The recent Parkland, Fla., school shooting is a sobering reminder of how tragically common such shootings have become. Indeed, a recent Washington Post analysis found that the list of school shootings grows by 1.4 incidents every week.
Today, educational institutions are the second-most likely place for active shooter events to take place. In part, that’s because campuses are hard to secure and the high volume of people on site every day increases the chances of an armed individual entering unchallenged.
School administrators say their general liability policies can fall short in covering bills they might face following a shooting.
Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the site of the February shooting in which 17 people died, is covered under a general liability policy through its local school district. Its policy, however, does not spell out whether shootings are covered, according to published reports. That was also true at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 26 people in 2012.
Insurers have responded to the crisis by enhancing policies initially aimed at addressing acts of terrorism.
Coverage under a general liability insurance policy that is enhanced to address these events typically pays up to $250,000 per shooting victim for death or serious injuries. It can also provide additional medical coverage.
Expenses covered by such policies also can include building repairs and legal fees. These policies also help cover the costs to hire media consultants to help respond to interview requests, along with accountants to handle charitable donations. Liability policies designed to cover active shooter events also can include 24-hour crisis management services to help a school respond immediately by setting up an emergency call center, advising on emergency communications, putting in place a recovery plan and arranging counseling.
Some policies also include a security assessment.
Finally, the better policies also cover the construction costs for schools that want to demolish buildings where shootings occurred.
Joaquin Escobar, an Insurance Advisor at CCIG, handles the risk management and insurance needs of commercial childcare and school accounts. Reach him at 720-212-2054 or JoaquinE@thinkccig.com.
Also read: A New Approach to Active Shooters
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