Activities and Vendors

High Risk Activities

The following list of high hazard student activities have a deductible of $500 per occurrence:

  • Rafting
  • Ziplining
  • High Ropes Courses
  • Trampolines (except mini-trampolines used for Special Education Programs)
  • Horse Back Riding (except when part of Special Education Programs)
  • Dunk Tanks
  • Scuba Diving
  • Outdoor Rock Climbing
  • Airsoft or Paintball Activities
  • Bungee Jumping
  • Inflatable Devices (including, but not limited to, bounce houses, hamster balls, zorb balls, slides, mazes, and obstacle courses)

Inflatables

Inflatable amusement devices, sometimes known as "bounce houses" are commonly provided at fundraisers and other school events. Unfortunately, where bounce houses are concerned, not everyone is having a good time.

The JPA is seeing a trend of serious injuries associated with these devices. This includes a dislocated knee and a broken femur. The same problem is being reported across the country, where at least 4 deaths have occurred. The critical issues for schools are:

  1. Mixed ages and sizes of children (and sometimes adults, too) pose a danger to the smaller users when they collide or land on top of each other.
  2. Lack of supervision. Many of these devices are enclosed, with little or no field of vision to enable supervisors to keep an eye on things. And supervisors are often too distracted by other event activities or socializing.
  3. Inflatables are sometimes not properly secured; a gust of wind can carry them away, with users tumbling and falling out of the opening.
  4. The equipment can be very unsanitary, posing a threat of bacterial illness through hand contact.

It should be a clue that few companies renting bounce houses will provide evidence of liability insurance. Instead, they ask the school to sign a waiver of liability, causing the school to be responsible for potential claims and litigation.

Liquor Liability

In the past, the JPA has required schools to obtain separate liquor liability insurance. Under the current year's liability coverage, there is no exclusion. While this is not an exposure that we welcome, there is coverage.

That said, we do expect risk management techniques to be utilized:

  • Organizers must follow applicable laws relating to age verification. Obviously, no one under the legal age - or who doesn't have an ID on their person - should be served.
  • A method of limiting consumption should be instituted, e.g. maximum of two drink coupons per person, or (less preferable) charging a substantial amount that will naturally inhibit sales.
  • Hire a qualified bartender from a vendor (caterer, etc.) that carries its own liability insurance.
  • No alcohol on campus at any time.
  • There should be a placard or some other form of notice that is readily visible that reminds attendees to drink responsibly and reminds them there is a two-drink limit.
  • Attendees should be informed that the event organizers or bartenders will call a cab for them if they feel they should not drive after the event. This could be done by the Master of Ceremonies or it could be posted at tables or the bar.

The JPA understands the importance of fund raising events to its members. However, the serving and sale of alcohol places a serious financial and moral responsibility upon the member organizations. Courts have adopted a zero tolerance approach to DUI and the penalties are severe.

Fireworks

The JPA insurance coverage does not support the sale or exhibition of fireworks. Our reinsurers do not allow it, due to known liability exposures such as bodily injury (including eye injuries and burns) and property damage (fires, vehicle damage). From the standpoint of the JPA's reinsurers, this exposure was not anticipated when the premium was calculated and the exposure is not in keeping with an educational entity's risk profile.

Sue Bedard

Susan Bedard
Senior Risk and Claims Manager

Phone: 818.394.6544
Fax: 916.720.0324

sbedard@chartersafe.org