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New murder insurance offered to teachers

In an age when school environments can prove deadly, the National Education Association (NEA) offers a murder provision in its insurance benefits for teachers and school staff. The NEA represents 3.2 million teachers, higher education faculty, support personnel, administrators, retired educators, and students preparing to become teachers.

The life insurance benefit provides $150,000 in the event of unlawful homocide while on the job. The free benefit, which triples the "on the job" accidental death benefit of $50,000, is not a reaction to any specific event, says the NEA, but rather an acknowledgement of current school conditions.

The free benefit, which triples the current "on the job" accidental death benefit of $50,000, is not a reaction to any specific event.

The policy pays the extra benefit only "if death is caused by an unlawful homicide which occurs while the eligible member is engaged in any activity which is in the express or implied terms of an eligible member's occupation." This means that the policy pays out if a teacher or other NEA member is killed in the classroom or during a school field trip, sporting event, or other school-related activity.

How likely is it to happen? A 2006 report from the National Center for Education Statistics, titled "Indicators of School Crime and Safety," shows this:

  • In 2003–04, secondary school teachers were more likely than elementary school teachers to have been threatened with injury by a student (8 vs. 6 percent). However, elementary school teachers were more likely than secondary teachers to report having been physically attacked (4 vs. 2 percent).
  • 10 percent of teachers in central city schools reported in 2003–04 that they were threatened with injury by students, compared with 6 percent of teachers in urban fringe schools and 5 percent in rural schools. Five percent of teachers in central city schools were attacked by students, compared with 3 percent of teachers in urban fringe and 2 percent in rural schools.
  • Public school teachers were more likely than private school teachers to have been threatened (7 vs. 2 percent) or physically attacked (4 vs. 2 percent) by students in school. Among teachers in central city schools, those in public schools were at least five times more likely to be threatened with injury than their colleagues in private schools (12 vs. 2 percent) and at least four times more likely to be physically attacked (5 vs. 1 percent).

The accidental death and unlawful homicide insurance policies offered by the NEA DUES-TAB Insurance Program, and underwritten by Prudential, are in addition to the up to $1,000 in life insurance and $5,000 in non-work-related accidental death and dismemberment policies that are provided as automatic benefits of NEA membership.

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