The back-to-school season of 2020 is like nothing we’ve seen before. Families and teachers alike are scrambling to adapt to various combinations of online, remote and in-person schooling. Because of the uncertainty involved with online learning and continued concern with the COVID-19 pandemic, many parents have decided to tackle their children’s educations on their own.
As well, a growing number of parents have decided to pool their resources and form multi-family home schools — or home-schooling pods. They’re turning to social media to find resources for organizing their home schools, with ideas for technology, lesson plans, and the coordination of remote activities between the local school and the home school. Some parents plan to rotate the duties of teaching the children, while others are hiring teachers to come to their homes.
But there is still more to consider if you’ve started a home school. One of your main considerations should be insurance.
What happens if a child is accidentally injured in your home? Or if the teacher is injured? What if one of the children, parents or the teacher contracts COVID-19 while in your home?
If you’re home schooling or are participating in a home-schooling pod, your Trusted Choice® Independent Insurance Agent can help you assess your insurance needs.
Coverage situations will vary depending on a variety of factors — anything from your specific homeowners policy, who is leading the school activities, and whether payment is involved.
Consider the following questions if you will host a home-schooling pod or if your child will be attending one in someone else’s home.
Is Running a Home-Schooling Pod a Business?
This depends on whether parents are paying for the homeschooling. If the parents involved are alternating hosting and running the school activities themselves without charging a fee, each parent’s homeowners coverage may be sufficient in the case of a fall or injury. This may be a good time to ask your Trusted Choice agent about adding an umbrella liability policy to your homeowners coverage for extra liability protection.
But pooled home-schooling becomes more complicated when the parents start charging money or hire and pay a teacher. At that point, operating the home-schooling pod would likely constitute running a business, and your homeowners coverage may no longer provide coverage.
Some insurance carriers may allow you to add additional coverage to your homeowners policy through a special busines endorsement. In addition, in some cases, the teacher may be the one required to have the business insurance coverage.
Another suggested strategy is to form a limited liability company (LLC) or sub-chapter S corporation to operate the homeschool. Though complex and potentially cost-prohibitive, this option would allow for greater liability protection.
State Laws May Vary
Depending on your state, hosting a home-schooling pod may require obtaining a license to run a school. Your state also may require more extensive insurance coverage, such as workers compensation coverage for the teacher.
Parents should also be aware of state and local laws regarding operating a home day care, which could involve additional regulations.
More Questions for Your Trusted Choice Agent
If you plan to participate in home-schooling, here are a few more of the basic questions you and your Trusted Choice agent will need to discuss to be sure you, your home school, the students and teachers are adequately protected:
- How many children will be included in the homeschooling pod?
- Who will lead school activities and conduct lessons in your home?
- Will you pay a teacher to conduct lessons?
- Will you transport children in the home-school pod in your vehicle? Only your own or also others?
- Does your homeowners policy provide coverage for operating a business?
- Should you consider adding an umbrella liability policy to your homeowners coverage?
- Will your policy cover other people’s computer equipment?
Make your Trusted Choice agent one of your home school’s resources.