In a previous blog post, we discussed why a central calendar is important. Another major topic in the majority of discussions with educational organizations is the tracking of insurance policies for outside groups that use educational facilities. The day you open the doors of a building, it is susceptible to damage and risks. With public organizations renting your facilities, a new layer of risk has to be considered.
We have heard several stories of damages:
- Donkey Basketball in gyms
- New motorized bleachers that usage instructions were not provided, and the group manually pulled out the seats
- Community fairs on new turf with rides
- Stage and audio-visual equipment
- Locks and security equipment
- Restroom fixtures
- Cafeteria tables and chairs
Monies due to damages can quickly add up over a year in addition to utilities, usage of paper products, custodial overtime, etc., not to mention liability costs. If you have your own stories or tips to share, please feel free to comment below.
All organizations using your facility can pose some risks for your institution, so be sure to periodically (and carefully) identify risks. You will want to work with your various departments and primary building contacts on a plan to minimize your exposure. People will need to understand that without proper insurance information and policies and procedures that your institution could be held liable for personal injury & property damage. Also, without proper policies, your institution could even be held liable even if organization uses the facilities in a way deemed as not normal or appropriate.
Consider a risk assessment coordinator to monitor issues and identify solutions to minimize those risks. Be sure to track any work relating to an event as Accidental Damage or Vandalism relating to interal or outside groups. Photos are also critical, so consider snapping photos of a "before" for commonly used areas now, so if an issue occurs, you can take an "after" photo if something is reported or found.
Unsure if a policy fully covers the group in your facilities? Research with your legal counsel and verify with the insurance provider. One small checkbox on a policy could make a huge difference.
A question that sometimes gets asked will revolve around outside groups may be small, or only need your facilities for a one-time event. What options are out there? TULIP (Tenants’ and Users’ Liability Insurance Policy) is an option that we heard over time. After investigating the concept, we found a group that can assist and we released a new feature in CommunityUse to assist.
For more details, review our Community Use Enhancement Notice.
For a webinar recording that discusses risks in event management, watch "Making it Easier to Manage Risks and Events"