ENABLING PEER GOVERNANCE AND RISK MANAGEMENT
Peer governance is critical to fostering shared community standards, and the new IFC Insurance Program removes some of the barriers, putting students back in charge of setting and maintaining expectations. The NIC’s IFC Insurance Program covers officers, alumni and volunteers for most IFC-hosted programs and events, including peer monitoring, Greek Week, Homecoming activities, recruitment and philanthropic endeavors to name a few.
In many cases, the IFC and its officers, alumni advisors and volunteers are not covered by the university. If there was a claim filed against the IFC due to the operations or event hosted and sponsored by the IFC, the IFC and/or its officers have the potential to be brought into a lawsuit. The IFC Insurance Program includes general liability insurance, commercial crime insurance, and protection for directors and officers. The program is even flexible enough to add the host institution (including the fraternity/sorority advisor) as an Additional Insured to provide an extra layer of protection for our trusted campus partners.
Further, when purchasing insurance independently, IFCs can pay almost $6,000 for council coverage and more than $2,600 (and often much higher) for stand-alone event coverage. The NIC’s IFC Insurance Program offers immediate savings, as pricing is tiered based on the number of IFC chapters and starts at $599/yr.
TO JOIN THE IFC INSURANCE PROGRAM, YOUR IFC MUST HAVE PAID ITS ANNUAL NIC DUES. LEARN MORE ABOUT HOW THE NIC CAN PROVIDE SUPPORT TO YOUR FRATERNITY COMMUNITY.
“The NIC insurance program will be half the cost the Illinois IFC has been paying! Carrying insurance coverage for IFC events and peer monitoring program is just good practice and an outstanding service that the NIC can now provide to the local campus Interfraternity Councils.”
Ashley A. Dye
Senior Assistant Dean of Students, Fraternity & Sorority Affairs
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
We’ve Got You Covered: About NIC’s IFC Insurance is a recording of a recent webinar to help attendees answer questions and understand IFC liability and why your IFC needs insurance. View the recording.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
There are risks that IFCs don’t currently see, and when an organization holds events, hosts people, and sets policies, there can be legal and liability exposure that requires insurance to offset what could be large issues.
For example, on one campus an IFC and its President were brought into a lawsuit filed by a property owner against fraternities with houses alleging the fraternities created a public nuisance. In another incident, an IFC held a flag football tournament at which a participant was injured and sought recovery of his out-of-pocket expenses from the IFC.
The IFC Insurance Program provides insurance for claims arising out of IFC operations and hosted events. If an IFC does not have proper insurance coverage in place, an IFC officer may be held personally liable should an incident occur.
The NIC has established a program providing broad coverage that is customized for the specific needs of an IFC. It provides a level of coverage not available in the open insurance market. In addition, the NIC’s insurance program is a more cost effective option. An IFC could pay up to three times more to secure its own insurance policy.
What is my personal liability as an IFC officer if my council doesn’t have insurance? How does the NIC’s insurance program address that?
In most cases, IFCs are unincorporated associations. Officers of an unincorporated association can be held personally liable for any negligent act or omission of an unincorporated association. Being an officer increases your exposure to being named in a lawsuit. If your IFC does not have insurance and a claim is brought against an IFC officer, this likely would result in a parent’s homeowner’s policy being called upon to provide a defense and indemnification of a liability claim. The NIC’s IFC Insurance Program will provide officers and volunteers the needed coverage should an injury occur during an IFC event or activity.
Yes, to be eligible for the IFC Insurance Program you do have to pay IFC dues with NIC (due Sept. 1). This is a good thing—the NIC provides support, coaching and resources. Learn more.
Yes, the National Panhellenic Conference (NPC) provides liability insurance coverage for Panhellenic Councils. The NPHC has explored doing the same but does not currently have an insurance program.
The IFC Insurance Program covers the IFC for its events and activities. In addition, the policies extend coverage for officers and individuals volunteering on behalf of the IFC. It is important to note that coverage only extends to them while in the course and scope of their volunteer work on behalf of the IFC.
Probably not. You can confirm this by asking your college or university’s Risk Management Department. The IFC is definitely not covered under any member fraternity’s insurance program. If your host institution advises you that you are covered under the University’s liability insurance program, we recommend you request confirmation of the same in writing. The letter should clearly state that the IFC, its officers and volunteers would be considered an Insured while they are acting on behalf of the IFC and are protected on a primary basis. You should ask that this letter come from the University’s Risk Management Department or General Counsel. Also clarify if there are any limitations regarding the types of events you can hold and the process for adding Additional Insureds if required by third parties.
It is very important you retain the letter from the University once you receive one. The NIC should be copied on the letter for our records. If the university will not provide this to you in writing, we recommend you consider yourselves not covered by the University and join the NIC’s program. Under the NIC’s IFC insurance program all activities with the exception of just a few (see special events section) are covered. Including participant liability should you host an athletic event like a volleyball, basketball and flag football tournament. Plus, adding an Additional Insured is easy and inexpensive.
No, your chapter’s liability insurance does not cover the activities hosted by the IFC you serve. The insurance program offered through your Fraternity only provides protection for the chapter and its operations.
If there was a claim filed against the IFC due to operations or an event hosted and sponsored by the IFC, the IFC has the potential to be brought into a lawsuit. Insurance coverage aids in situations resulting from activities covered within the scope of the policy, like Greek Week, Homecoming events and philanthropic endeavors, just to name a few.
Depending on their relationship to the IFC and what activity caused the injury, they could be covered under the Medical Payments portion of the General Liability policy regardless of fault. If Medical Payments does not apply, the IFC would be legally liable for the injury sustained.
The campus professional’s work with the fraternity/sorority community is a part of their job duties for the university or college that employees them. They would be covered under the university or college’s liability policy if they are alleged to have acted in a negligent manner or failed to act resulting in an injury to a third party.
However, your university or college can be named to the IFC Insurance Program policy as an Additional Insured. This would extend coverage to the university and its employees for potential vicarious liability from IFC-sponsored activities they may be exposed to. For additional information on adding an Additional Insured to your IFC’s policy, Lauren Owens, Placement Account Manager, Holmes Murphy, firstname.lastname@example.org 402-898-4171.
Does this provide coverage for volunteers (especially for sororities on campus) that would like to participate in our peer monitoring program?
Yes, if someone wishes to volunteer and participate in a Peer Monitoring program, they would be covered under the IFC’s liability insurance policy. This would include any person—as they would be considered an IFC volunteer—no matter their other campus involvement or affiliations, including sorority women. The definition of “Who is Insured” within the policy includes volunteers while in the course and scope of their duties for the Named Insured.
First, learn about paying your IFC dues and the levels of Campus Support you can choose from. Then submit the online form to paying your dues. On the form, you will be able to choose your level of support as well as indicate that you would like to participate in the IFC Insurance Program. Once the form is submitted, you will receive an invoice for the IFC Insurance Program. After the NIC has received payment, you will receive your certificate of insurance.
Yes, coverage extends to an IFC Alumni Council should one exist. Like the IFC, the Alumni IFC’s officers and volunteers are considered an insured under the policy while in the course and scope of their duties on behalf of the Alumni IFC.
Would insurance cover other fraternities and sororities on campus? How about fraternity chapters on campus?
For the 2019-2020 academic year, to get this program up and running, we are focused on IFC coverage. So for this initial year, coverage will not extend to other councils, however, we will revisit this in the future. It also will not extend to cover the operations of fraternity chapters. It only covers the IFC and individuals serving the IFC whether that be as an officer or a volunteer but only for alleged negligence that occurs in the course and scope of their volunteer work on behalf of the IFC.
Landmark American Insurance Company: General Liability
Each Occurrence: $1,000,000
General Aggregate: $2,000,000 per location
Medical Payments: $5,000
AM Best Rating: A+ (Excellent) XIV ($1.5B to 2B)
Zurich North America: Commercial Crime
AM Best Rating: A+ (Excellent) XV ($2B or greater)
RSUI Indemnity: Directors & Officers
AM Best Rating: A+ (Excellent) XIV ($1.5B to $2B)
If your IFC is seeking independent insurance coverage either with your university or separately, we recommend at least these levels of coverage.
The NIC’s IFC Insurance Program provides General Liability, Commercial Crime and D&O Liability insurance.
Provides coverage, for the most part, to claims of bodily injury, property damage and personal injury arising out of the IFC’s liability associated with its operations and activities.
Provides coverage for claims arising out of criminal acts, typically involving the theft of IFC funds.
Directors & Officers Liability:
Offers directors and officers protection from a wide variety of claims such as third-party discrimination and allegations that an officer failed to fulfill his/her fiduciary duties to the organization.
- Peer monitoring activities
- New student activities and fairs
- Recruitment activities
- Educational programming
- Leadership academy/retreat
- Leadership development conferences
- Community service projects
- Philanthropy events
- Blood drives
- Alumni IFC activities
- Homecoming activities
- Greek Week activities
- Non-contact athletic events
- Concerts and DJ performances of less than 1,000 attendees
* Please note the events in this list will be excluded if they included features in the lists below
Events Requiring Prior Approval from the NIC:
- Events with alcohol
- Events with inflatables
- Contact sports
- Events with attendance exceeding 1,000
- Events with firearms, fireworks or other explosive
How do we set up special event insurance for events that are outside the scope of the IFC insurance program?
You will need to complete a Special Event checklist and submit it to the NIC for referral to our insurance partners for approval. In addition to the Special Event checklist, include any contracts executed or proposed with vendors or venues that will be utilized. Also include proof that any vendor hired has appropriate lines of insurance coverage and acceptable limits of liability.
No, the IFC insurance program does not provide any coverage for property owned by an IFC. If you need this coverage, it is available through our broker, Holmes Murphy & Associates.
Pricing is based on how many fraternity chapters you have in your IFC. This pricing is cost-saving. When purchasing insurance independently, IFCs can pay almost $6,000 for council coverage and more than $2,600 (and often much higher) for stand-alone event coverage.
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