Insurance Companies Hesitant to Cover Schools with Armed Guards

After the school shooting Newton last December, the NRA’s proposed policy solution to help make schools more secure was to add armed guards to each location. At first blush, the argument made sense: at sporting events, concerts and nearly every other public gathering, armed security is present. Why not at schools?

The answer soon became clear. Students feel less safe when armed guards are around and it inhibits their learning. In addition, it’s unclear whether those guards even help reduce crime. The NRA was proposing a massive investment in beefed up security that hurt students’ learning and had an uncertain effect on crime. Upon further review, it didn’t seem like a very good policy.

Well, a New York Times article today splashes even more cold water on the proposal:

As more schools consider arming their employees, some districts are encountering a daunting economic hurdle: insurance carriers threatening to raise their premiums or revoke coverage entirely.

The insurer of 90% of Kansas school districts has said it will deny coverage to any school that allows any personnel to carry a concealed gun. Many other insurers are close to following suit and schools that can’t find coverage will open themselves up to huge amounts of liability. It will force them to forego armed guards in order to retain insurance coverage.

Effectively, what insurers are saying is that adding armed guards to schools increases the risk of costly injury and thus requires higher premiums. In Kansas, the main insurer, EMC Insurance Companies, is saying that the potential costs are so high that it can’t provide any coverage at all. Through these policies, insurers are communicating that this policy makes schools less safe, not more.

So now that insurers have spoken out and the NRA’s proposed policy is technically unfeasible, what else do they propose to make our schools more secure?