Coverage Updates for 2021

2021 Coverages Roundup

The new year brings a trio of new coverages to members.

Our coverage has expanded this year to include volunteer accident coverage, identity theft coverage, and drone coverage. Both volunteer and drone coverage are now available at no cost during their respective rollout period, but districts will be charged a contribution in future years.

Below, we outline the important details, but if you have any other questions about the coverages listed, contact us at pc@csdpool.org.

Volunteer Accident Coverage

Volunteering is one of the most meaningful ways for residents to give back to their communities.

However, volunteers are not immune to potential injury in the course of service – perhaps an errant golf ball hits a volunteer marshal or a registered volunteer sprains their wrist while digging up weeds on community improvement day. In cases like this, volunteer accident coverage has volunteers covered.

Since volunteers are unpaid, they do not receive the benefit of workers’ compensation coverage. Accident insurance is the alternative that will provide limited medical benefits coverage, often filling in first dollar for large deductibles.

The CSD Pool’s blanket accident coverage provides limited medical benefits for our members’ 14,000 declared community volunteers (excluding volunteer firefighters, who are covered separately) participating in assigned, supervised, and sponsored volunteer activities.

This medical coverage is in excess of any other collectable insurance the volunteer may have in place. If the volunteer has no other medical insurance in place, this policy becomes primary and will pay medical benefits up to the limits stated in the policy, subject to its terms and conditions.

Key features of this coverage are a $25,000 maximum benefit in medical expenses inclusive of dental and physiotherapy, an accidental death benefit of $15,000, and an accidental dismemberment benefit of $50,000.

All expenses and benefits are subject to a total annual aggregate limit of $500,000; this is the maximum amount paid for all covered losses in any one year. No deductible will apply, and the benefit period is up to 52 weeks.

All districts with community volunteers (excluding volunteer firefighters) are eligible for this supplemental coverage.

Coverage applies to members who have reported volunteers under their liability exposures and completed an enrollment form. If you have volunteers but do not see a coverage certificate included with your renewal documents, let us know so that we can get this added for you.

Members that utilize volunteer service should also review their best practices as a way to manage risk by obtaining waivers, performing background checks, and providing training for all volunteer activities performed.

Identity Theft Coverage

Identity theft affects more than just finances. Recovering a stolen identity can be both frightening and frustrating, but your employees do not have to face it alone.

The CSD Pool’s Identity Recovery coverage can help employees take the appropriate steps if they are targeted by fraud. Employees are eligible to receive reimbursement of expenses arising out of such an event, with up to $35,000 in potential reimbursements with no deductible.

Types of reimbursable expenses include long distance phone charges, postage, notary fees, credit bureau reports, costs to refile applications for loans, and legal costs incurred to defend a civil suit or remove a civil judgement arising from the theft. Lost wages, child and elder care, and mental health counseling are also available for reimbursement, up to a predetermined amount.

This coverage does not reimburse the employee for monies stolen or fraudulently charged since these funds are normally recoverable from your financial institution.

In order to be eligible for expense reimbursement, claim documents must be filed within 60 days of an identity theft event. Some limitations apply.

If an employee believes they are a victim of identity fraud, they can call the Identity Recovery Help Line at 800-945-4617 to talk with trained counselors about appropriate next steps. Counselors will walk identity theft victims through the process of restoring their credit and identity to pre-theft status.

Drone Coverage

Usage of Small Unmanned Aircraft Systems (sUAS) or drones has increased significantly over the years as a tool for government agencies. Drones can help inspect a facility or give fire districts the opportunity to survey a burning building or area, and their usage will continue to increase.

When first introduced, drones presented public and privacy exposures, and coverage for losses arising out of their use was unavailable.

Over time, these restrictions have softened and coverage options became available. In the past, the CSD Pool has not included coverage for drones; however, the number of drones in use today has created a greater need.

For 2021, the CSD Pool has added limited coverage for drones owned and operated by special districts as follows:

  1. Property coverage is extended to cover physical damage by a covered cause of loss due to sUAS use, subject to a maximum limit of $25,000. The unmanned aircraft must weigh less than 15 pounds and be designed to operate remotely. The claim can include the value of equipment attached to the drone for its operation and/or cameras connected and used on the drone. For coverage to apply, the sUAS must be listed on your Inland Marine Schedule.
  2. Public Entity Liability is extended, subject to a sublimit of $200,000 per named member and a $1,000,000 aggregate for all members, to cover claims of bodily injury, property damage, or personal injury arising out of the operation of an unmanned aircraft. Certain conditions and exclusions apply, including a condition requiring full compliance under all federal, state and local laws and regulations, and an exclusion for any fines or penalties.

Drones come with a unique set of risks and requirements, and evaluating their exposures  is key for districts to utilize this asset successfully. The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) offers best practices for drones; for more information on operating drones, starting a drone program, and understanding the laws behind drone safety, go to faa.gov.