General Liability Insurance

The school year is in full swing and your PTA unit is ready to make this another great year for the kids. But before you begin setting up for the next three-legged race make sure you have taken the necessary steps to properly protect your PTA Unit against liability claims. Liability Plus covers PTA meetings, fundraisers, or sponsored events, including events off school property.

Liability Plus is the most commonly purchased coverage among PTA units and is crucial to the protection of PTA operations as a whole. With Liability Plus, no matter how many carnivals, book fairs, picnics, three-legged races and other events that your PTA organizes, you can worry less about whether or not you are covered, and concentrate more on the success of your event. After all, your commitment is to the kids!

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FAQs

Liability Plus is available to any PTA Unit wishing to purchase this liability protection. Coverage is extended to include any PTA officer, director, member, volunteer, or employee.

RVNA offers the best, broadest and most financially secured coverage for any PTA within the U.S. While other insurance providers exclude essential coverages, we understand the importance of having the broadest policy made available to PTAs across the country. Liability Plus includes a $1,000,000 Per Occurrence/$2,000,000 Aggregate Limit. There is no deductible, and coverage is included for the following:

Liability Plus Coverages What does this mean?
Bodily Injury Liability Protects against liability which may arise from the injury or death of another person.
Property Damage Liability Protects against liability for damage to property of another not in the care, custody and control of the PTA.
Personal Injury Liability Protects against liability for third party claims for damages which are other than physical such as libel, slander, false arrest, wrongful eviction, invasion of privacy, etc.
Advertising Injury Liability Protects against lawsuits arising from libel, slander or copyright infringement in the course of advertising goods, products or services.
Products Liability Protects against claims arising out of the use, handling, or consumption of a product provided by your PTA.
Damage To Rented Premises Liability Damage to real property under your care, custody or control, such as a gymnasium.
Non-Owned/Hired Automobile Non-Owned Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from volunteers driving their auto while on PTA business. Hired Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from rented/hired auto/van/charter bus used for PTA business to transport volunteers or kids.
Non-Owned Watercraft Liability
(Less Than 51ft in Length)
 Watercraft includes boats not owned by the PTA.
Sexual Misconduct Liability Protects PTAs for sexual misconduct, abuse, and molestation claims.
Named Insured Extended To Include Volunteers When Enjoined With PTA Coverage is extended to include any officer, member, director, salaried employees, and volunteers.
Supplemental Defense Costs Legal defense costs are in addition to your limit of liability.
Medical Payments Under Liability Plus Provides protection for injured individuals while donating their services at the time of injury for the benefit of the PTA.

The territory of this policy is the USA, its territories and possessions, Puerto Rico and Canada.

The policy period is one calendar year. You may choose the effective date of your policy and it will expire the same day the following year. A new school year for the kids may also include a new PTA leadership. It is important as the leadership in the unit changes that coverage renewal is a task delegated to the incoming officers. Don’t risk a lapse in coverage!

PTA and booster clubs, grad night committees or other community organizations represent different legal entities, much like a school district and a PTA, and cannot be properly protected under the same insurance policy. This condition exists whether or not the PTA sponsors and/or co-sponsors another organization, and can only be remedied by obtaining separate and individual coverage for the booster club, grad night committee or other community organization. Every time you name another entity on your policy, you have agreed to share your limit of liability, and to defend that other entity should a lawsuit arise. Do not let any other entities or separate committees use you for your insurance. Protect your insurance and use it only for your PTA.

A concessionaire or commercial vendor, is a person (or organization) who has a for-profit attraction (such as a carnival amusement ride, skating vendor or food booth), that they will operate or conduct on behalf of the PTA for a percentage of the receipts, or for a specified sum of money. Such a person (or organization) is an independent contractor. The PTA is protected against claims or suits arising out of the operations (unless excluded) of these independent contractors. However, the independent contractor is afforded NO protection under the PTA policy and should, in fact, provide the PTA with a Certificate Of Insurance. This Certificate Of Insurance should show that the independent contractor/vendor has in-force liability insurance with limits of a least $1,000,000, and it should also name your PTA Unit and the State PTA as Additional Insured’s. The independent contractor will sometimes attempt to charge the PTA for the cost of this Additional Insured endorsement which must be added to their insurance policy. Because they are about to earn a profit, the price is negotiable, or if you are very convincing, the cost of the endorsement can be absorbed by the independent contractor. If the independent contractor/vendor is unable or unwilling to provide a Certificate Of Insurance naming the PTA Unit and the State PTA as Additional Insured’s, you would be extremely wise to find another concessionaire, commercial vendor, or independent contractor.

See the Activities, Events and Loss Control section below.

While you will find our General Liability coverage to be one of the broadest in the country, there are some specific exclusions usual to this form of liability insurance. The following is only a summary and is not all inclusive, nor does it alter or waive any of the actual policy language.

What is Excluded? What Does This Mean?
Owned Automobile Liability An owned auto is defined as any auto that is owned in part or in full by, or registered to, any PTA or group entity.
Owned Watercraft Liability An owned watercraft is defined as any watercraft that is owned in part or in full by, or registered to, any PTA or group entity.
Owned And/Or Non-Owned Aircraft Liability This exclusion pertains to any type of aircraft, including but not limited to, hot-air or lighter-than-air balloons.
Property Damage Damage to any real or personal property which is owned by, or in the care, custody or control of the PTA or group. Coverage for most property that fits this category may be purchased under the Property Plus coverage option.
Workers’ Compensation Any and all sums that would be recoverable under Workers’ Compensation insurance, whether or not such contract exists.
Any Type of Excavation Any type of excavation or construction involving excavation.

 

Activities, Events And Loss Control

With over 60 years of expertise, we’ve come to advise PTAs on how to put on safe events that minimize their exposure to accidents. The following activities are commonly put on by PTAs across the nation. Included are recommended guidelines that will ensure for a safe event.

As our schools continue to experience reduced spending budgets, they are asking school groups to run many programs that were traditionally run by the school. You are advised to fund the classes for the school district and not to run them directly. After school programs are subject to the same legal issues that a school faces. Not only is there a General liability exposure, but also a Worker’s Compensation exposure, potential IRS tax and penalty problems and employment related laws, all of which are outside of the scope of this liability coverage. Many PTAs have successfully funded these after school programs through their school, Parks and Rec Department, or YMCA.

  • Hold these programs on school grounds
  • Classes should be academic, and not athletic in nature
  • Volunteers should teach or conduct the classes
  • If you use an outside vendor, have them add your school group as an Additional Insured on their $1,000,000 General Liability policy and provide you with proof of Worker’s Compensation Insurance

You are strongly advised not to sponsor activities involving animals. These activities include horseback riding, pony rides, elephant rides, donkey basketball or any type of game or ride involving an animal. Should your PTA elects to proceed with this activity, follow these guidelines to reduce your exposure to a lawsuit:

  • Have all participants sign a Liability Waiver available from your school district business manager or find one here
  • Keep the event on your school campus
  • Use a vendor that is able and willing to add your school group as an Additional Insured on a $1,000,000 liability policy
Athletic, sports, and physical type activities or events can cause serious injury. Often school districts will drop their sports or athletic programs because of the liability exposure. We recommend that you fund these programs for the school district by donation, and do not run them directly as a PTA activity. Athletic or sports activities can include baseball, basketball, cheer leading, football, gymnastics, martial arts, swimming, tennis, track and field, and volleyball, or any event or enrichment class involving physical activity. Should your school group elect to proceed with this activity, follow these guidelines to reduce your exposure to a lawsuit:

  • Have all intended adult participants (or in the case of minors, their parents), sign a Liability Waiver available from your school district business manager or find one here
  • Keep the event entirely on campus. Use only school property
  • Require participants to have their own medical insurance
  • See if your school district offers low-cost accident insurance to parents or your PTA or buy our Accident Medical Plus
We recommend that you advise the volunteers to take care in the preparation and storage of the food to be sold. Place special emphasis upon the preparation and storage during transportation, of food items that are salmonella contamination prone, including but not limited to, chicken, beef, or food items that contain milk products or mayonnaise. Highlighted below are some helpful tips to ensure a safe and successful event.

  • Clearly label all items that may contain common food allergies (such as peanuts)
  • Refrigerate food that must remain cold
  • Make sure all food items are properly packaged
  • If your state has any health department requirements, make sure you follow them

Because of a significant bodily injury exposure, you are advised not to sponsor this activity. This activity can also cause severe property damage.

This activity is not excluded by our policy.

We recommend that you advise the parents not to allow the children to sell the items door-to door without adult supervision. Parents should also accompany their children when selling in any public locations. Try not to eat the profits!

Often PTAs will find themselves asked to have volunteers help direct traffic to park at their sponsored events. Sometimes, the volunteers are in charge of collecting money for parking fees. We advise you not to allow the volunteers to drive another individual’s vehicle at these events. Do not provide valet service. Allow attendees to park the cars themselves in a prearranged location.

This carnival type activity is normally held on school grounds. Carnivals/Fairs have many risks associated with them. You may have many types of activities that are running at the same time. We advise that you put in place a “safety engineer” to oversee safety requirements. We recommend that you hire an insured commercial vendor or concessionaire that provides games and amusement devices and that you have the vendor run the game or amusement device directly.

A concessionaire or commercial vendor, is a person (or organization) who has an attraction (such as a carnival amusement ride, skating vendor or food booth), that they will operate or conduct on behalf of the PTA for a percentage of the receipts, or for a specified sum of money. The PTA is protected against claims or suits arising out of the operations of these vendors. However, the vendor is afforded no protection under the PTA policy and should, in fact, provide the PTA with proof of insurance. Ask your vendor to provide you with a Certificate of Liability as proof of insurance. It should show that the vendor has in-force liability insurance with limits of a least $1,000,000, and it should also name your PTA Unit and the State PTA as Additional Insureds.

This event can be a great fundraiser for your PTA. Have fun and keep your volunteers safe with these tips:

  • Advise volunteers washing cars to not wear any jewelry that can scratch a car’s paint
  • Volunteers should wear proper footwear to prevent slipping on water and soap
  • You are advised not to let anyone, other than the owner, move or drive the vehicle
This activity should take place at PTA meetings on school grounds. We recommend that:

  • Parents be close by and on campus at all times
  • There are at least two adults (both over 18 years of age) in attendance at all times
  • Volunteers should not change diapers
  • All hot fluids are kept outside of the child care room or area

Because of a significant bodily injury and property damage exposure, you are advised not to sponsor this activity. Let this activity be a school activity with the participants volunteering directly to and under the direction of the school. See the section regarding Playground And Other Equipment Or Improvements. In addition to a bodily injury exposure to participants, there is also an excavation exposure. Should your project damage a gas pipeline, water main or phone service to neighboring facilities, the consequential loss can be very large in scope. Leave this activity to the professionals.

Planning your annual craft fair? Craft Fairs are a great way for children to express their artistic abilities and fund-raise for the PTA at the same time!

  • This event should take place on school grounds
  • Make sure the money that you collect is safely accounted for, deposited and insured with Bonding Plus
  • Try not to sell any items that will pass through a Child Choke Testing Tube
You are advised to fund a crossing guard program for the school district and not to actively participate in the guard program, or any program that involves the control of street vehicle traffic.
As more and more parents are having to utilize day care, your school may ask you to run a day care program prior to the school opening and after school. A day care program has strict state regulations and requires inspections, licensing, and experienced personnel. Your PTA insurance does not contemplate any of the legal issues involved with running a day care. We recommend that you fund these day care programs for your school and not run them directly.

Unfortunately, individuals being dunked in Dunk Tanks have experienced injuries. A safer alternative to a Dunk Tank is the Sponge Toss. Should your school group elect to proceed with this activity, follow these rules to reduce your exposure to a lawsuit:

  • Do not rent this device and operate it yourself
  • Do not use a homemade or borrowed device
  • Use a vendor that is able and willing to provide and operate the device and to add your school group as an Additional Insured on no less than a $1,000,000 liability policy
See After School Programs.
Field trips may be organized by the PTA in conjunction with the school.

  • Make sure that you count the children through out the day and that all children are accounted for before going to and leaving from your destination
  • If the PTA is transporting students, do not transport anyone by private passenger auto. Instead, arrange for chartered bus services through the school district.
  • Have at least two adults (both over 18 years of age) in attendance at all times
  • There should be a ratio of 1 adult to every 4 children
  • Have all participants (or in the case of minors, their parents), sign a Liability Waiver available from your school district business manager or find one here

Because of a significant bodily injury exposure, you are advised not to sponsor any activities involving firearms or any other potentially lethal weapons.

Coverage for this activity is excluded (not covered). This includes the use of fireworks, the sale of fireworks, commercial fireworks displays or similar type pyrotechnic display or device, including flash pots, smoke pots and rocketry.

Although this activity is not excluded, caution is advised. There is limited Liability coverage on vessels larger than 51 feet.

Entertaining children and coming up with fresh ideas to fund-raise is a challenge. Unfortunately, these types of parties can be quite risky. The substances used (color powder, blacklight powder, foam, etc) may contain harmful ingredients or cause serious allergic reactions, burns and loss of eyesight. Keep the children’s safety a priority when planning innovative activities.

Common types of grad nights include, dances, dinners, casino nights, activity centers and amusement parks. Often the students arrive at a selected time and are kept until a selected time to leave. Grad nights often include athletic activities along with mechanical rides and amusement devices.

  • You are encouraged to have all attending students and parents sign accident waivers
  • Vendors and concessionaires should provide proof of insurance and add the PTA unit as an additional insured
  • Security provided for the event, when needed, should be licensed and insured
  • We advise that students be dropped off and picked up by their parents or an adult with authority to do so
  • When grad night is held off school premises, do not transport anyone by private passenger auto. Instead, arrange for chartered bus services through the school district
  • For more helpful tips, see the section on Post Prom/After Prom Parties

Having a golf game or tournament? Golf Tournaments are acceptable events under this General Liability policy. Worried about the weather? Check out our Weather Insurance Coverage to protect your event from inclement weather.

Helpful Tips to ensure a safe and spooky Haunted House:

  • You are advised to appoint a volunteer parent as the safety committee chairperson
  • This event should take place on school grounds
  • Have an inspection performed by your local fire department
  • Be sure not to use strobe lights as these can trigger seizures

Ways to Make Your Hay Ride Safer:

  • Arrange to have a responsible vendor provide the tractor, wagon, and driving services. Get a Certificate of Insurance from the vendor with your PTA added as an additional insured
  • Select the route for your hayride carefully, and inspect it for hazards
  • Make sure the wagon has sturdy side panels. Don’t use flatbed-type vehicles
  • Don’t allow the driver to tow more than one hay wagon at a time
  • Don’t allow anyone to stand or crawl around while the wagon is in motion
  • Have a volunteer supervise the loading and unloading of passengers
  • All passengers should keep their arms and legs in the wagon at all times
  • Do not use horse-drawn wagons for hay rides

You are advised not to sponsor this activity.

This event is typically held at a local skating rink, or operated by a vendor on school grounds. If your Unit uses a local vendor, be sure that the vendor supplies you with a Certificate Of Insurance for at least $1,000,000 and that it names your local PTA as an Additional Insured. Because of the supervision exposure, this event works best if the parents are required to bring the kids to the rink, and to stay there during the event. There is a high probability of injuries for this event. For this reason, we suggest the PTA get signed accident waivers for all participants.

Holding an instructional class? See the Enrichment Programs section.

Follow these rules to reduce injuries when using Moon Bounces or Bounce Houses:

  • Do not borrow or operate this device yourself
  • Use a vendor that provides and operates the device and adds your school group as an Additional Insured to their $1,000,000 liability policy.
  • Put children of similar age and size together

The latest rage around the nation are mud runs and obstacle course races. The promoters of these events are experiencing serious injuries including deaths. A safer alternative is a Walk-A-Thon or Jog-A-Thon.

Although this activity is not excluded, you are advised not to sponsor overnight activities. During this entire event, you are responsible for everything that happens to the kids. If your school group wants to have this type of activity, let it be a school activity and not a school group activity. Normally, schools will not agree to sponsor this activity because of the liability exposure.

Marching in a parade is an approved activity. If your PTA decides to participate in a parade with a float, certain safety procedures should be followed.

  • Have a responsible vendor provide the vehicle and trailer. Get a Certificate of Insurance from the vendor with your PTA added as an additional insured
  • Have participants walk along side the float, and not ride on the float
  • You are advised not to throw any candy or favors into the crowd
In addition to playground equipment, this advisory includes the procurement of any type of school equipment including but not limited to, computers, benches, tables, bike racks, desks, rugs or other furnishings, disaster kits, fencing, landscape, or other area improvements or betterment. These types of equipment or improvements often exist for up to 25 years, as will your liability exposure. You are advised to fund the purchase for the school district, and not to be involved in the purchase or installation of any of these items. Do not purchase these items directly, and then gift them to the school. Instead, give the school or the school district the necessary funds, and let them arrange for the purchase and installation. Make arrangements with the school prior to fund commitment, to make sure that the items will remain at your school. If you are about to make this type of donation, you have the power to negotiate. Use it.

If parents desire to be involved in the installation of playground equipment, in an effort to reduce the cost, allow them to volunteer directly to the school, and not through the PTA. Do not identify the installation, in any way as a PTA project. Allow the installation to be a school project; organized, operated, directed, and controlled by a school employee(s).

Young people attend parties throughout the year, but peer pressure is highest as graduation approaches, when energy and excitement run high and students feel invincible. The Post Prom Party, Grad Night, After Prom Party, Senior All Nighter or a Lock in, is a chance to give our young people a wonderful memory while keeping them safe. They don’t have to make a decision to drink or not to drink and everyone has a party to attend and celebrate together. No one is left out. In the case of a senior prom or graduation celebration, it will be the last time seniors will be together as a class. Parents will know where their students are, what they are doing and that they are safe while having the time of their lives. If your school already hosts an all night prom or graduation party, congratulations! If not and the PTA has decided to run this event please take precaution and plan a safe event. Many resources for fun ideas can be found on the internet. What are some tips to ensure a safe and successful event?

  • The PTSA Post Prom Committee can purchase an entertainment package, from a vendor providing the manpower to setup and run all of the games and activities, which means parent volunteers do not have to spend time putting them together and setting them up before or taking them down after the event.
  • Use a vendor that is licensed and provides you proof of insurance, protecting your PTA as an additional insured
  • Chaperones should be over 18 years of age and volunteer in shorter shifts to encourage better supervision of students
  • Have all students and their parents sign liability waivers
  • Hold this event on school property. If that is not possible, select a facility similar to a YMCA that is in the business of providing these fun organized activities.
  • Amusement parks are a great alternative!

    Rock Climbing Walls are common amusement devices that are becoming very popular choices for PTSA activities. While fun, Rock Climbing Walls are not the safest activity of choice.

    • Hire a licensed and insured vendor that will set up, run, and take down the Rock Climbing Wall and stays in attendance the entire time
    • Have the vendor add your school group as an Additional Insured on their $1,000,000 liability policy
    • Have all participants sign a Liability Waiver available from your school district business manager or find one here
    • Keep the event on your school campus
    This event should be held on school grounds. You are advised not to sell any used electrical or mechanical devices. You are also advised to appoint a volunteer parent as the safety committee chairperson. Have all items pre-inspected by this safety chairperson and eliminate the items that could be considered unsafe to young children.
    Silent Auctions, Wine Tastings and Fundraising Dinners are great fundraisers and often alcohol is available for consumption. Because these events sometimes involve the use of alcoholic beverages, and therefore a liquor liability exposure, be aware that if an individual consumes too much wine and is then involved in a traffic accident, the PTA could be named in a lawsuit, should one arise.

    • Keep a tight control on the amount of wine or other alcohol that any individual consumes
    • Have this event at an established local hotel or restaurant. They will have the necessary liquor license and liquor liability insurance coverage
    • There is no coverage for the furnishing or serving of alcoholic beverages if the PTA receives any monetary compensation. Please contact R.V. Nuccio & Associates for a One Day Special Event Policy where liquor liability can be purchased for your special event.

    At RVNA we understand that swimming parties may sound like a great idea. While we do not exclude swimming from our Liability Plus policy, we strongly advise for you not to run this event directly. Allow your school to run the event. Make sure that there is a certified life guard over the age of 18 on duty at all times. Require parents to stay on the premises and to help chaperone this event.

    Under our Liability Plus Insurance, your PTA is also provided coverage for Non-Owned and Hired Automobiles. Non-Owned Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from volunteers driving their auto while on PTA business. Hired Auto Coverage means auto liability coverage for claims resulting from rented/hired auto/van/charter bus used for PTA business to transport volunteers or kids. Types of events where the PTA would need this coverage include Field Trips, Grad Nights, After Prom Parties, Meetings, Off Campus Fundraisers, Golf Tournaments, Special Events, and more. In addition, board members often drive on behalf of the PTA to make deposits at the bank, to pick up fundraising materials, and to deliver supplies for PTSA activities.

    • If traveling multiple board members to conventions or district meetings, executive tour buses are popular, practical, and cost effective forms of transportation
    • Use chartered school district bus services to transport children to or from PTA sponsored activities
      Traditionally Walk-A-Thons and Jog-A-Thons are activities that are easy to plan and make for profitable fundraisers. What are some tips for making my Walk/Jog-A-Thon successful?

      • Provide multiple water stations for participants
      • Make sure all routes are well marked and hazard free
      • Have the school set up a first aid station
      • Require proper foot wear to be worn by participants
      • A Release Form or accident waiver is recommended for this event to be signed by all participants
      • This event should be held on school grounds and should not cross public roads