We’re approaching every parent’s favourite time of the year: back-to-school season!

It’s also a time when private tutors and academic assistants who work with children outside of a traditional classroom and teachers in both public and private schools should consider purchasing a tutor insurance policy.

That may prompt some leery educators to crook an eyebrow and ask, “Why would a tutor or teacher who works at a school or through a tutoring business need an insurance policy?” There are no bad questions in the education world. After all, how do people learn and grow their knowledge if they don’t ask questions? (That’s two good questions!)

Why tutors and teachers need liability insurance

Let’s get to the lowest common denominator – here are five reasons why every tutor, teacher, or education professional should protect themselves with a customized insurance policy:

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1. Even Teachers Make Mistakes

Teachers and tutors are brimming with knowledge to bestow on their willing students. But sometimes, educators can get it wrong, forget to do something, or make mistakes.

Teaching errors or a child’s underwhelming results may lead to outraged parents when their kid doesn’t do as well as expected after investing in your services as a private tutor. Such scenarios could trigger parents to launch a lawsuit against you for damages, and lawsuits – even a frivolous one with no merit – can cost thousands of dollars, not to mention an immeasurable amount of stress.

A comprehensive tutor insurance policy includes professional liability insurance (also known as errors and omissions insurance or E&O insurance). Should your integrity and work be questioned in a lawsuit or if you face an allegation of professional negligence, professional liability insurance provides you with financial support to defend yourself. It covers negligent acts, mistakes and omissions and failing to deliver a service as promised.

2. Injuries to Students

Classrooms are designed to be safe learning spaces. But an accident that causes a pupil physical harm is always a potential risk whether you work as a tutor for a private school or tutoring business, are a home-based independent tutor, or a teacher in a traditional school setting. That means the threat of a third-party personal injury allegation or lawsuit is ever-present.

Commercial general liability (CGL) insurance, or general liability insurance, is also part of a customized tutor insurance policy. It covers you for third-party bodily injury or property damage claims because of an accident (such as a student tripping, falling, and getting hurt) or resulting from negligence in the business’s regular activities.

But suppose, as a private tutor, you travel to your students’ homes to provide lessons, and you inadvertently bump into a table or shelving unit, knock over an expensive vase, and it smashes on the floor. The good news is that your general liability insurance is designed to cover that scenario by reimbursing the homeowner for the damaged vase up to your policy’s coverage limit.

3. Your Employer’s Insurance Might Not Cover You

Suppose you’re employed as a teacher at a public or private elementary school. Your employer has a business insurance policy that covers school-sanctioned events, and it might provide you with some protection against frequent or common accidents that happen on the institution’s property.

But that policy may not cover you entirely — insurance coverage gaps like this expose you to significant financial risk. If you are named in a third-party lawsuit with the school, the institution’s insurance will protect the school, but not necessarily you personally. Dotting the i’s and crossing the t’s on your protection is crucial.

4. A Class-Action Lawsuit Could Overwhelm Your School’s Policy

Shudder to think, but a severe class-action lawsuit against your school or tutoring business seeking compensation for damages to several students could drain its liability policy limits.

Should that happen, and you are named in that lawsuit, you’re on your own to pay for any settlement or court-ordered compensation. Such a scenario could be devastating to your career and finances and could force you into having to declare bankruptcy.

5. You’re Not Immune to the Threat of Cybercrime

Using technology and software to teach in class and online is commonplace nowadays, but so are cyber-attacks on small businesses and individuals. 

According to the Insurance Bureau of Canada, 41% of Canadian small businesses that ever suffered a cyber-attack reported it cost them at least $100,000. Moreover, almost half of Canadian small businesses (45%) experienced a random cyber-attack, and 27% endured a targeted attack in the past year.

Since protecting your students’ private information is your responsibility, it’s wise to ensure you have cyber liability insurance. It protects you from costs associated with cybercrime, such as phishing attacks, ransomware attacks, and accidental data breaches.

Teacher and Tutor Insurance Covers A Lot of Ground

Put your thinking cap on and pass the upcoming school season with flying colours by protecting your profession, finances, and reputation with a comprehensive tutor insurance policy

Here’s the best part – getting insured through Zensurance is easy, and there’s no pop quiz. Fill out an online application for a free quote. Our licensed brokers will shop our partner network of over 50 insurance providers to find the policy you need at an affordable price. They’ll also help you understand the coverages you need and explain your policy details so you’re in the know.

And remember – when it comes to protecting your career and reputation, there are no bad questions!

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About the Author: Shelly Petrie

Shelly Petrie is a Team Lead, Digital Solutions Team, Zensurance.