Risk Management Scheme

Liability Insurance is a requirement for all schools. Your board of trustees may already have arrangements in place for Liability Insurance cover. Yet how do you know whether you have adequate cover in place to ensure that you are protected in the event that a large claim is brought against the school Board. What schools want is peace of mind to enable them to get on with the business of running schools and to be certain that insurance is in place for certain events.

Over many years the Ministry of Education has worked with Lumley, a business division of IAG New Zealand Limited to provide an exclusive Risk Management programme for schools which included cover for Liability and Contents. Lumley only provide insurance for Liability with the Contents covered by the Ministry.

For frequently asked question regarding Liability click here.

What Does the Risk Management Scheme Cover?

Summary of Cover - Liability

Refer to the Summary of Cover page on this Website.

How is the Risk Management Scheme for Liability funded?

Premiums are fully funded by the Ministry of Education through the schools operational grant and fit the funding levels set. This means that you get more insurance cover from the Ministry of Education then ever before, so you don't need to make separate arrangements for schools liability cover.

How do I sign up for this cover?

If you are enrolled in the Ministry of Education Risk Management Scheme, then your school has insurance for Liability insurance in place as outlined. If you are not in the MOE Scheme or have any questions about your existing cover, simply contact the dedicated Ministry of Education Risk Management team at Marsh on 0800 293 031 and select option 2.

Risk Management

What can your Board and School Management do to reduce your school liability and claims?

At Lumley, our Risk Management strategy is firstly, prevention is better than the cure or a claim. While having insurance in place will provide a school with some peace of mind, there are often irrecoverable costs of claims including wasted management time, stress, reputational damage and other monetary costs that insurance does not cover.

By following some simple strategies, schools and Boards can ensure that claims are kept at a minimum to let them get on with running the school.

Lumley has put together some tips on how your school can avoid claims as much as possible.

  • Before employing staff, follow up all references and make proper enquiries about the suitability of the potential employee
  • Obtain police vetting with the employee's consent
  • Confirm the teacher registration status of a potential teacher
  • Put all offers of employment in writing and record all terms in writing
  • If employing someone on a fixed term ensure that there is a genuine reason for the fixed term
  • Should a disciplinary issue or other staff issue arise, ensure that you consult with a New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) or other legal advisor as to a process to follow (failure to follow a proper process can lead to a grievance)
  • If you are meeting with an employee in a disciplinary setting ensure that they are not ambushed and have had adequate notice of the meeting, details of the allegations, the right to have a representative present, ensure that a another member of management is present to take notes, listen with an open mind and do not have a decision pre-determined
  • Ensure that there is no grounds for an employee to claim bias by the school - if a staff member is implicated then do not involve them in any decision making whatsoever
  • All warnings should be put in writing- there is no such thing as a verbal warning
  • Regularly review your employment agreements and policies
  • Actively performance manage your employees- the longer you leave it the more difficult it becomes to exit a poor performing employee
  • Ensure that you have good Health and Safety policies and procedures in place, be vigilant and ensure that your health and safety team are actively identifying all hazards and the school is eliminating them. Consider that hazards will also apply to visitors, contractors and ground staff not just students
  • Ensure that you have good Internet and Email usage policies and that all staff members are regularly reminded of them. Check email usage
  • Ensure that there is proper accountability and separation of duties for anyone handling money
  • Check processes of stand downs and expulsions of students if you are unsure
  • Seek legal advice in relation to the termination of any staff member

Who to seek assistance from in relation to your claim

It is important that you seek assistance at the earliest stage when dealing with issues that could lead to a claim.

If you require urgent advice, please contact the Lumley School Liability helpline on 0800 293 031. The helpline provides you with the following options:

  • If you require urgent advice with an issue regarding an employee or student, we recommend that you select option 1 to contact NZSTA. Alternatively for employment problems or potential disputes, you may wish to call your local NZSTA Personnel/Industrial Relations Advisor
  • If you require any information or advice about the extent of cover under the School Liability Scheme, you can talk to a representative from Marsh by selecting option 2
  • If you require general employment law legal advice, please select option 3
  • If you wish to talk to Lumley about a liability claim, select option 4 to speak to a Lumley liability claims team member

Lumley has a dedicated Liability claims team currently staffed by six claims handlers. Our claims team have experience in all liability matters and there is a dedicated staff member who has experience in employment law and education law.

How do you notify Lumley of a claim?

To ensure that you have cover under the Schools Liability Insurance Scheme, you need to notify Lumley in writing of any claims or circumstances that may give rise to a claim. To do this, post, fax or email details of the matter to:

PO Box 2426, Auckland
Ph: 09 3081100
Freephone: 0800 111 888