Liability Insurance for Water Monitoring EE Programs? | NAAEE
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Liability Insurance for Water Monitoring EE Programs?

Hello! I'm wondering what your experiences are with obtaining liability insurance for programs that engage youth in water monitoring, specifically programs where youth would be wading in the water.

Specific questions:
1. What type of organization do you work with and were you able to successfully gain coverage?
2. If so, are you required to have a lifeguard, even for wading?
3. Were there other limitations the insurance placed on you? (i.e. wading depth, etc.)
4. If you didn't get insurance, were the cost and/or limitations (need for lifeguard, too extensive of info for school field trip slips) prohibitive enough that you decided not to have youth in the water at your programs?

Background info: I work with a local watershed organization, and we frequently do water quality monitoring with K-12 students. Most of the time we bring samples up for them, but it would obviously be a way cooler experience for the kids to get waders on and collect a sample themselves. I'm concerned with what kind of insurance rider we would need to get as an organization to cover ourselves for this activity and how we would need to communicate it to schools that we work with. I know there are a lot of monitoring programs that engage K-12 youth in monitoring and that get them in the water, and I'd be very interested to hear your experiences with this issues.

Eileen,
In a residential EE setting we have been doing water monitoring programs, both for educational as well as research purposes for decades. Our liability insurance covers all those activities. No lifeguard required for wading. Wading defined as below knees of individual wading. The insurance company didn't impose the definition of wading but we created the definition for them, in explanation of the activity and our safety management, i.e. they reviewed our lesson plan in which we define wading in our safety management section.
For us the act of securing insurance is easier as this is within the scope of a huge blanket policy that covers everything we do.