What Types of Insurance Should School Systems Have on Buses

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In many parts of the country, school is back in session. And with the new school year, come new students and new school bus routes. Now that your schools’ buses are back on the road, it’s a good time to ask yourself: “When’s the last time I made sure my fleet of buses has the most up-to-date insurance?”

Making sure your school buses are properly insured is crucial to protecting your school financially. Since insurance plans are much different for buses than they are with automobiles. Do you have a thorough understanding of what the policy entails, as well as how much coverage you really need?

First, it’s imperative to know the differences between auto and bus insurance. This begins with vehicle classification. The article “School Bus Requirements for Auto Insurance” defines a bus as a passenger transportation vehicle whereas a car is a personal use vehicle. And because a bus can hold more people, it requires the driver to have a commercial driver’s license.

Because buses are passenger vehicles, the auto insurance requirements differ from standard auto insurance requirements, and they often also vary by state. To determine your state’s requirements, contact your state’s Department of Motor Vehicles for the requirements. In general, most states require greater liability coverage on school bus insurance policies for the driver, passengers and school system.

But why are insurance requirements higher for buses? To put it simply, the more passengers a vehicle can carry, the greater the risk of injury resulting from accident. With the proper liability amount from insurance, it can provide you with the financial protection you need in the unfortunate event an accident occurs.

Is it time to update your school system’s school bus insurance? Contact Lamb Financial Group for assistance in finding the right auto policy for your bus fleet.

Tips for Choosing an Insurance Broker for Your Organization

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While some needs of social service organizations can be similar to other businesses, the risks and exposures are very different. Because the risks and exposures are so unique, they require specific types of insurance coverage. For this reason, it’s most beneficial to have the help of an insurance professional who specializes in covering social services to ensure your organization is not under-covered or over-covered.

Many social service organizations find it beneficial to work with an insurance broker, rather than an insurance agent, when purchasing insurance. Insurance brokers exist to expedite the search while also producing better results because they have access to multiple carriers, unlike insurance agents, and are more familiar with plans and products available from the carriers they represent. However, not all insurance brokers produce the same results, so it is essential for social service organizations to learn the characteristics that distinguish great insurance brokers.

Here are tips to help social service organizations choose the right insurance broker:

– Go to an insurance broker that understands your organization’s industry. For example, a New York insurance broker with social service experience is best positioned to understand the needs of an assisted living facility in New York.
– Choose established and experienced insurance brokers over newcomers. Established insurance brokers have better connections, and can provide better services and more information.
– Spend the time learning as much as you can about an insurance broker before you decide if it’s the right one for your organization. Make sure you understand their fees and services, and ask them questions about their markets and clients. If possible, find out about these clients’ experiences or ask for referrals. A good insurance broker will be honest and upfront.
– Ask how the insurance broker keeps their clients up-to-date as well as how they follow up on services. Good insurance brokers not only go out of their way to get their clients the best insurance policies, but they are also easily accessed and always poised to respond promptly should their clients have issues or concerns.

Nonprofit and social services organizations in New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and beyond, who are looking for an experienced insurance broker can contact Lamb Financial Group. We are insurance brokers who specialize in nonprofit and social services organizations. Our team has the experience and knowledge needed to help clients find the right insurance for their organizations’ specific needs. Contact us today at 1-866-481-5262.

Managing the Risks of Playgrounds

The playground may be the kids’ favorite part of school, but it’s often the least favorite part for school nurses that have to tend to injuries. Playgrounds can be the area of highest risk when it comes to school properties.

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The National Program for Playground Safety (NPPS) conducted an injury study for children from over a seven-year period and found that 51% of preschool and elementary-aged children received emergency care after suffering injuries on school playground equipment. Even more disconcerting is the fact that of the incidents reported, 67% of the injuries occurred due to fall or equipment failure. The study also identifies some of the top pieces of equipment that were associated with injury, which include climbers, swings and slides.

To ensure your playground and its equipment are safe to use, regularly inspections are a must. Consider using guides like the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s public playground checklist and the NPPS playground safety report card to help identify safety hazards to be addressed. Some of the items on the list include:

– Checking for protruding sharp ends or bolts
– Checking elevated areas of equipment to make sure there are guardrails in place
– Having surfaces around equipment filled with 12 inches of mulch, sand or wood chips to help absorb the impact of a fall
– Making sure equipment is free of rust, cracks and is not missing any parts
– Designating separate play areas for children ages 2-5 and for children ages 5-12

It’s also imperative to have staff watching the children during recess. Adults should be able see children at all times so there will be no blind spots. This will allow adults to be able to see what happens in the event of accident and be able to respond quickly.

It’s also necessary to have the right insurance policies in place to protect your organization if a playground accident does happen. This is where Lamb Financial Group can help. We will work with you to ensure you have the social services insurance you need if the unexpected occurs.