Why Do International School Directors Need Directors & Officers Insurance?
International School Directors are routinely responsible for decisions that often have the potential to have far-reaching effects for their organizations. The possibility of an international school director being held liable for a decision made on the job is one that shouldn’t be ignored. Not only do international school directors face a high risk of personal liability, the international school or organization itself can suffer from an accusation against a director. Due to this heightened risk, it is important for directors, trustees, and board members to be covered by Directors and Officers Insurance for International Schools. According to Scott Jacobs, Clements Special Risks Manager specializing in International Education, “It is important to remember that even the best intentions do not always protect a board or trustee from liability, particularly with cultural sensitivities that can result in a constituent feeling discriminated against or political and civil unrest not uncommon in many developing nations.” Even a frivolous lawsuit can be very expensive to defend.
What is Directors And Officers Insurance?
Directors and Officers Insurance for international schools provides organizations, directors, trustees, officers and board members with the proper coverage in the event they are sued for alleged wrongful acts or negligence. It covers legal liabilities for alleged wrongful acts in their capacity as directors and officers and protects the personal finances of those board members that are exposed. Employments Practices liability is available with D&O to protect against suits from wrongful termination, discrimination, and harassment.
What Risks are Faced by International School Directors?
Unfortunately, international school directors can be held liable for myriad reasons. The personal assets of a director can be at risk if he/she or the entire board is named in a lawsuit. The type of liabilities is extremely broad. Potential lawsuits faced by Directors and Officers include mismanagement of funds, failure of oversight, and conflict of interest. With so many stakeholders – students, parents, employees, alumni, donors, etc. – board members and trustees should consider International School D&O Insurance to make sure their personal assets are protected.
Jacobs also explains, “You can’t assume you will only be sued in your country of operations. You have a global population of students and teachers that you recruit worldwide. Therefore, you need to be protected worldwide.”
How Can Directors and Officers Insurance Mitigate Risk?
Coverage for Directors and Officers insurance and trustee insurance can be highly customized, with the extent of the protection, and ultimately the cost, varying based on the limitations and exclusions listed in the policy. Clements recommends a complete Educators’ Legal Liability (ELL) package, which includes Directors and Officers Liability, Employment Practice Liability, and Professional (Errors & Omissions) Liability. The insurance will cover costs of mounting a defense or paying a settlement. Having this coverage helps protect the financial resources of the school and its board should a lawsuit arise.
Additionally, the Broad Definition of Educational Practices Wrongful Acts (created for schools) includes coverage for claims arising out of Suspension or Discipline; Teaching or Instruction; Counseling or Guidance; Grading; Placement, Admission Decisions; Scholarships; Stipend and Award Grants.
By learning about potential liabilities faced by international school directors, board, or trustees, an organization’s directors and officers are positioned to strategically manage risk and ensure continuing operations. Speaking with an insurance professional experienced in helping to protect international school directors can give educational institutions a clear understanding of how directors insurance for school trustees can protect personal and organizational assets in the event of a liability claim.
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