Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Chaperone Insurance

Time once again for a brief walk on the P&C side of the insurance biz. As one who's shuttled kids back and forth to various afterschool activities, dances, practices and the like, I'm always mindful of the potential for a mishap. Thank goodness (and my personal liability unbrella) it's never been a problem for me, but that doesn't mean it can't be:
Seven hundred thousand dollars?!
For what?!
Turns out, Susanne Sadler (a New Jersey resident) offered to chaperone a cheerleaders' trip to Hawaii, where they were to perform in the Hula Bowl. Prior to that exciting opportunity, though, one of the students apparently decided it'd be a good idea to have a drink or two. She subsequently fell off a balcony and died. Ms Sadler isn't accused of giving or getting her the drink; nonetheless, she was sued and found to be at least partially responsible for the tragedy.
And now must cough up almost $700,000.
Which raises a number of questions:
Would your homeowner's liability policy cover you? What if it's over a few hundred thousand dollars?
Do you have an umbrella policy? Would it cover this kind of thing?
It's something I would never have thought to ask my co-worker (who's also my P&C agent). Until now. (For the record, he said "coverage? I've never seen you before in my life." So I've got that going for me) Seriously, ask your agent. Do it soon.
Something else to consider is whether or not the organization which sponsors such a trip has a liability policy. And it's not just an expense issue, either. According to the president of a school booster club:
"If we decided not to have any insurance, at some point a year or two from now, some parents might say they can't take the risks."
Good point.
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