Resources & Insights

The Liability Questions Behind Learning Pods

August 18, 2020

Matt Genova,
President, Personal Lines

> 3-minute read

Learning pods, pandemic pods or microschools. Whatever you’re calling them, hiring teachers to supplement or even replace virtual instruction offered by schools is raising all kinds of insurance coverage questions – many of which have no clear-cut answers.

For starters, know that your homeowner’s insurance isn’t likely going to cut it. Homeowner’s isn’t designed to cover the risks of a business entity and would most likely exclude coverage for injuries to students and teachers.

That said, a good first step is to consult with your homeowner’s insurance broker or carrier to find out whether there are any add-ons, or enhancements, to your policy that could offer business liability coverage for your pod. (It’s likely to be inadequate coverage, so beware).

Either way, homeowner’s policies will exclude coverage for claims arising from transmission of disease. In other words, if parents hosting a learning pod in their home get sued because of the transmission of COVID-19, their homeowner’s policy is not likely to cover the liability.

While it’s true that COVID-19 liability waivers have become popular in many businesses, such waivers offer little to no protection in many states.

It may be best to think about things as if you were opening a private school. It’s a big responsibility, we know. And keep in mind that, when the welfare of children is at stake, the cost of a tragedy is going to always be higher.

Assuming your homeowner’s insurance carrier won’t offer coverage for your pod or offers threadbare coverage, here’s a list of the policies you’ll want to consider:

  • Commercial liability insurance: This would cover any legal fees and any settlement in case of a lawsuit.
  • Commercial property insurance: Covers equipment and other physical items in case of damage from fire, natural disaster, vandals and more.
  • Worker’s compensation: Covers the instructor you hire should they get hurt on the job. (No homeowner’s policy does this, so this is a must-buy for anyone hosting a pod).
  • Commercial umbrella insurance: Supplements the coverage types above in case a disaster or lawsuit costs more to make right than those policies will cover.

Will that be enough? It should be, but we’re talking about uncharted territory here. No one knows with absolute certainty and, at the moment, there are no standard insurance packages or offerings in the market that would cover learning pods – even without a pandemic to worry about.

Matt Genova is the president of CCIG’s Personal Lines department. Reach him at or at 720-330-7936.

CCIG is a Denver-area insurance, employee benefits and surety brokerage with clients nationwide. We do more than make sure you have the right policy. We help you manage your long-term cost of insurance with our risk and claims management expertise and a commitment to service excellence.


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