Member Benefits – What is Liability Insurance?


What is the Educators Employment Liability (EEL) Program?


The EEL program is a professional liability insurance program which is a  benefit of membership. The program is totally dues-funded; members pay no separate fee. It is designed to protect association members from personal financial liability for most incidents arising out of their educational employment activities or duties.

The EEL Program provides insurance coverage for a variety of situations which result in injury to someone other than members.  Here are some examples of coverage

  • Payment of the legal defense costs of up to $3,000,000 per occurrence in defending civil proceedings (other than proceedings concerning Civil Rights) brought against you in the course of performing your educational employment activities.Payment of up to $1,000,000* in damages assessed against you as a result of such civil proceedings.

  • Reimbursement of Attorney Fees for the Defense of Criminal Proceedings -Reimbursement for attorney fees and other legal costs up to $35,000 if you are charged with violating a criminal statute in what otherwise would be within the course and scope of your educational employment activities, and you are exonerated of all charges by a court of law or all charges are withdrawn or dismissed.

  • Assault-Related Personal Property Benefit which covers payment of up to $500 for damages to your personal property when caused by an assault upon you in the course of your educational employment. (Vehicle and school property are excluded.)

The EEL Program is administered through your NEA state affiliate association. Liability and insurance laws vary in each state.

Your coverage is worldwide, includes coverage on and off school grounds, and is in force 24 hours a day, as long as you are performing your educational employment activities.

Also, you should know that NEA’s policy is an “occurrence policy.” This means that your coverage is linked to when the “occurrence” took place. For example, if you are sued for a 2001 incident, coverage would be available to you if you were a member at the time of the “occurrence,” even if such a claim or proceeding arises against you in the current year or in the future.

Contact the JESPA office immediately if you:
  • Are involved in an incident/occurrence during a school/educational unit activity that results in a student injury requiring medical attention;
  • Receive a letter from an attorney regarding an incident/occurrence or a service of summons for a lawsuit;
  • Are involved in any situation where you believe you may be sued for something that happened while you were performing your job.

Do not contact an attorney to represent you before contacting your local association. Your association will brief you on the procedures to follow under the EEL Program. 

Your local association will notify the State Coordinator to verify your membership at the date of the occurrence and submit the claim to the insurance company. All actual determinations of coverage are made by the insurance company based on the specific facts of the incident/occurrence that gave rise to the claim or proceeding. Like all insurance policies, the EEL policy provides specific definitions and criteria for coverage which must be met.

Write down a description of the incident/occurrence as soon as possible. A brief description of the occurrence will help your attorney and you remember the details that fade over time.

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