June 19th, 2013
As Kansas passes a state law that will allow certain teachers and other employees to carry guns, the insurance company that covers most of the schools has said they will refuse to indemnify the facilities that to allow concealed carry permit holders to have weapons at school. Because of this, the state’s school board association has urged the schools NOT to take advantage of the new law.
EMC Insurance Companies, the state’s main insurer of schools, won’t insure districts with armed employees under the new law, which takes effect July 1. Districts already insured by EMC wouldn’t have their policies renewed.
“We understand that school districts have every right to decide which way they want to go,” Bernie Zalaznik, EMC’s resident vice president in Wichita, said Monday. “But we have to make the decision based on what we perceive to be our best financial interest.”
The insurance companies justify this questionable new policy as a business decision rather than a political statement:
EMC, which Zalaznik estimated insures about 90 percent of Kansas’ 286 school districts, has issued a letter to its agents around the state, explaining that concealed carry would pose too great a risk.
“We are making this underwriting decision simply to protect the financial security of our company,” said the May 15 letter, which can be viewed in full on The Topeka Capital-Journal’s website.
Zalaznik and the Kansas Association of School Boards said some school districts have been showing interest in letting employees carry firearms. Currently, only law enforcement officers can carry guns on school property.
Zalaznik said he had heard directly from or indirectly of about five or six districts seeking information on allowing guns in schools. David Shriver, director of the school board association’s insurance program, said about a dozen districts around the state, mostly small ones, had called and expressed interest.
The school board association is advising all districts against taking advantage of the new law.
Shriver said two other insurers of districts, Wright Specialty Insurance and Continental Western Group, also have decided either not to cover liabilities related to concealed firearms or not to insure such districts at all. (source)
The Daily Sheeple