Movement To Arm Teachers Faces An Unexpected Hurdle: Insurance

It’s hard to write a relevant article about shootings in America because by the time your writing goes to print another one seems to have happened. No matter your politics, no one can deny that the United States is facing an epidemic of public shootings, specifically ones that are school related. In response, many people want to arm teachers in schools. In fact, Kansas passed a law 2013 allowing teachers to arm themselves, yet no teacher has capitalized on that yet. Why? As it turns out, it’s because of insurance.

While the political discussion surrounding the idea of arming teachers has certainly been fraught lately, few have considered the insurance implications of such a move. To better understand how the insurance industry will affect this conversation, one only has to look at Kansas.

Even though Kansas passed a law allowing teachers to arm themselves in the classroom, no teachers have actually done so in the five years the law has been in place. This is because EMC Insurance, the insurer that is responsible for most of the school districts in Kansas, has said that they will not cover any school that arms their teachers.

EMC sent out a letter to all of their agents detailing the reasoning behind the decision not to cover any schools that allow armed teachers on the premise. According to the letter “EMC…concluded that concealed handguns on school premises pose a heightened liability risk…Because of this increased risk, we have chosen not to insure schools that allow employees to carry concealed handguns…We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company,”.

Of course, this issue could be avoided if legislation addressing it was passed. As it turns out, that exactly what Kansas is looking to do. No one knows how this is going to play out in Kansas, let alone across the rest of the country. However, it is something to consider when discussing the possibility of arming teachers.

Sources:
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/guns-schools-insurance-premiums-could-present-hurdle-arming-teachers-n859846