At least three insurance companies have refused to renew their coverage policies for Kansas schools in the wake of a new law allowing teachers to carry firearms on campus, The Des Moines Register reported on Sunday.
“We’ve been writing school business for almost 40 years,” EMC Insurance Companies vice president for business development Mick Lovell told the Register. “One of the underwriting guidelines we follow for schools is that any on-site armed security should be provided by uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers. Our guidelines have not recently changed.”
Lovell’s company provided insurance to almost 90 percent of the state’s school districts before pulling its coverage. Two other companies, Continental Western Group and Wright Specialty Insurance, followed suit. The new law, which allows teachers and other personnel to carry concealed arms inside school buildings, took effect on July 1, and is similar to measures in South Dakota and Tennessee passed as a response to the December 2012 school shooting attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
State Sen. Forrest Knox (R), who advocated for the law, told the Register that only 300 of 3,000 counties and municipalities in Kansas had filed exemption requests with Attorney General Derek Schmidt (R), and that a brokerage group, identified by another state official as the Insurance Management Association, had agreed to provide insurance for Independence Community College, Labette Community College and Neosho County Community College, three schools in his district.
“I’m not an insurance expert, but it’s hard for me to believe that if schools and other public buildings allow law-abiding citizens to carry that that increases risk,” Knox told the Register. “It’s news to me.”
The New York Times reported that school district administrators in Oregon are balking after the state School Boards Association, which manages liability coverage for the vast majority of school districts there, instituted an additional premium worth $2,500 for every faculty member who has a firearm on campus.
“Pretty much every last bit of our money is budgeted,” Jackson County official Scott Whitman told the Times. “To me, that could be quite an impediment to putting this forward.”
The Times also reported that a plan to deputize teachers in Noble County, Indiana, which would have granted them permission to carry firearms, never came to fruition after an insurance company refused to provide coverage for schools taking part.
[Image: “A Middle Aged, White, Female Business Woman Or Teacher Holds A Semi Automatic Pistol During This Dark Photo Shoot Against Black” via Shutterstock]
[h/t Think Progress]