It’s the worst nightmare for any daycare, the allegation of sexual abuse or molestation. Your heart is broken and a million thoughts go through your head: How did this happen? Is this allegation true? What do I do now?
While no matter how many safeguards are put in place accusations, whether factual or not, do happen every day. How can you protect your daycare if the unthinkable is alleged? The key is planning ahead of time and these three steps can help:
- Step #1: Partner with an insurance professional who understands the needs of daycares: Many independent insurance agents will have access to markets that can write daycares but running a daycare is complicated and you need to work with an agent who understands your business.
- Step #2: Make sure that your sexual abuse and molestation coverage includes defense for the innocent: Even if you have not done anything wrong an accusation can still be made and you still have to defend your business. Believe it or not many policies do not provide defense coverage if you are innocent in a physical abuse, sexual misconduct or sexual molestation case but the costs can be crippling following such an allegation.
- Step #3: Verify if Defense costs are included inside or outside the policy limit: In many instances defense costs alone are so high that they can exhaust your entire policy limit. It is very important that your sexual abuse and molestation policy include coverage for defense outside the policy limits so that these costs are covered in addition to your policy limit.
The fact is that any allegation of sexual abuse or molestation is very serious and it is critical that you are prepared. Remember even if you are innocent you can still be accused and without proper insurance coverage the costs could be enough to put you out of business. While there are many more items to consider regarding sexual abuse and molestation coverage as well as your entire insurance program as a daycare I hope these three steps will help you to understand how important your insurance program is as a daycare owner.