Frequently asked questions

Here are some frequently asked questions to help you understand the extent of your policy coverage.

For further guidance or specific advice, please contact either Lumley or Marsh through websites www.lumley.co.nz or www.marsh.co.nz/NZ or phone us on 0800 293031 (Option 2).

Liability FAQ's

1. What is the process in relation to insurance when there is an employment issue?

In order to obtain coverage under the Liability programme for an employment dispute, the Board must:

  1. Advise Lumley as soon as practicable of any employment dispute or actual claim or intimation of a claim to be made against them.
  2. Advise Lumley of any decision that could result in a grievance prior to advising the affected employee of the decision.Advise Lumley of any decision that could result in a PG prior to advising the effected employee of the decision.
  3. Not terminate an employee's employment for any reason or settle any dispute with an employee, without advising Lumley and obtaining advice from either NZSTA or an approved employment advisor;
  4. Not settle any dispute with an employee without prior written consent from Lumley.

Lumley and NZSTA can both be contacted through the 0800 number - 0800 293031

In the event that the Board fails to comply with the above, Lumley may decline the claim on the basis that their position has been prejudiced by the actions of the Board.

2. What is the Board/schools cover in relation to international students?

There is no specific limitation in any sections of the programme that relate to international fee paying students. There is cover for the loss of deposit/fees due to the financial failure of the school subject to the school complying with the International Students Code that requires the school to have a fee protection policy. Boards are recommended to consult with Lumley when developing their fee protection policy to ensure that there is compliance with the Code.

There is also cover for any civil action brought by a student alleging issues with the quality of the education provided or claims brought against the Board alleging mismanagement of the overseas student programme. In terms of the actions of agents, the programme provides cover for the civil liability of the Board arising from the actions of agents but not for any agent's own liability. There is no cover for any criminal acts of agents such as sexual molestation.

3. What is the extent of insurance cover for after school care of students supervised by school staff?

  1. Who is covered?
    All school staff are covered (including volunteers and part-time staff).
  2. What are the limitations of liability?
    Activities must be approved and arranged by the School Board.
  3. When does ACC cover an incident?
    ACC generally covers the medical costs of any personal injury caused by an accident.
  4. What is the effect on cover if negligence is involved?
    If an accident occurs and a child is injured, there may be an investigation under the Health and Safety in Employment (HSE) Act which could lead to prosecution of the school or an individual involved. If this occurs the Statutory Liability insurance section of the programme provides cover for the costs of defending the prosecution (both for the school and individuals), as well as any reparation awards. There is no cover for any fines under the HSE Act.

There may also be the possibility of a civil action against the Board in the event that a student has suffered an injury that is not covered by ACC (such as mental anguish). The Professional Indemnity section of the programme may provide cover for defending this type of action subject to policy terms.

4. If school facilities are used by a third party:

  1. Who is covered?
    If there is no relationship between the Board and the third party then the third party needs to have their own liability insurance in place. There have been a number of examples of independent community groups using school facilities and the Board has asked us to provide cover for these groups. These groups are not automatically covered under the programme, but we may extend the programme on request.
  2. What liability rests with the Board?
    If property that is not owned by the Board is damaged by the third party, then the Board could be liable for the damage caused by the third party. The Public Liability section of the programme may provide cover for this exposure.

5. Transportation of children by teachers in private vehicles:

  1. What liability rests with the Board?
    The Board has a responsibility to ensure that the vehicle is safe and the driver has a driver's licence and is legally able to drive others.
  2. Can vehicles be covered for accidental damage?
    Cover needs to be specifically arranged by the broker, Marsh.
  3. If a teacher's vehicle hits another vehicle, what is the Board liable for?
    The Board could only be liable if it was proven that they were negligent in some way that contributed to the accident. The Public Liability insurance section of the programme provides cover for liability arising from the damage to third party property caused by an employee's authorised use of a motor vehicle.
  4. When does ACC step in?
    ACC provides personal injury cover for people injured in motor vehicle accidents on public roads.

6. Is there insurance cover for fund raising activities, school galas, camps, and other school trips and activities?

All activities approved by the Board are covered by the Liability Programme, including any liability incurred during a Board approved/arranged off-site activity such as school galas, camps and school trips and school related activities. However, you must let the insurer know before holding any fundraising, social or community activities which require a liquor licence, or involve use of heavy machinery or use of firearms. Contact Marsh (0800 29 30 31 - option 2).

7. What is the insurance cover for incidents that occur overseas on a school trip?

The Public Liability section provides cover for events that take place in NZ/Australia only. However, there is only cover for legal actions that are brought in NZ. The Board should ensure that a comprehensive travel policy is arranged that includes a minimum of $1m Public Liability Insurance.

8. Is there insurance cover for actions of contractors working on a school, for example what happens if a student is injured at school due to a contractor's activities?

  1. Does a contractor need to provide their own cover?
    Yes, the Board should insist that the contractors have adequate Public Liability and Statutory Liability Insurance and view this prior to any works being completed.
  2. Does any liability lie with the Board?
    There could be Health and Safety liabilities faced by the school which would be covered under the Statutory Liability section of the programme.

9. Is there insurance cover available to volunteers and what are the risks posed to school Boards by actions of volunteers?

The actions of volunteers are covered under the Liability Programme. In terms of the Board's liability, volunteers are just like employees in that the Board will be liable for their actions so long as they are acting on any school related matter with the Board's authority.

10. What is the insurance cover available for incidents relating to water crafts?

The Public Liability section provides cover for damage caused to a third party from the use of a watercraft that is less than 8 metres in length. There is no cover for any water crafts over 8 metres (except oar propelled vessels 20 metres).

11. What is the trustees liability cover for associated entities such as fund raising foundations and charitable trusts set up by the Board?

These associated entities are covered under the Liability Programme as long as the activities of the entity are solely for the benefit of the insured school.

12. How is the premium for the Risk Management Scheme paid?

The contribution to the Risk Management Scheme is based on the risk management funding in your quarterly Operations Grant. This is retained by the Ministry, therefore this is a quarterly transaction and no bulk premium is paid - if the school has ancillary or additional insurance requirements then this would be invoiced separately for an annual amount.

13. How long has this scheme been running?

The Risk Management Scheme started in 1989 after "Tomorrow Schools" eventuated with the Education Act 1989. The insurance industry at that time abandoned the school market due to significant losses (predominantly arson where there was low protections in place). With recently improved risk protections (sprinklers, smoke and burglar alarms) most schools are able to get cover from general insurers. In 2002 the Risk Management Scheme was expanded to include Liability risks.

14. Does this scheme cover surplus buildings?

No. The Risk Management Scheme is for Contents and Liability, any additional covers required for Overcode, Community property etc needs to be insured separately as this is not covered by the Ministry. This also extends to include other risks (such as Vehicles, Travel),

Marsh will be able to provide a quotation through 0800 293031 (option 2).

Content FAQ's

15. Is Assisstive Technology Equipment covered?

If the equipment is noted or added to the school's Asset Register there is cover. The Risk Management Scheme covers any amount in excess of the deductible applying. The school can apply to the Ministry (not the Risk Management Scheme) for a contribution to the deductible though the school carries a minimum of $100 towards any loss.

16. Are boats, canoes or other water craft covered?

Any vessel without a motor (canoes, kayaks, dinghies, waka, yachts) is covered provided this is owned by the school and on the Asset Register. There is not any requirement for separate Marine Hull insurance. If the boat/vessel etc has a motor (fitted, fixed or not fitted or not fixed) then separate Marine Hull insurance is required.

Note that liability is insured for vessels up to 8 meters in length (except oar propelled vessels 20 meters).

Marsh will be able to provide a quotation through 0800 293031 (option 2).

17. Is Leased IT Equipment covered:

Whilst not owned by the school or BoT, provided the equipment is declared then these can be covered by the Risk Management Scheme. Whether by notation, but not added, to the Asset Register as the values can be significant the aggregate value needs declaring.