Minding Your Business

October 23, 2020

Since January 2020, PAISBOA (Board, Business Insurance Group Steering Committee, and Staff) has been immersed in Business Insurance — and we have learned a lot! Collectively, we probably know more than we ever wanted or needed to know before, but not nearly enough to become experts by any means. It has been a fascinating process and so important for our members, considering the millions of dollars in assets protected by these policies. We are so grateful for the support and expertise of our insurance partner, Bolton and Company.

For many schools and universities, as we head into November, the budget process for the 2021-2022 academic year looms large. Tuition, salaries and benefits, and financial aid are the big ticket items. Another fairly large budget item is business insurance, and it is never too soon to start educating yourself about the current and future insurance markets. We have heard from some of our members who had renewal dates in July 2020 that they were unprepared for the unprecedented increase in rates they received.

If you are part of the PAISBOA Business Insurance Group, you are likely working on uploading your information to Bolton’s platform in anticipation of a 2/1/2021 renewal. This technology platform is a game changer for Business Officers who hate to fill out the same forms over and over again.  Once you upload all your information once, all you have to do is edit from year to year, and all your insurance information is stored in one place so you always have access to it!  Group members who have questions or need assistance gathering and uploading their documents, should contact Ron Hill at [email protected]. The PAISBOA team is ready to help you and your staff complete the upload and application process!

For those of you with other renewal dates, we have some intel to share with you from our partners at Bolton and Company. Right now Ron Wanglin, Chairman of the Board at Bolton is working on his Winter Insurance Outlook 2021 for the Education sector, but in the meantime, we have the Winter Outlook 2020, which is very similar to the trends he is seeing for 2021.

As you consider your business insurance renewals, all schools and universities should be sure you have all your assets covered with policies for: property, liability (general liability, educators legal liability, umbrella), auto, cyber, active assailant, kidnap and ransom, workers compensation, and any other specialized programs (art collections, student travel, etc.) that protect your institution’s people and property.

Ron recommends focusing on the following:

  1. Price – While seemingly obvious, make sure you understand the exact coverage for which you are paying and how your different packages and coverages interact with each other. For example, make sure you know how your D&O and Educators Liability policies protect your institutional leadership, and review your cyber liability policy to ensure that with the move to online learning and remote work, you have adequate coverage.
  2. Availability and Capacity – In both 2020 and looking ahead to 2021, the markets are hardening and shrinking, which will inform pricing and access to programs. Umbrella and Excess programs have been particularly affected in 2020 (one school’s premium increased 300% for a July 2020 renewal), and these programs will likely continue to be affected in 2021.
  3. Terms and Conditions – Make sure you read the fine print! Exclusions for mold, COVID-19, etc. may be added to your current policies for 2021. You should also note that umbrella and excess policies may not cover all types of claims, so be sure you understand exactly how your umbrella and excess policies enhance your other liability programs.

If you have questions about your policies, please contact your school’s broker or reach out to our partners at Bolton: Cheryl McDowell at [email protected] or Jamie Gershon at [email protected] for a no-risk consultation.

Risk management education is extremely important for school leaders. As always, PAISBOA is ready to assist you. Bolton and Company is beginning to roll out their risk management educational programs, and is planning for the PAISBOA Business Insurance Group Annual Meeting. We will have a date for you very shortly!

Members of the PAISBOA Business Insurance Group have free access to SafeSchools and SafeUniversities, which offers a suite of online safety and compliance programs, and includes easy-to-use solutions for staff and student training, tip reporting, safety data sheets and chemical management, incident management, and ThinkHR, which provides practical, professional HR services for employers to help with the issues that every business confronts in today’s competitive environment.

All members of PAISBOA already have access to SafeSchools and SafeUniversities at a discounted rate with our PAISBOA Preferred Vendor, Vector Solutions. PAISBOA member schools are also able to consult on HR matters with Susan Guerette from Fisher Phillips, and will receive a 10% discount on legal services.

We look forward to seeing you at the virtual PAISBOA Business Insurance Group Annual Meeting, and for those of you interested in taking a deeper dive into insurance trends, check out these resources from Bolton:

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