NOTE: This Booklet is only intended as a guide to give you a better understanding of your Policy and of the actions that youmust take in various situations. You must refer to your Policy wording and Schedule for precise details of your cover and all terms, conditions, limitations and exclusions applicable to it.
Liabilities and Insurance
Many of the liabilities which are relevant to the Board are equally applicable to teachers. However, many claims arise where responsibility rests almost solely with the teaching staff and it is pertinent therefore to add some comments which have particular relevance to them.
We will deal with the Duty of Care of teachers and supervision in more detail in Chapter 7 - Supervision, and we recommend that you read this Chapter in conjunction with Chapter 7.
Are teachers covered by the policy?
As we have stated in Chapter 2 the Policy indemnifies the Board in relation to their legal liability to all persons - including teachers. In addition the policy also indemnifies Teachers in respect of their liability arising from their activities as Employees.
Are there any limits?
The Policy only provides protection in respect of accidental injury or accidental damage to property and, therefore any intentional malicious criminal or fraudulent act of a member of the teaching staff is not included. In this respect the cover is no different from that afforded to the Board.
What are the most common claims brought against a teacher?
The most common causes of action against teachers arise from inadequate supervision (see Chapter 7 - Supervision).
Is the liability of teachers covered when carrying pupils in his / her car?
No. Liability for passengers in a car in any capacity is a matter solely for the teacher’s motor insurance. However, liability which attaches to the Board in the event that the teacher’s insurance should prove defective, is covered by the Custodian School Protection Policy.
How should teachers arrange their motor insurance?
Like any individual, teachers are free to arrange their motor insurance with whatever insurer they wish. Bearing in mind, however, that teachers may carry pupils to sports matches or to hospital in an emergency, some advice is necessary.
It is quite common for insurers to offer insurance with use of the vehicle on what is known as a Class 1 basis. This provides cover for Social, Domestic and Pleasure usage of the vehicle. To include carrying of pupils, school equipment etc. in their own car, teachers are advised to have the extended Class 1 usage of the vehicle which is Social, Domestic and Pleasure and by the insured in person for his / her business.
These additional words are important and will give the additional cover required only when the teacher insured is driving. In most instances NO additional premium should be required by insurers, however this does not apply to all insurers. The teacher should therefore check the position with his/her insurer before committing to any such arrangement with their school.
What if the teacher has an accident whilst using his / her car on school business?
The teacher’s motor insurance will cover any liability arising out of the use of the car. If Comprehensive cover has been arranged then it will also cover damage to the teacher’s car. But there will be an excess (or amount deducted from the amount of the claim payable by the teacher insured) and the possible loss of No Claim Bonus.
Why should the teacher have to suffer loss and lose No Claim Bonus when he / she is using the car on behalf of the school?
This problem has been recognised and we have extended the Custodian School Protection policy to include such financial loss suffered by a teacher in the event of involvement in an accident whilst using the car on behalf of the school. The limits any one claim provided are:
(a) Loss of No Claim Bonus €3,500
(b) Premium Loading €3,500
What if the teacher’s motor insurance is not Comprehensive?
The policy cover has also been extended to include damage to a teacher’s car in the event of an accident whilst using the car on behalf of the school for a limit of €50,000.
What about pupils on Work Experience Schemes?
Many second level pupils, particularly in the transition year, go out on work experience. This is an exceptionally beneficial experience for pupils in giving them a first taste of working life. For teachers, however, it can be a challenge to arrange placements of all pupils with employers.
Many employers are reluctant to take pupils and need to be persuaded to do so. For example an employer may say:
“I will take a pupil provided that the school picks up any liability which may arise”.
In agreeing to such an arrangement it is important that you understand that:
1: you have entered a legally enforceable contract (a contract does not need to be written),
2: you have agreed to a liability arising totally outside of your control (you have no control of the state of the premises or the type of work carried out),
3: the standard policy excludes such contractual arrangements.
In recommending that schools and teachers never consciously accept such contractual liability, Allianz recognises that schools and teachers are sometimes obliged to do so in order to place pupils in work experience schemes. Consequently the policy has been extended to cover such liabilities, but schools and teachers are recommended to avoid such contractual liabilities unless essential.
The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have issued a guidance note for teachers entitled "Health and Safety matters for students embarking on work experience - a short guide for teachers" and this is available on the HSA website www.hsa.ie