Posted on April 29, 2020 by Matt Morelli
The spread of COVID-19, really taking root in March of 2020, fundamentally changed the way many school districts across the US look at 1:1 educational technology programs. While most districts had already become 1:1 or were actively moving in that direction, hundreds of districts maintained focus on paper and pencil learning.
Now, things are different. So if your district is actively looking into how to best create a 1:1 program, here is some information to consider when discussing how you will protect the devices when they are inside, or outside of school...
1) Do iPads, Chromebooks, laptops, or tablets need insurance?
That depends on how you want to run your program, your budget, your ability to fix or replace broken devices, whether you want to hold parents liable or not, how much extra time you or your team has to work these incidents, etc. There are a lot of things to consider here. Devices will get broken, there is no question about that. The only question is, who is going to pay to repair them, out of which budget, and how.
2) Will the district's master insurance policy cover devices?
Generally, no. The only time the district's master insurance policy will cover the devices, is when all of the devices are damaged or lost during the course of the same event. For example, if all of the devices are at the district office over summer, and the office catches fire, destroying all of the devices, the master policy will cover the damages. If, however, a device is given to a student, and that student damages or loses the device, the master policy will not cover it because it will very likely be valued at less than the cost of the claim deductible. Even if multiple devices are damaged on the same day, if they were distributed amongst multiple students and experience different events that lead to their destruction, the master policy would not cover it because each event is unique, and would require it's own claim and deductible.
3) Can devices be insured by parents under their homeowners policy?
This depends on who owns the device. If your district runs a BYOD (bring your own device) type of program, and the devices are owned by the parents then they may be added to the homeowners policy. However, in the event of damage and a claim is filed against their homeowners policy, there is a chance that it could contribute to their policy premium increasing next time they renew, and they may still have to deal with a claim deductible which will likely be more expensive than the cost of the device or its repair.
If the district owns the device, then it would be ineligible for coverage under a parent's homeowners policy.
4) Can we insure devices if they are leased?
Yes. Absolutely. In fact, most device leasing companies or companies that finance the leases require that the units are insured. If you need assistance with leasing devices, or getting funding to lease them please do not hesitate to reach out to us. We maintain close relationships with organizations ancillary to what we do, that may be helpful for you and your 1:1 planning.
5) What is covered, and what is not covered?
Most insurance companies will cover the same types of events generally, but you should ask for specifics if you're shopping around. Not all companies treat events equally. Accidental damage is pretty self-explanatory, but there are limits in some programs, and maybe less limits in others. Accidentally knocking an iPad off of a table, resulting in a broken screen is one thing. Using an iPad to block an incoming baseball, resulting in a broken screen, is another.
Additionally, loss and theft are two considerations about which you should have clarity. Some device insurers simply do not touch loss and theft. Others may cover loss, but not theft. Within this, may be a variety of dubious scenarios that can result in a claim being approved, or denied. School Device Coverage insures against both loss and theft, even though sometimes it may be challenging to figure out of a device was lost, or stolen. If a child leaves a device at the lunch table, and returns only to find that it is gone...did the student lose it, or was it stolen?
To process a claim for loss or theft, we make it simple --- file a police report for a missing device, which can be done online in nearly all jurisdictions and does not cost any money. This way, whether the device was lost or stolen, if it pops up and the police get their hands on it, they can track it back to your district. Meanwhile, SDC will have already handled that claim for you. We normally do not ask for the lost or stolen device to be sent in to us --- just keep it and use it for spare parts, or a loaner device if you'd like to.
The coverage terms should be clear and easy to understand, and you should make sure that you take some time to read them and ask any questions that you may have to any insurance company you're researching. You can find our coverage terms by visiting our policy page here.
We'll have more details to help guide you through the insurance process coming up in future blogs. Stay tuned!