Resources & Insights

When Trusted School Employees Turn to Theft, Fraud

January 31, 2019

General liability. Professional liability. Field trip insurance.

A commercial crime insurance policy will protect you against dishonest acts by school employees, including theft and fraud.
CCIG’s Joaquin Escobar.

If you’re an early-education center owner or charter school administrator, you know that those are some of the typical lines of coverage you need to protect your organization, your employees and yourself.

The recent arrest of the treasurer of a charter school parent-teacher organization in the Denver Metro area — she’s been accused of stealing nearly $60,000 — brings to mind yet another important coverage: commercial crime.

It was a new slate of PTO officers that called in the authorities to investigate what it believed were discrepancies in the organization’s financial records. Investigators turned up unauthorized ATM withdrawals, underpaid invoices and transactions between the PTO’s accounts and the treasurer’s personal accounts.

The PTO said it hopes to recoup the stolen money. Just how it would be able to do so was unclear. But a commercial crime policy would have made recovery much more certain.

Commercial crime insurance protects you against dishonest acts by employees, including theft and fraud. Dishonest acts are not covered under general liability, professional liability, or property insurance.

A commercial crime insurance policy protects your organization from both first-party risks and third-party accusations of crime arising from your business.

What’s the difference? First-party coverage is insurance for direct losses to the business from a covered criminal act. Third-party coverage addresses accusations from others that a criminal act related to your business caused a loss. Consider, for example, that your employee is accused of stealing someone else’s property. That would be covered under a commercial crime policy.

So, aside from theft and fraud, what else can a commercial crime insurance policy cover? Here’s a quick list:

  • Alteration or forgery;
  • burglary or robbery of a safe inside the business premises
  • funds transfer fraud
  • computer fraud (although not related to cybercrime) and,
  • counterfeit money and money-order fraud.

It’s unpleasant to consider, but the sad fact is that employees are tempted to steal because of lack of security, peer pressure or they just need the money. We all want to trust our employees. But when it comes to occupational fraud, no organization is fully safe. Theft and fraud can happen in any organization, large or small, at any time.

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

CCIG is a Denver-area insurance brokerage with the full-service capabilities of a national brokerage. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We also help you manage your long-term cost of risk with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.



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