Is the School Covered by Their Insurer?
As soon as we were informed that educational visits could no longer take place, as a result of government guidance, both schools and providers were placed in a position where their visits had to be cancelled. Uncertainty regarding the guidance left insurers and providers unclear on how far in the future visits could realistically be cancelled. Also, when educational visits could begin to take place again. Do Educational Visit Coordinators and Headteachers really know what is covered by the school insurance? Are there areas not covered? (which they assumed were? e.g. travel, overseas, etc.) Was there any specific insurance taken for the visit?
What are the Provider’s Terms and Conditions?
Providers have been unable to operate during lockdown following school cancellations and closures and the implications of social distancing. Given that they’re seasonal organisations, the income in quarters 2 and 3 are fundamental to their survival, covering the shortfall between October and March, which are often run at cost or at a loss. Schools have been reminded that the ‘terms and conditions’ (which many people do not read!) due to the exceptional circumstances of this health emergency, cancellations are unavoidable. Hence the ability, for some, to be able to claim on insurance. However, even though an insurance claim is possible, for many the terms and conditions may be such that either payments continue to be paid up until the moment of travel, or the visit is cancelled, and cancellation payments are charged by the provider.
Where can I get Advice and Guidance on Claims?
There are several organisations supporting schools on claims for cancellations.
The consortium, comprising the Council for Learning Outside the Classroom, Outdoor Education Advisers’ Panel, School Travel Forum, Institute for Outdoor Learning, Association of Heads of Outdoor Education Centres, British Activity Providers Association and the Expedition Providers Association, is working with Government to secure support for schools now and going forward.
- Detailed guidance can be found here.
Have you Taken out Insurance Through the Risk Protection Arrangement (RPA) for Schools?
The Following Travel Question was put to the RPA: Will the RPA provide cancellation cover?
Answer: The RPA will accept all overseas and UK travel cancellation claims for this academic year from RPA members, we kindly ask that you return to your venues; tour operators; booking agents; credit card companies in the first instance to see if you can recover any monies back direct from them initially. We kindly ask you for evidence of this action when you submit your claim(s) as per the RPA membership pack. We are processing claims as quickly as possible but as you can imagine our enquiries and submitted claims numbers have been extraordinary, rest assured you will be paid in the fullness of time so parents can be reimbursed by yourselves. Going forward, the unprecedented situation throws light on the need to review and assess the insurance cover for educational visits!