CCSA Answers: Minimum Insurance Requirements for Charter Schools

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August 1, 2014

Question: Are there minimum insurance requirements for charter schools?

Answer: There is nothing in the charter school statutes which references minimum or maximum insurance coverage. There are standards in the insurance world but no legal requirements for charter schools. Charter school petitions include an insurance section which lists insurance coverage. Standard errors and omissions, liability and property damage coverage is normal.

CCSA's partner, CharterSAFE recommends that schools purchase as much insurance as they can afford, but certainly no less than $10,000,000 for liability. Many districts require that amount when negotiating Memorandums of Understanding with their charter schools.

When the charter school also leases the authorizing district's property, the district can rightfully mandate specific insurance coverage, limits and other terms, conditions and agreements associated with the lease agreement. These requirements may or may not be negotiable, so it is important that a charter school's insurer (or future insurer) is aware of the language in the lease.

An example of the types of coverage and limits common to charter schools in California is provided by CharterSAFE's pooled insurance/self-insurance program (www.chartersafe.net) wherein members receive the following coverages and limits:

  • General Liability (including Sexual Abuse, Educators Legal Liability): up to $30,000,000
  • Auto Liability including Non-Owned and Hired Autos: Up to $30,000,000
  • Workers' Compensation: Statutory Limits
  • Student Accident: Up to $50,000 per accident
  • Property: As necessary per building (includes building values, content values, computer/electronic data processing values)

Typically, coverage of $1M to $5M is common for charter school Directors and Officers and Employment Practice Liability. However, CharterSAFE offers up to $30M with the excess layer of coverage available via their Joint Powers Agreement.