IMPORTANT COVID-19 INFORMATION FOR HOMESCHOOL GROUPS
January 1, 2021
Dear Homeschooling Group Leader:
As we ring in a new year, I am mindful of the many obstacles each of you have faced during 2020, both personally and with your homeschooling group activities. Each of our lives have significantly changed this past year and we all have had to learn to navigate this new era in ways we never imagined before.
Our Homeschool Insurance Solutions group insurance program has also had to shift gears to accommodate the new ways in which homeschooling groups meet. Our group master policy renews on January 1 of each year, and for the 2021-22 term, there will be a significant change under the liability portion of the policy. Please note this only affects NEW policy holders with effective dates of 1/1/2021 or later and RENEWAL policy holders which renew effective 1/1/2021 or later.
LAWSUITS DUE TO CONTRACTION OF COVID-19 – Effective January 1, 2021, our Commercial General Liability coverage will be modified to include the Organic Pathogen or Communicable Disease Exclusion. Great American has followed the precedent set by most all other insurance companies to exclude this liability exposure, due to the continued global spread and mutation of the COVID-19 virus. As of this writing, no federal legislation has been enacted that would provide immunity from liability for COVID-19-related claims, other than the protections now afforded to healthcare workers. However, many states have passed protective legislation of their own, so we recommend you seek legal counsel specific to your own state to determine whether there are protections in place for your operations.
Many of you may have other questions. Below you will find answers to top questions we are asked:
OUTSIDE TUTORING – For most of you, homeschooling is second nature – this has been your chosen method of education for your children. For many families, however, teaching their children at home is a completely new venture. While life, for the most part may be unchanged for homeschooling veterans, no doubt there are changes taking place with how to manage group learning opportunities. If you are venturing into the world of tutoring to assist novice parents, I invite you to consider our insurance program for tutors. This affordable protection is designed to provide the general and professional liability protection for individuals who, as a home-based business, are providing tutoring services on an individual basis (outside of your group activities). For more information follow this link: https://ncginsurance.com/schools/homeschool-solutions/professional-tutor-insurance/
VIDEO-LEARNING – Many of your groups are now unable to meet at their local church or community center and are converting to video-learning through platforms such as Zoom. I want to assure you our group General Liability insurance company, Great American Insurance, has confirmed the use of this technology remains an eligible form of group learning and is not considered “in-home instruction,” even though it is taking place in a residence.
EXPOSURE TO OFFENSIVE MATERIAL THROUGH VIDEO PLATFORMS – Considering the use of video platforms, some of you have asked if we offer protection in the event children were exposed to offensive material due to a hacker interrupting a Zoom presentation, causing emotional harm. It is difficult to offer a definitive answer on a “what-if” situation. However, in general, the Sexual Abuse & Molestation Liability protection afforded under our group policy with Great American would likely respond to such a claim. The group General Liability protection with Great American could also possibly apply. This is one of those “it depends” situations.
CYBER LIABILITY INSURANCE – Some of you have contacted our office asking if we provide Cyber Liability insurance, which protects an organization from liability lawsuits caused by data breaches of personally identifiable information (PII). Homeschool Insurance Solutions’ group program does not presently offer or include this protection. In the meantime, legally structured homeschool groups may apply for stand-alone Cyber Liability Insurance, which is rated individually. If you are interested, simply email us at email@example.com and we’ll send you the application.
AVAILABILITY OF PREMIUM REFUNDS – Lastly, we have received inquiries as to whether there will be premium refunds because groups are no longer gathering. We have worked hard to keep our insurance program costs affordable and have one of the lowest premiums on the market. Most groups are paying the minimum premium. Even though you are not presently gathering in person, as stated above, virtual “gatherings” may be occurring and therefore your liability coverage will continue protecting your organization. For that reason, there are no plans to make premium refunds.
I want to thank each of you for your confidence in our program and I sincerely hope we all can return to group gatherings soon. Humans are social beings and need that sense of community. Again, should you have any specific questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. While we too continue working safely from home, we are here to serve you.
Tina M. Crawford, CIC, CISR
Vice President-Property & Casualty Division
NCG Insurance Agency, Inc.