Sunday, May 31

Student groups can opt for liability insurance for off-campus events

Liability coverage of off-campus events to benefit volunteer organizations registered with CSP

Volunteers and participants of student organizations who conduct off-campus events can now purchase liability insurance for themselves through a new university policy.

Student groups can apply for liability coverage through a recently implemented online application process, which went into effect about two weeks ago, said Associate Director of the Center for Student Programming Ken Heller.

The new liability insurance addresses the concern that non-coverage for volunteers burdened individual students within the student organizations.

“Students had to use their own financial means to pay for private insurance vendors off-site to purchase coverage for their groups, which was inconvenient,” said Undergraduate Students Association Council Internal Vice President Shahida Bawa.

This program will particularly benefit community service organizations, like Amigos de UCLA, that perform services at off-site locations in the greater L.A. area but were not able to get coverage for their volunteers.

“Amigos could only get funds from the community service commission to buy insurance for the kids we tutored,” said Vanessa Carrillo, a graduate of UCLA and last year’s budget director for Amigos.

“Volunteers had to sign a waiver saying that the university would not be responsible for any injuries because we were not covered,” Carrillo added.

The Event Liability Insurance Program offered by Marsh CampusConnexions, an insurance broker and risk advisor, is available to all student groups registered with the CSP.

Student organizations holding certain types of events will need to sign up for coverage once their group has registered with the CSP and has reserved and confirmed facilities for the event.

The types of events that will need coverage and those that do not are listed on the Web site.

The Web site separates off-campus events into three categories: low-risk, medium-risk and high-risk. Costs for coverage of these events will depend on the duration of event, the number of participants and the risk level.

“A low-risk, one-day event with fewer than 100 participants will cost $100,” according to the Web site.

The liability insurance program is a UC-wide effort to provide insurance to students engaging in activities off-campus.

“The system was rolled out for all UC campuses this quarter,” Heller said.

Bawa said her office, in conjunction with the CSP, has spearheaded the campaign to have the insurance program available for student groups at the university.

According to Bawa, UC Berkeley was the first UC to start the program last year. UCLA followed soon afterward, implementing the program last spring.

“UCLA has the most number of campus service organizations than any other UC, and we felt that it was important to integrate the insurance policy into the community service program because we would be taking the burden off the individual student volunteers,” Bawa added.

The liability insurance program is one of the methods outlined in the Student Risk Education Committee’s annual report, submitted by Bawa, to develop safety measures applicable to student groups who work at off-campus sites.

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