Lots of PTO leaders reach out to us with questions about insurance. It’s not uncommon for people (especially newer leaders) to get overloaded when it comes to insurance. They aren’t sure whether their group already has it or why they’d even need it. 

So we’d like to make it a little less complicated for you with this quick checklist for new leaders: 

1. Start with the assumption that your group really should have insurance. (And we aren’t saying this just because we offer it.) You want to go through the school year without worrying that one mishap, bad decision, or injury could cost your group money or land it in a lawsuit.

2. Find out what’s up with your school district. It may require that parent groups have insurance. It may also provide some amount of insurance. You may need to purchase your own policy to cover the gaps. 

3. Review the different types of coverage. Typically policies are put together with some combination of coverage, including: 

General liability: This covers your group should someone get hurt at one of your events. Lots of schools won’t even allow the PTO to host an event unless it has this coverage.

Excess accidental medical: This coverage would go beyond the coverage an injured person would have from their own personal medical insurance. 

Crime: We see stories about embezzlement all the time. This coverage would give a group up to $25,000 per year if money is stolen. 

Directors and officers liability: This provides coverage for individual officers should they be targeted in a lawsuit over a claim of misrepresentation or mismanagement of the group.

Property: This insurance protects items your group owns, like computers and popcorn machines, from theft or damage. 

We also have a helpful Insurance Info Sheet that you can download to get more information on types of insurance. When you click on the download button, you'll be prompted to input your email and then you can grab the info sheet. 

4. By taking a look at the types of events, programs, and activities your group is planning, you should get a pretty good sense of what you may need. For example, you may realize your group doesn’t own any equipment, so property insurance won’t be necessary. 

5. Discuss your options with your board members. 

6. If you have any questions at all, we’re happy to help review the basics with you. Call our leader support team at 800-644-3561 to chat.

Originally published in 2016 and updated regularly.