Running any educational institution - from a small private elementary school to a public high school to a university is a complex operation. School boards, administrators, and staff members must support a school’s educational goals while protecting students, employees, and property.
The COVID-19 pandemic has added new challenges for the education sector as well. Schools must take special steps to open and operate safely—whether classes are held in person, online, or following a hybrid model.
Identifying Risks to Educational Institutions
Accidents, mismanagement, and criminal actions—such as cyber attacks—can all place educational institutions at risk. Unaddressed risks can expose schools to financial losses and reputational damage, as well as undermine a school’s ability to fulfill its academic mission.
Administrators and risk managers can mitigate their institution’s exposure by identifying risks, taking preventive actions, and working closely with insurance advisors to develop a comprehensive coverage package. In addition to addressing risks specific to education, schools must also protect against common risks faced by any enterprise.
Risks of Student Life
University provides new opportunities and experiences for millions of students every year. Students often live, work, and learn closely together. This environment, combined with new freedoms for young adults, can create risks; by identifying these risks, schools can put plans in place to limit their exposures.
Risks of Academic Operations
Operating a school carries a range of risks. Administrators and risk managers seeking to limit exposure may want to consider the following areas:
Don’t Forget Common Enterprise Risks
When it comes to risk management, it makes sense for educational institutions to focus on exposures that are specific to their sector. But universities and schools also have operations—and risk exposures—that are common to most large enterprises. As you review your institution’s risks, you may want to consider the following types of coverage:
Protecting School Property
The best way to limit loss or damage to property is to prevent costly incidents from happening in the first place, and educational institutions can benefit from working with risk engineers to identify and minimise property risks such as:
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