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Your Top 10 PTO Insurance Questions—You Asked, We Answered

Your Top 10 PTO Insurance Questions

Get the inside scoop on PTO insurance so that you can feel confident picking the right plan for your group.


Does embezzlement really happen within school parent groups? Why can’t we have a bounce house at our event? Should we think twice before serving liquor at a fundraiser? Questions related to parent group insurance policies are one of the most frequent topics our Leader Support team deals with.

Specialty insurance tailored for parent groups isn’t the same as home or auto insurance—and figuring out how your policy works, along with what’s included and what’s not, isn’t always black and white. We compiled a list of our most asked insurance questions (with answers!) to help guide your group through the insurance process. You can always view our FAQ page or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with questions, too!

Why does a parent group need insurance in the first place?

Having a specialized insurance policy in place should be a top priority for all PTOs and PTAs. Every year, parent groups across the country face third-party liability suits or are victims of embezzlement. Having a specialized insurance plan protects your group.

Why doesn’t my school include our parent group under its policy?

In many states, school districts aren’t allowed to cover parent groups because they’re independent from the school and not government entities. However, there are some school districts out there who might still cover the group under their policy. If you’re unsure, schedule a meeting with your school’s admin to get a clear understanding.

What are the most common claims that parent groups file?

General liability claims are the most common claims filed. General liability covers things such as bodily harm or property damage. Some states require higher GL limits than others, and PTO Today is proud to offer the highest general liability limits ($2,000,000 per occurrence limit / $4,000,000 annual aggregate limit) of any specialty parent group insurance provider.

Does embezzlement within parent groups really happen?

Unfortunately, yes, and we’re hearing more and more about it every year. But the good news is that as long as your group has crime or bond coverage included in its insurance policy, you’ll be protected from internal (or external) theft issues. For additional tips, check out our article about preventing embezzlement.

We don’t have money budgeted for insurance; what should we do?

Your group could host a low-lift fundraiser (see question 9 for our favorite ideas) or ask for a direct contribution. In some cases, school districts will help cover the cost of insurance. If you’re not sure about your district’s policy, contact an admin and ask whether they’d be willing to help with the costs. Another option is to speak with other parent groups in your town. If all or several of the groups decide to purchase coverage together, PTO Today offers bulk discounts.

If someone gets hurts on a playground our PTO funded, are we liable?

Once your playground project is complete, we highly recommend gifting it to the school. That way it becomes the school’s property and it will be covered under the school’s insurance policy if something happens.

If our PTO funds a field trip, are we not allowed to provide transportation because of liability issues?

That depends on your insurance carrier’s policy, so we recommend checking with them to get a clear answer. PTO Today insurance does not cover any vehicular transportation. If you use a bus company to provide transportation, the company should have its own insurance. Another option is to raise the money for the buses and then donate the funds to the school. That way, the school assumes liability for the transportation.

How fast can we get additional riders for one-time events?

Don’t wait too long! To add an additional insured for an event covered by your PTO Today insurance, we request at least a week turnaround time (more if the event involves alcohol). However, rush situations can generally be accommodated and turned around within a few days. All insurance companies have different timelines, so it’s best to reach out to your carrier directly.

What are some great fundraisers we can host to beef up our bank account so that we can become a 501(c)(3) and get insurance?

To raise enough funds to cover those costs, our top choices for low-lift fundraisers include classroom penny wars, spiritwear sales, or a bingo night event. It costs $275 to apply for 501(c)(3) status using the 1023-EZ form, and PTO Today insurance packages start at $435/year, so one successful fundraiser should be able to cover both.

Why doesn’t PTO Today’s insurance packages cover inflatables?

We understand that groups like to have inflatables at their events. Even though they aren’t covered under PTO Today’s insurance, if you still plan to have one, hire a vendor who has the appropriate insurance coverage. Have the vendor name your parent group as an additional insured on its policy.

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