Guns-in-school laws causing insurance problems for school districts

July 8, 2013 at 12:39 PM

NEW YORK, July 8 (UPI) -- Some U.S. states that passed laws allowing school personnel to carry weapons say insurers are threatening to raise rates or cancel the districts' coverage.

Laws passed this year by legislatures in Kansas, South Dakota and Tennessee permitting teachers or administrators to carry firearms in school went into effect last week, The New York Times reported Sunday.

However, EMC Insurance Cos., which insures 90 percent of the school districts in Kansas, has sent a letter to its agents stating schools that allow personnel to carry concealed weapons would be declined coverage.

In Indiana, one county's plan to deputize teachers to carry handguns in their classrooms fell apart after the district's insurer refused to provide workers' compensation coverage. The Oregon School Boards Association recently told districts their annual liability premium would rise $2,500 for each staff member who carried a gun in school.

The National Conference of State Legislatures reported more than 30 state legislatures introduced school-carry bills this year in the aftermath of the shootings of 20 students and six adults at a Newtown, Conn., elementary school.

Insurance coverage for gun-toting teachers is not an issue in Texas, where strong tort protections are in place. A cooperative that insures about half of the state's 1,035 school districts says rates were not increased for schools where school staff was allowed to carry weapons.

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