making false claims is common and understandable. Sometimes students don’t know how devastating the accusations are that they say against teachers.
You can’t always depend on others.
When charges are filed, teachers may not be able to count on the backing of a supervisor or elected official. When it comes down to it—sometimes it’s simply out of their hands. There’s always a chance that you will be left out on a limb. A school or district’s policy is likely to put the school or district first, ahead of individual employees.
Lawsuits are becoming increasingly common.
The risks for teachers to be targeted by civil lawsuits are increasing in the past few decades. In some schools, respect for authority has diminished and the school culture is more volatile.
Never assume that just because you’re doing a good job, being fair, and keeping order in the classroom that no one would sue. There are thousands of fraudulent lawsuits filed every year with allegations that have no basis in fact. Professional liability insurance for teachers is available so you can focus on supporting students instead of things that are out of your control.
About Bozzuto & Co. Insurance Services, Inc.
Bozzuto & Company Insurance Services has provided business and personal insurance solutions to clients throughout California since its founding in 1981. Our experienced staff understands the unique needs that each person has when insuring their lives and their businesses, and we pride ourselves on our deeply personal customer service. We are happy to help you through every step of the insurance selection process. Contact us today at (800) 400-6394 to learn more about what we can do for you.