Private tuition is a booming industry. According to research by the Sutton Trust, 27% of 11-16 year-olds have received private tuition, while one in four secondary school teachers have worked as a private tutor outside school. In addition to teaching core syllabus subjects and 11+ tuition for young people, there are large numbers of tutors teaching languages, skills, and trades to adults.
While private tutoring can be a hugely rewarding occupation, unfortunately things can go wrong. That’s why it’s a good idea to make sure you have the right insurance in place. In this article, we look at what insurance options are available to you to give you the cover you need.
- Is insurance a legal requirement for a tutor?
- Why should you have insurance?
- What insurance does a private tutor need?
- What does private tutor insurance cover?
- What should I look for when choosing insurance?
- How much does private tutor insurance cost?
- Do I need to change my home insurance?
- Do private tutors need any other kinds of insurance?
If you are a private tutor, there’s no legal requirement for you to have insurance. However, teaching unions have long advised tutors to take out insurance to protect themselves.
There are lots of good reasons for private tutors to be insured. If an accident happens in your home and a student is injured, you could be liable. If you inadvertently break something belonging to a student, such as a phone or laptop, you could be liable for repairing or replacing it. Unfortunately, if a student fails to achieve their desired grade or pass an exam, their parents could apportion the blame to you and decide to take legal action.
Taking out the right combination of insurance can protect you against these, and many other eventualities.
There are two main types of insurance that private tutors need. These are public liability insurance (PL) and professional indemnity insurance (PI). Some insurers will combine both in a special teachers’ liability policy. If you hire other tutors to teach students, you are legally required to have employers’ liability insurance.
Public liability insurance covers you against claims from third parties that arise from your tutoring activities. In particular, it protects you against:
- Injury to a student while they are at your premises (for most tutors, this is their home)
- Inadvertent damage to a student’s property (such as accidentally dropping their laptop)
Professional indemnity insurance, on the other hand, covers you against damages and costs in relation to claims for professional negligence or breach of your duty of care to your student. For most private tutors, the biggest threat is claims of negligence because a student didn’t pass an examination or attain their desired grade.
Private tutor insurance would pay out to cover the costs of defending claims, including legal fees, and would cover the cost of any damages awarded if your defence wasn’t successful.
If you hire other tutors, employers’ liability insurance will cover you against claims made against you as a result of accident, injury, or illness sustained by your staff while at work, or as a result of their work. Some policies will also cover volunteers, interns, and family members.
When you are choosing insurance, it’s generally a good idea to select cover that has been designed with tutors’ needs in mind. For example, you could choose specialist Teachers’ Insurance which combines both professional indemnity and public liability Insurance. Often, this type of insurance will also cover you for freelance work involving marking exam scripts or coursework, or work as a freelance examiner or moderator.
As many part-time tutors are also teachers, some insurance packages are available at a discount to members of teaching unions or professional associations such as the Incorporated Society of Musicians and the British Dyslexia Association.
Don’t worry if you are not a member of any organisations like these. It’s perfectly possible to get non-union teachers insurance that either covers you or any limited company you operate.
Taking out the right insurance isn’t expensive. For example, non-union members can get cover for as little as £185 per year.
If you carry out tuition from your home, you must inform your home insurance provider. If you don’t, you may invalidate your policy. You may find that your insurer will apply conditions or restrictions to your home insurance policy, which is often based on the number of pupils that will be visiting your property each day.
If tutoring is your main occupation, it’s also a good idea to take out personal accident and sickness cover. These policies pay out if you are unable to work dues to accident or sickness, giving you financial security when you need it most.
How can I find out more?
To find out more about private tutors’ insurance, contact us on 01603 649724. Alan Boswell Group are the preferred insurer for some of the UK’s largest teaching unions and also provide comprehensive insurance for non-union members.