Spring Cove hikes violent incident insurance

District increases coverage to $6M

ROARING SPRING — At the suggestion of Spring Cove School District’s insurance carrier, CM Regent, board members have increased the district’s Violent Incident Protection coverage from $250,000 to $6 million.

During the board’s regular meeting Monday, Superintendent Betsy Baker introduced the insurance policy.

“The insurance provider is saying, ‘This is a new option, and we really recommend it now,'” Baker said.

Baker added Pennsylvania has not made statement recommending or advising against the insurance coverage.

Kathy Hazenstab, the board secretary and business manager, informed members CM Regent currently provides the district with up to $250,000 in violent incident protection.

“A violent incident event means any event involving an assailant where a weapon has been used by the assailant in or on any location, which causes bodily injury and/or physical loss or physical damage to your property,” Hazenstab said.

She also informed the board the district has enough insurance money budgeted to pay for premium options up to

$6 million in coverage, which would cost the district $16,600 annually.

“Is there any way we can find out what kind of coverage our peer school districts have?” board member James Butler asked. “I’d like to know where we’re at with everywhere else. I’d also like some time to do some research and think it over.”

Baker said she was not aware of other school districts’ coverage rates, but even if Spring Cove spent all the money allocated for insurance, it might not be enough.

“(The insurance carrier) did say these instances can cost tens of millions, which

$6 million wouldn’t cover,” she said. “However, these instances are not common. But it would only take one.”

Board member Troy Wright asked the board solicitor, Jennifer Dambeck with Beard Legal Group, if the insurance would be more than needed.

“I want to make sure that we’re not double covering something,” Wright said.

Dambeck said some insurance overlap was likely but minimal, because the violent incident protection was a policy targeting a specific event.

Hazenstab said the policy would cover damage to buildings and personal property, provide liability coverage in the event of a lawsuit and extended liability for off-site educational, recreational and sporting activities, cover extra expenses including funeral costs, counseling for victims, wages for temporary staff and provide crisis communication support.

“The insurance does cover sporting events, which is something I recommend,” Dambeck said.

Board member Linda Smith asked if the district could pull money from elsewhere to increase the protection further.

“Six million dollars is not enough,” Smith said.

Hazenstab said she recommended the district purchase the $6 million policy.

“I think $6 million is a starting point,” she said.

The board voted unanimously, with Board President Brian Gahagan and member Charles Gojmerac absent, to approve an increase of coverage to $6 million.