From skinned knees to broken bones, kids are no strangers to accidents. No matter how it happens or where students are hurt on school property, schools are liable for the cost of student injuries and need to be prepared for these sometimes devastating expenses. 

A basic student accident insurance program can provide a school with the protection it needs to avoid these situations. Unlike many insurance products where clients believe a certain situation will “never happen to them,” student injuries are frequent and inevitable. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimate that 200,000 children ages 14 and younger receive emergency treatment for playground-related injuries in the United States each year.

Bumps and sprains are inconvenient, but more serious injuries require a higher level of medical care, and can ultimately be much more expensive for the school. One option for schools that need to protect against these extreme costs is to combine a basic student accident plan with a high limit catastrophic plan. A comprehensive plan not only limits exposure, but also provides a second layer of protection against serious injuries such as head trauma or paralysis.

While not every student injury that requires medical attention will necessitate payment from the school, more and more families are losing access to comprehensive health insurance, and parents do not expect to be burdened with the out-of-pocket medical expenses associated with a serious injury. A student accident insurance program helps to minimize out-of-pocket expenses, limiting possible litigation from injuries that fall outside liability coverage.
Brokers can benefit from selling special markets insurance programs, such as student accident insurance, because these policies are accident products rather than health care products, and therefore, broker commissions remain intact.

Aside from K-12 schools, brokers should focus on selling customized accident insurance to other clients who work with children, including:

  • Day cares
  • Sports leagues
  • Camps
  • Before and after school programs

There is a great opportunity for brokers to help schools avoid coverage gaps by purchasing student accident insurance. Customized programs can be built depending on each situation, and the successful broker will work closely with clients to make sure they are confident in their coverage options and not worried about the potential of an expensive and public lawsuit resulting from an inevitable student injury. 
Fleet is president of AmWINS Group Benefits, a wholesale broker of comprehensive group insurance programs and administrative services. He can be reached at asksam@amwins.com.

 

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