WORCESTER, Mass., May 5, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Public and private schools across the country, from elementary schools to major universities, face many of the same risks, exposing the schools to financial and reputational loss, and leaving school administrators with the daunting task of mitigating those risks. The right insurance protection is paramount when it comes to significantly reducing exposures. With this in mind, The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc. (NYSE: THG) offers tips to help administrators manage five common risks for schools.
1. Employment Practices Risks: With educators frequently involved in employment-related decisions, common causes for concern are often wrongful termination, discrimination and retaliation. To help mitigate possible risks, it is crucial that schools include a human resources professional and legal counsel in the processes, in addition to educators.
Similarly, ensuring proper documentation of hiring processes, terminations, disputes and performance reviews can help protect schools from possible employment practices issues. Schools may have all the proper protocols in place, but additional training and enforcement of protocols often can provide an added layer of protection.
2. Sexual Assault and Abuse Risks: Most schools have some form of insurance coverage for assault and abuse, but standard coverages are not always enough.
"It's important to review insurance limits with an independent agent to assess coverage and ensure the limits are adequate," said Scott Grieco, president of middle market at The Hanover. "Often, schools benefit from increased limits and added protection."
Sexual assault and abuse is a significant concern for schools, and particularly for colleges and schools hosting summer camp programs. It is always a good idea to make sure all school employees are trained on how to recognize the signs of abuse, actions they can take to prevent abuse and the proper procedures for reporting abuse. This is especially true for school employees and volunteers who are mandated reporters, and thus legally responsible for reporting possible abuse. The Hanover offers free online training courses addressing student protection so that employees and volunteers are familiar with the best practices for mitigating the risks related to assault and abuse.
3. Security Risks: Whether it is dorm exposures on a college campus or access in primary schools, security is a major issue. Developing a proper response to an event is an important part of facility safety, but prevention is also crucial.
"Things like key card security on doors, video monitoring systems and ensuring exterior doors are not being propped open, can help schools address some top security concerns," says Diana M. O'Brian, assistant vice president of industry solutions at The Hanover.
4. Sports Injury Risks: Student athlete safety is a key concern for coaches and administrators alike. With warmer weather on the way for many regions of the country, heat exhaustion and illness can pose a significant threat. Ensure coaches are prepared to recognize signs of heat-related illnesses and have a management plan in place.
Similarly, a comprehensive concussion prevention and management plan is necessary to help protect student athletes. Certain insurance policies help schools develop these plans by connecting them to providers that offer concussion management training and educational programs. For example, The Hanover has resources to help evaluate concussions, track recovery, communicate with involved parties and make educated decisions about post-concussion needs.
5. Slip and Fall Risks: Claims related to slips and falls remain among the most common for schools. Creating a slip, trip and fall prevention plan and investing a good proportion of a yearly budget to update facilities can help prevent injuries, and reduce slip and fall risks.
"While slip and fall claims may not be the most costly of these common risks, they often are the most frequent claim scenario school administrators will see," O'Brian said.
"When it comes to protecting schools from possible risks, specialized independent insurance agents truly understand schools' exposures and can serve as valued advisors, offering expert advice and comprehensive insurance protection," Grieco said.
About The Hanover
The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc., based in Worcester, Mass., is the holding company for several property and casualty insurance companies, which together constitute one of the largest insurance businesses in the United States. For more than 160 years, The Hanover has provided a wide range of property and casualty products and services to individuals, families, and businesses. The Hanover distributes its products through a select group of independent agents and brokers. Together with its agents, the company offers specialized coverages for small and mid-sized businesses, as well as insurance protection for homes, automobiles, and other personal items. Through its international member company, Chaucer, The Hanover also underwrites business at Lloyd's of London in several major insurance and reinsurance classes, including marine, property and energy. For more information, please visit hanover.com.
Emily P. Trevallion
All products are underwritten by The Hanover Insurance Company or one of its insurance company subsidiaries or affiliates ("The Hanover"). Coverage may not be available in all jurisdictions and is subject to the company underwriting guidelines and the issued policy. This material is provided for informational purposes only and does not provide any coverage. For more information about The Hanover visit our website at www.hanover.com.
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SOURCE The Hanover Insurance Group, Inc.