American news media began really talking about COVID-19, the Coronavirus that is currently spreading across the globe, back in January of 2020. Early on, I suppose it was easy to pay attention to the reports, but the reality of the situation had not yet sunk into the collective American consciousness.
Come February, Americans were rapidly relearning what our mothers constantly told us as children: "Wash your hands!"
Enter March, 2020. We're basically living in an altered reality where Americans stay home with their families, take walks, ride bikes, the roads are clear, the air is clean --- and there is a deadly virus spreading throughout our communities. Surreal as a descriptor would be an understatement.
In March, schools and school districts across the US began to shutter their doors, rapidly and frantically moving to a distance learning model, and really exposing the importance of K12 1:1 learning. Many districts found this to be no issue, as they had been and were currently deploying devices to students. Still many were caught off guard, and ill-prepared to deal with what seemed to be an overnight need to be fully one-to-one.
It became apparent that districts and vendors would have to team up, and work together to rapidly engineer and deploy solutions that work right the first time. At School Device Coverage, we looked at how we engineer our school device insurance solutions, and built in new methods of covering non-standard terms. Our device repair partners worked with their supply chains to ensure the proper amount of repair parts are on hand to deal with the demand, and the looming threat of a decreased amount of supplies from China.
Districts, beleaguered by the sheer amount of work ahead of them, hustled frantically to source devices, and find solutions to protect their investments. Our phones and email boxes began to load up with inquiries from these districts when they were turned down by the insurance companies that hold their master policies.
Most districts hold something like a business owner's policy that has some form of general liability coverage, commercial property coverage, etc. What these programs don't do, however, is protect devices when they are deployed to students. This is usually because there is a deductible on every claim that is normally in the ballpark of $1,000. When your $450 device has a broken screen that costs $135 to fix...your BOP isn't going to be able to help.
We close the gap here, but more on that in another blog.
It is now just about two weeks into our Safer At Home, pseudo-quarantine, and we're amazed by the speed at which districts have been able to deploy devices and kickstart 1:1 learning programs. For years, a great many districts have held out on using devices in class, or have been 1:1 but only in school...keeping devices in carts. As of March, 2020, it is no longer a question as to whether or not districts need to be full 1:1. COVID-19 provided that answer for us.
As always, the School Device Coverage team is here and will remain available to help you and your district. Please do not hesitate to reach out to us any time. We wish you, your families, your colleagues, and students health and safety as we await the departure of this virus.