Insurance Coverage for Colleges and Universities

Ann McClure's picture
Friday, December 21, 2012

The Rutgers (N.J.) spying case and the Penn State abuse scandal, among others, highlight the liability risks of all types facing colleges and universities. From the other end of the risk spectrum, Tulane University’s (La.) long struggle to rebuild and recoup losses stemming from Hurricane Katrina illustrates the complexity of property damage risk management. In an era in which liability risks keep multiplying and natural disasters seem to have grown more intense, general counsels of colleges and universities should ensure that their existing liability policies cover the myriad complex liabilities and losses that they may face. Below are three growing categories of claims colleges and universities should watch out for, the types of insurance that address them, and steps to maximize insurance recovery following a loss. As the Penn State Jerry Sandusky scandal has highlighted, colleges and universities are susceptible to sexual transgression crimes and face civil liability from victims. Penn State faces enormous potential liability. It has been reported that the school spent $17 million on the Sandusky crisis as of June 2012, including $1.6 million on legal defense for others involved in the scandal. In the face of such costly exposure, a policyholder has a few insurance tools at their disposal.

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