A proposal which requires Florida in giving teacher liability insurance to public educators has acquired a huge support, in spite of the opposition from the biggest teachers union of the state.
The suggestion would request the Department of Education to manage a program for liability insurance protecting public educators from the liability originating from on-the-job incident. Also, it would give 2 million dollars as coverage to the teachers—as the full-time instructional personnel. The language tucked through the House education budget will also require the Department of Education of the estate to administer the liability insurance program.
According to Rep. Erick Fresen, R-Miami, Chairman of the House of Education Appropriations Sub-committee, the teachers have exposures to liability but they don’t have any liability insurance. Erick Fresen said that they’re trying their best so that teachers are going to have this insurance.
Rep. Ross Spano, R-Dover, the bill sponsor, said also that this program would give teachers protection upon filing a claim against them. However, Florida Education Association spokesman, Mark Pudlow, stated that this program is not enough.
During the last time Florida offered such insurance, it amounted taxpayers four million dollars but paid out only a single claim. These are wasteful expenses and there could be other areas in public schools which can better benefit anywhere these dollars are used for.
Yes, teacher liability insurance is offered by Florida Education association, and according to Pudlow, the 140,000 members have already their insurance liability coverage. Pudlow also said that his institution didn’t experience an uptick for the insurance claim from the current years.
Florida had the same program on liability insurance in 2001 till 2006, where the lawmakers revoked their program due to its cost. Based on the 2006 report from the Office of the Program Policy Analysis and Gov’t. Accountability (OPPAGA), around $4.4 million was almost paid for the premiums within the 4-year period.
At that period also, Florida paid almost $50,375 which was accounted for the 3 claims. Such report was a bit skewed when it comes to the actual implications, since 9 open claims were around during the time report was being made. But still only few people were buying the insurance with the goal of getting the benefits from it.
Why not purchase insurance anticipating a claim each year with the premium amount? Most likely, you cannot even use it.
However, Spano stated that he wanted the public teachers to get option and purposely use it when time of needs come. Although some teachers have the coverage through their organization or district school, such as Florida Education Association, some school educators are also there but don’t have liability coverage.
What is expected is that no multiple claims will arise. They’re hoping that this is the case. And in case there is, it will make sure teachers will not worry about anything or take out money from their pockets for the cost of lawyer who will defend them.
Spano also stated that the difference between the program and the latest proposal 10 years ago is that the state can go for the self-insurance route—if that calls for costly effective route. In 2006, the recommended report was self-insurance.
Even with the support coming from the House, the time is still early to conclude if this teacher liability insurance will be approved as law. Pudlow said that there’s no identical proposal from the Senate yet. As of now, Spano’s measure is heading off to the House education group.
To learn more about teacher liability insurance, please contact us at DMG Insurance and Financial Services, Inc. (http://www.dmginsurance.com) at 543 N state Road 7, STE 106, Royal Palm Beach EL, 33411, phone 561 422 7071, Fax 561 422 7072.