Insurance Companies Thwart Movement to Arm Teachers

Conservatives have an interesting take on how to stop the ongoing sequence of devastating school shootings: more guns! Specifically, GOP and NRA leaders have called to have teachers carry arms so that they may intervene in the event of an active shooter on their campus.

Kansas, known for its far right lunacy, emboldened school staff to do just that by passing legislation allowing teachers to pack heat. There’s one problem with that, though: as the Chicago Tribune explains, very few schools can actually permit their teachers to take advantage of that law because insurance companies won’t cover it.

EMC Insurance, the leading insurance company for public schools in the state, has refused to cover schools that want to arm teachers, saying it “concluded that concealed handguns on school premises poses a heightened liability risk.”

Think about it—insurance companies have a vested interest in protecting against mass shootings. It’s common for them to pay out millions following an incident with mass casualties. Many sell “active shooter” policies expressly for schools to cover benefits for the dead as well as counseling for the survivors.

For insurance companies, the decision to deny coverage is one based on money and science. Unlike politicians, these companies aren’t reaching a conclusion based off their preexisting philosophy on guns, they’re doing it based on what’s most cost-effective. Evidently, their research suggests there would be more accidents/injuries if teachers carried guns around all the time.

Though a smaller number of insurance companies around the country are agreeing to design policies for covering schools with armed teachers to appease the political climate, many of those are also significantly raising the rates because – again – the research doesn’t seem to suggest that it will make the schools any safer.

That doesn’t mean that insurance companies are opposed to guns in schools altogether. The prevailing wisdom is that guns could help schools be safer so long as they’re in the hands of police officers paid to protect the schools. However, even if teachers receive some amount of training, it’s unlikely they’d have the experience, skill or nerve to take down a shooter effectively.

Earlier this year, Kansas lawmakers talked over legislation that would require insurance companies to issue them policies that extended to schools with armed teachers. EMC held firm and suggested it would sooner back out of doing business in the state altogether. Without a solid prospect for an insurance company that would cover schools with this law in place, the bill ultimately failed.

Photo credit: Thinkstock

34 comments

Danuta W
Danuta W6 days ago

Thanks for sharing.

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Karen H
Karen H11 days ago

Thank goodness for at least a little touch of sanity. I'll bet the insurance companies thought about who's going in to shoot students and teachers. A current student or a past student. Chances are, the teachers will recognize the next shooter who whips out an assault weapon and opens fire. How will they feel shooting a kid they know? A kid who sat in their class? Maybe a kid they thought might have problems that could have been helped if there was decent counseling in the school system? Would that teacher hesitate just long enough...

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Echo P
Past Member 15 days ago

hope this bill pases we need to arm teachers not disarm people.

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Winn A
Winnie A16 days ago

Thanks

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Winn A
Winnie A16 days ago

noted

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Julie W
Julie W16 days ago

I don't have much love for insurance companies, but in this case I think they are right - even if we don't approve of their reasons.
Anne M, that is a ridiculous comment! Police are probably trained to deal with their reactions when they kill someone - teachers aren't.However bad the person, if I was responsible for killing a human being I would be devastated afterwards.
And I question why it is always 'shoot to kill'. Surely you can completely disable someone by shooting in the legs?

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Chad A
Chad A17 days ago

Guns should be properly insured when legally allowed.

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Angela J
Angela J17 days ago

Thanks

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Debbi W
Debbi W17 days ago

I think arming teachers is danger and insane. Some smart-ass kid is bound to try to get their hands on the teacher's gun for a lark. Not every teacher will be a crack shot or even want to shoot a gun.

There must be a better idea. Trump brags and boasts and bullies. He is always talking about 'what people should do,' but he doesn't do anything himself. He's a blow-heart. He doesn't actually do anything physical so don't do as he says, because he doesn't do anything. However, he does bully and threaten others to do his bidding. That makes him a tyrant.

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Lesa D
Lesa D17 days ago

guns will NEVER be the answer...

thank you Kevin...

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