Shootings in the U.S. have become so common that some insurance companies are offering “active shooter insurance.” School districts, in particular, are buying into the concept, Reuters reported.
— Reuters Top News (@Reuters) March 21, 2018
The idea can be traced back to 2016, with Ohio-based McGowan Companies being at the forefront of selling coverage to schools and businesses. The general liability policy most school districts already have in place typically does not have codified language to cover shooting incidents, meaning coverage might be tough to come by under those policies.
McGowan will pay as much as $250,000 per victim, in the case of those who die or receive life-changing injuries. If a district spends more on insurance, they may also be eligible for coverage of further medical expenses.
McGowan broker Paul Marshall told Reuters that several South Florida school districts bought active shooter insurance in the aftermath of the Parkland massacre on Valentine’s Day. The purchased coverage added up to $3 million, according to Reuters.
“Every day we get a phone call from another school district,” Marshall said.
Aside from medical bills, a school shooting can bring on several other expenses. Building reconstruction, legal fees and counseling are other things schools might need to pay for after a shooting. The McGowan website claims its insurance will cover things like hiring additional staff for public relations management and temporary security.
While the insurance might protect school districts and parents from having to pay enormous fees, it is not designed to prevent America’s widely covered gun violence problem. The U.S. has a disproportionately high amount of gun ownership, overall gun violence and mass shootings, according to data collected by Vox, though mass shootings only make up a small fraction of overall gun violence in the country.