No matter what subject you teach, which age you have to discipline, how much experience you have had in education or what type of school you work at, there is always the likelihood of an event happening which could not be predicted.
When this inevitably occurs, whether it affects you personally, your colleagues or the pupils, the only way to have peace of mind knowing that the costs will be minimalised is through having teacher insurance as a helping hand. Instead of paying money from your wallet to replace a damaged item, battle legal fees or pay medical expenses, you can instead rely on the insurer to cover most of the cost.
Types of Teacher Insurance
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance is put into place to cover any claims from a third party stating they were injured or had their property damaged due to the teaching services. Professions, where large volumes of the public enter the building each day and contact the teacher, have a higher risk of these claims, which is why it is imperative to obtain this insurance.
Examples to demonstrate this could include pupils who had their belongings ruined when they came into school, such as if a teacher spilt coffee over their schoolbag or ripped their coat when putting it on a hanger. Similarly, if a child was injured on the playground because they could play on dangerous equipment like an old, rusty swing, their parents could sue the school for being responsible. Public liability insurance would cover the replacement costs of the ruined items or the legal fees associated with the court.
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance is helpful for a teacher because, just like any other human, they are prone to making mistakes. However, these errors in judgment or negligent actions could cause another person harm or financial loss, so the cover should be acquired if such cases arise.
For instance, if a maths teacher for a GCSE course continuously explained how to solve a critical question but taught the wrong formula and method, the pupils would be at a disadvantage when sitting their exams and, as a result, receive the wrong grade, even though they were not at fault. Similarly, if the same teacher mismanaged their time and could not teach the course in time, they would receive a bad reaction from parents. Professional indemnity insurance covers all of these error cases as they were unintentional but still harmed the students.
Additionally, this cover can protect against slander and libel cases. Suppose a staff member was overheard talking about a student’s personal information like their home situation or address. In that case, even if this was by accident, they could face severe legal fees should others listen in.
Personal accident insurance
Personal accident insurance protects teachers when they are physically ill or injured and cannot work. Unfortunately, there are many instances when a teacher may be hurt, and it would not be recommended for them to come to work as they should rest. However, this field of work cannot be done remotely from the comfort of your own home, and thus, it would be a requirement to be physically present.
If a teacher shuts a door on their hand or trips and breaks their leg, it would be difficult to walk around the classroom and write on the board, lowering their work standard. Knowing that their lost income is covered, they could stay at home and improve their health with personal accident insurance.
Employers’ liability insurance
Employers’ liability insurance also covers lost income when a teacher is hurt, but this is only when they are physically injured due to an accident that occurred at work. Circumstances, where this insurance would cover medical costs and provide a lump sum for income, include:
- a teacher who was injured tripping over books on the floor and spraining their ankle
- falling down a steep staircase
- breaking a limb
Furthermore, long-term injuries can also be covered by this insurance, for instance, if a teacher had been an education for many years and suffered from eye damage due to using the laptop, whiteboard and other electronic devices whilst teaching their lessons. This insurance is a legal requirement in the UK and should be obtained by the head of the school, but it is worthwhile checking that this cover is in place as there are severe fines for not complying with this mandatory law.
In conclusion, teacher insurance plays a significant role in averting unnecessary costs due to accidents. Insurers can cover these expenses as long as the claim is compliant with the existing insurance policy.
Find out more about the importance of insurance here.
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