Student Accident Insurance May End in Brick, Again
BOE: Money may be able to be put to better use
Taxpayer-funded student accident insurance may have fallen out of favor with the township Board of Education.
The secondary insurance policy, funded by the school district, covers students who sustain injuries during after school activities such as sports that are not a result of negligence. Whatever costs a parent's insurance policy does not cover, such as a deductible, is covered by the secondary policy.
For the past two years, however, Brick has not funded the policy through taxes, preferring to offer the policies to students for $76 per school year.
For the 2012-13 school year, however, the Board of Education decided to re-fund the insurance policy, a decision board members are now rethinking.
"I think that, at this point … the money could be spent in a different direction," said board member Kim Terebush.
Terebush was on the board when the policy was first cut from the budget, and said she stands by her vote at the time.
"We eliminated the policy, and no one was banging on the door saying they wanted to submit a claim," said Business Administrator Jim Edwards.
Edwards said in two years, only two people asked to submit claims, thinking the district still offered the policy.
For Brick to purchase the policy, it would cost $298,000 with a $500 district-funded deductible and $285,000 with a $1,000 deductible of the same type, Edwards said.
Other local districts' policies vary in scope, but are priced from $45,000 at Central Regional High School to $506,000 in Toms River.
"They are also considering, in future years, doing it in a different way," said Edwards, of Toms River.
If the insurance policy goes away, board members were in agreement that parents must be notified that the school district does not pay for the insurance, but it is available for a fee. There were some questions over the past two school years as to whether parents were properly notified.
There has also been a debate as to whether board policy must be changed. Current policy holds that the school district "provides" accident insurance, but there is no mention that it must pay for it. School administration has asked the board to clarify the policy once a decision on whether or not to carry the policy is reached.
Board member Larry Reid said all student athletes' parents should sign off on a document indicating they have been notified of the policy in place.