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Insurance policies can help protect school-issued technology

Posted at 6:52 PM, Aug 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-11 19:53:36-04

OMAHA, Neb. (KMTV) — As schools launch remote learning and 1:1 plans handing out technology to all students, concerns are being raised about what happens if kids are kids and break the school-owned device.

Omaha Public Schools is issuing students iPads and having parents sign an agreement that says in part: "the parent/guardian is responsible for the loss, theft, or damage to the device."

The parent agreement outlines an optional $20 protection plan. This plan is on top of the Apple Care Plus for Schools already purchased by the district.

“(Apple Care) covers accidental damage by a student for two incidents a year,” said Bryan Dunne, Director of Information Management Services for Omaha Public Schools. “Then they would bring that device into the school, for a loaner/exchange, then that device would be sent out, repaired and be sent back.”

If you have school-aged kids all of this may sound familiar. Many districts are doing similar things.

Elkhorn Public Schools offers a $20 plan for its Chromebooks that cuts repair costs in half.

Is it worth it? And is the school's insurance plan enough? Insurance Solutions owner Suzy Jennings said that depends on your policy.

“I looked at the Bennington program,” Jennings said. “It’s $20 a year to cover any incidents for small damage... In that case, if there is an insurance plan that is available through the school, probably would be a safe bet to participate in that.”

Most of the school plans don't cover loss or theft. That's where she says your homeowner’s insurance policy could step in.

“The rate on adding to your homeowner’s policy is going to be minimal,” Jennings said. “But also watch out if you start having a lot of claims you’re turning in. But there is no deductible that could ultimately affect your rate.”

OPS still allows students to use their own devices. But it’s not recommended.

“A lot of it is web-based. They could potentially get on some of the platforms on their own computer,” Dunne said. “We know we can ensure all of the resources are available for them (on our iPads) and if something is wrong we are there to help troubleshoot that.”

Jennings recommends parents carefully read the school’s policy and talk to their insurance agent now so there are no surprises if there is a claim.