February 26, 2019
Are They Covered? Why Special Events Are Needed
By Peggy Wilson
Vice President Client Services – Gallagher
As a MUSIC Member, you have your property and casualty coverage under one comprehensive plan for all participating members. For events happening on and around campus, the rule of thumb for whether a particular event is covered comes down to the answers to two questions: 1) Is this a school/college sponsored event? and 2) Does the money run through the school/college books? If ‘yes’ to both of these questions, unless excluded, the event should be covered under your regular coverage through MUSIC.
- The definition of SCHOOL SPONSORED means that the school/college manages, supervises, and controls the event. This is required because MUSIC provides coverage to you. The member, prior to joining, completes an application, signs required documentation, and requests to join MUSIC. Annual renewal questionnaires are done gathering additional exposures for your school/college.
If a group or organization has events, even though they are assisting the member, whether it be financially giving back or working to better the member, but is in control, manages, and is supervising an event on school premises, this means it is NOT school sponsored. MUSIC did not collect information from these groups, nor do we have signed documentation from these groups or organizations on file. MUSIC does not insure these groups. They are considered a separate organization or entity.
We strongly suggest that if you have a non-school sponsored group having an event on your premises, that they provide you with proof of liability insurance. This can be done by the group requesting a certificate of liability insurance from their liability carrier/agent showing the MUSIC member as an additional insured with respect to the use of your facilities.
- Money must run through your books. This means that you, the member, are aware of any and all transactions associated with this group/organization for their event(s). You, once again, have control of the money associated with vendors, supplies, etc.
There are many events that either one or both criteria are not met and this is when we suggest that the member require those groups/organizations to have their own insurance. This is so that the MUSIC member is not responsible for something they have no control over. MUSIC provides you with insurance that protects the district/college. However, they do not provide coverage for non-school sponsored events or if you do not have control over the funding.
If a group/organization has an event on your premises without insurance, and a claim occurs, those groups/organizations will not be protected and would end up paying out of their own pockets if they have a judgement against them. You, as a member, have coverage for your interests and are protected.
We also suggest that you refer to your Board Policy on the use of facilities by outside organizations. Most policies indicate that anyone who uses your facilities is required to have and provide proof of their insurance prior to the use of your facilities. There are some members that do not require this and have changed their policies to show this.
As you know, Districts must follow Board Policy. By not following Policy, you are vulnerable to a lawsuit.
There are many resources available to these outside groups/organizations to purchase general liability coverage. They can go to their local insurance agent for an annual policy for their insurance needs, or if they are just looking for one-time event coverage, MUSIC has an online program that can be accessed through the MUSIC Public website at www.musicprogram.org. Click on Coverage & Services/Special Events Coverage/Apply for Special Events Coverage. This will take them to a site where a short application can be completed online and a quote will be provided. It will require your Venue ID Code (found under Document Library) OR they can type in the MUSIC member name where indicated. If the user wishes to purchase this coverage, they can do so with an e-check or credit card. Please note that this coverage is only for events that happen on school premises.
Project Graduation and After Prom events are approaching, these, in most cases, would usually require the sponsor to be insured.
If you have additional questions on this, please feel free to contact the MUSIC Team at firstname.lastname@example.org and email us your questions or concerns.