Insurers don't want guns in schools

People in Kansas can now carry weapons into public buildings, but insurance companies are balking at the increased risk.

By Kim Peterson Jul 8, 2013 3:54PM
Credit: © Scott Olson/Getty Images
Caption: A customer shops for a pistol at Freddie Bear Sports sporting goods store. December, 2012Gun owners in Kansas can now bring weapons into public schools. Just don't ask the insurance companies to cover the buildings anymore.

EMC Insurance Cos., which insured some 90% of all school districts in the state, will not renew coverage for schools where teachers and other staff are carrying concealed guns on campus, The Des Moines Register reports. Two other insurers also followed suit.

The reason? Those guns create a riskier climate, and that sets off red flags for an insurance company. School armed security should be left to uniformed law enforcement officers, an executive with EMC told the newspaper.

The issue raises a difficult point for school administrators and parents. Is it safer to give a teacher a gun -- even after thorough training? Insurance companies seem to think that more guns equal more risk. They just don't know how to price that risk yet, one industry executive told The Register.

"It's one thing to have a trained peace officer with a gun in school; it’s a completely different situation when you have a custodian or a teacher with a gun," the executive, Bob Skow with the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa, said. "That changes the risk of insuring a school and magnifies it considerably."

The Kansas law, which took effect July 1, was passed after the December massacre in Newtown, Conn., in which 20 young students died.

Insurers in other states are balking, too. In Indiana, an insurer for one school district refused to provide workers' compensation coverage if teachers were carrying handguns in classrooms, UPI reports. In Oregon, school districts were told their annual liability premium would rise $2,500 for every employee who brought a gun to school.

More on moneyNOW

Jul 8, 2013 4:33PM
Jul 8, 2013 11:58PM
Down in the south here they are actually making state legislation to give teachers guns, Not a good idea there is bad teachers I have seen many of them when I went to school, The only ones who should maybe have a gun is a guard and the principle, not every teacher there is a lot of perverts and crooked teachers who may use them to sexual harass students and threaten them.
Jul 9, 2013 9:29AM
Insurance companies are pretty good about calculating the odds of something bad happening. 
Jul 8, 2013 5:39PM
Can't trust some of these teachers with our children ("TEACHER GIVES BIRTH TO STUDENT'S BABY") let alone with a GUN!
Jul 9, 2013 11:13AM
An insurance company has it's interest of minimizing it's exposure and maximizing it's profits, which is what all businesses must do.
From their standpoint it is better to have the risk of a few mass killings to deal with than to have to deal with the wide spread risk of having armed administrators.
However from the what's best for the kids standpoint, having school staff trained and prepared to deal with an armed intruder until the professionals can arrive to take over is the same as being trained in cpr and fire suppression.  
The insurance companies by making the statement that they will either not insure or raise the rates on schools that are trying to enhance the chances of survival of their students, are actually increasing their liability.  If after them making these statements a school decides not to allow armed defense on their properties and an assault occurs that may have been either prevented or minimized by having appropriately trained armed staff, the insurance company's actions could cause them to have additional losses and even greater liability as a potential contributor to attacks.
Jul 9, 2013 5:26PM
Because wait until some teacher gets ticked off at some student; wait until a janitor and a teacher have a disagreement; or wait until some boys get in some fistfight.....
Jul 9, 2013 2:57PM
There is no history of teachers with guns? Large pile of used male bovine food there and lot of lies from the media. There are several countries around the world where teachers go armed, the result is a huge reduction in violence against students. The insurance companies are trying to scam their way into higher rates, and it is pure fraud on their part.
Jul 9, 2013 1:32PM
I wonder what a grade school teacher with a Glock would do heads up against a nutjob in body armor with an AR-15? This is a stupid idea that will not solve this extremely rare occurrence.
Jul 9, 2013 10:58AM
These are public spaces...

Not allowing an armed "good guy" presence means an people can sue schools, board members, etc. for not providing a safe environment in the event of a shooting.

The real problem is the loons and criminals.   They love schools for that reason, no one to shoot back.  It is rare these loons go into a police station to kill people.  They might get killed.

End the lawsuit nonsense, bring back the public hangings.  Use a gun in a crime NO PAROLE, period.  No time off for good behavior.  

But the real problem is the insane.  How do you get them off the streets in light of the democrats court case that says they MUST commit a crime first?   I guess, because of liberals we have to wait until after a Newtown to get the guy off the street...
Jul 26, 2013 8:11PM
Money talks!  Despite all the nut cases that say more guns make you safer, when someone has to back that assertion with insurance money, the insurers balk and say the opposite.  Money says more guns, means more risk of gun violence, more gun accidents, and more insurance liability claims.
Jul 9, 2013 8:01AM
Since insurance companies cannot ask if you carry a weapon, how would they refuse coverage based on teachers or even parents carrying?  This is like a doctor asking if there are guns in your house.  Nonya.  As it has been proven time and time again, an armed society is a polite society.
Jul 9, 2013 11:12AM

Really? Having an armed police officer at a school doesn't negate the insurance as much as if the janitor was carrying a hog-legged shootin' iron?


Get serious... taxes paid to keep armed officers at the schools don't help defend the students, and if you really want to make an impression, use a Taser. Of course, the police are instructed to only zap you with the 25,000 volts from the Tazer until you stop moving (read unconscious, not dead), like the teacher a cop tasered and when the investigation found out that the teacher was an epileptic, and he was repeatedly "zapped" because he was responding to the officer's repeated question, "You want some more?" by convulsing, which the officer took to be a nod in the affirmative. Unfortunately, the school lost a teacher (he died) and the police force didn't have to pay for a lawsuit, so it all works out.


Anyone who can take a gun course, and provide a possibility that my children will be safe from a crazed teenager (or teenagers; let us not forget Columbine), and shoots the little bastards dead, (because the cop on the school grounds was taking a dump or having his mandatory coffee break) will not get a jail sentence from me. I'll fight to the highest court to make sure they remain out of jail - but, by the same token, if the police must be on campus, get the response time down to under 30 minutes (try 1-3 minutes), and because cops have adrenelin rushes, make their rounds rubber bullets or bean-bag rounds. Cops are more deadly in a firefight that the shooters...


LAPD opens fire on truck with man and child inside. Truck was struck over 100 times, 4 bullets hit the man and the child was killed by a sniper bullet.... who's more dangerous?

Jul 15, 2013 5:14PM

Excuse me, but how does allowing LAW ABIDING adults to carry the means to protect their otherwise defenseless students increase risk to an insurance company? That's a fallacy that simply isn't supported by the facts. MANY other countries with serious terrorist threats against their schools have armed teachers and volunteers in their schools without the problems that these idiots are claiming will result. Perhaps the people making these decisions should take a class in simple logic. Good guys with guns don't pose a risk because they are GOOD GUYS. Bad Guys with guns are a risk because they are BAD GUYS. When good guys without guns meet bad guys with guns, the good guys die. When good guys with guns meet bad guys with guns, the bad guys die. Either way, having the good guys armed will reduce or eliminate the threat BEFORE major carnage can occur. If the actuaries are telling the underwriters that good guys with guns on campus increases risk, the company needs to hire new actuaries because these guys are liars or fools.

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