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Why having student accident coverage can be smart move

The state of Florida has 67 county school districts. Some school boards purchase student accident insurance to cover the entire school district student population. Many private schools choose to cover their student body using this same method. This type of policy is referred to as “blanket or mandatory.”

Several school boards choose to have a plan known as voluntary coverage. This allows the parents to select and purchase medical or accident insurance voluntarily for their child. This method of providing student accident insurance saves the school board a large expense in their budget.

Most of the county school districts select and contract with a plan administrator which offers both mandatory and voluntary plans. The plan premiums usually start at $10- $12 annually for school time coverage. Sports premiums are higher.

The voluntary plans have a schedule of benefits with specific limits for each accident. For example, $2,000 per day in the hospital, $500 for X-rays and imaging, etc. These plans usually carry a maximum limit of $25,000 with no deductible.

Some school districts require any student involved in extracurricular activities to purchase one of these plans from the contracted administrator. Other school districts only require proof of insurance either from their parents or otherwise.

The school district requirement for students to purchase the student accident insurance plan is important.

A student signs up for football showing only proof of his parents group insurance. He would be allowed to play, which is happening in some county school districts.

However, two weeks later, unknown to the coach and the school officials, his father loses his job and group insurance. That student would no longer be covered and would continue to play football. The parent will not normally inform the school district or coach of the loss of insurance. This scenario would place the school board at risk of a lawsuit in the event of an injury.

If a student has medical insurance and purchases the student accident plan it will pay most of the out-of-pocket expenses such as deductibles and co-pays. For the low premium, it is a valuable policy when a claim occurs.

Our company, School Insurance Agency, contracts with 33 county school districts in Florida for student accident insurance. We provide all of the principles and coaches with password access to our student database online. So the principals or coaches can monitor who has student accident insurance and who can participate in school events.

The Florida High School Activities Association requires a catastrophic sports accident plan of at least $1 million with a $25,000 deductible. This is usually referred to as a Cat plan and the premium is usually paid by the school board. The mandatory or voluntary plans previously mentioned usually have a $25,000 maximum limit that will normally satisfy this deductible. Here again is another good reason to purchase voluntary student accident insurance.

Robert “Bob” Fowinkle, the president of Moore, Fowinkle, & Shroer Agency in Bradenton, can be reached at (941) 755-2628 or by e-mail at popeye10@verizon.net.

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