Should you consider pupil insurances?

There are many reasons that schools cite as to why they want to provide additional insurances for their pupils.

In particular, schools opt to provide Personal Accident insurance and primarily the reason for this tends to be that schools feel this is an ideal way they are able to demonstrate to the parents that not only do they take seriously their duty of care for the children, but that they also pragmatically accept that accidents, by their nature, do happen.

Danger and risk is something we all face every day, from crossing a road to playing sport. Accidents can happen at any time; luckily very few are serious enough to lead to permanent disability. However those that do can have a devastating effect on the family’s life and finances. In the worst cases such as total paralysis this can mean the need to adapt homes and transport and often require provision for 24 hour care assistance. These costs can be financially debilitating to the family involved.

There are many other benefits to having Personal Accident insurance. For example, payments of the benefits under the policy are not subject to negligence and this tends to mean that settlements can be made sooner and hence ease financial hardship. Claims that rely on proving liability of a third party can be protracted and last many years before settlement is reached. It is important to remember though that any payment under a personal accident policy is separate from any claim for negligence and has no bearing on the potential award of damages against a third party who is found to have been negligent.

As accidents can happen at any time, with this in mind, most schools opt for the 24/7 cover option that provides the pupils with cover worldwide whether they are at school or not as this is really a true benefit to the parents. Taking in to account potential costs following permanent disability the most popular option after discussion is the £1,000,000 maximum level of cover. When you consider the cost is just £4.00 per term or £4.81 per term if you include dental injury, the total cost is but a small fraction of the termly fee. Paying annually rather than termly reduces these costs by a further 5%.

I am often asked by bursars whether if the school arranges a Personal Accident insurance this would have any effect on cover of any other Personal Accident insurances that the parents may already hold. The answer is ‘no’. Each policy would pay the benefits irrespective of any other policy in force.

Another common question that crops up is ‘how much of a burden is the administration of the insurances’. I am pleased to say that this is actually very straight forward.

The insurances are arranged under a single policy with sections for Personal Accident, Pupils’ Personal Property and Fees Return. The school selects which sections to operate and the level of cover required. We provide you with a ‘Key Information for Parents’ document electronically so that this can be made available to parents via your website. This details the covers available, the benefits of the insurances and how the policy operates.

In respect of the Pupil’s Personal Property and Fees Return, this can be offered to parents in the fee pack you provide by way of including a simple form for completion. If they are participating you add the cost to their termly fee bill.

In the event of a claim you simply provide the parents with the insurer’s claims telephone number and the insurers guide the parents through the claims process. You will be contacted by insurers to confirm that the parents are participating in the insurance scheme.

Throughout the process we are available to provide any help, assistance or guidance that you may need.

I hope that having read the above this has answered many of the questions that you may have about offering the pupils insurance policy to your parents.  If you would like more details or have any further questions, please do contact me on 07841 430 237 or m.rose@hayesparsons.co.uk.

Mark Rose, Account Executive

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