Insurance for PTOs

First, the most important information — where to go to find out more than this brief summary offers:

  • AIM (Association Insurance Management) has a great deal of useful information on its website, — though since they’re a seller of insurance for PTOs, it’s worth taking with a grain of salt.
  • PTO Today has officially partnered with a third party insurance company, and offers a discount if you join the group: see the details at
  • PTO Today has also published an article on the topic of insurance in general, “Are You Covered?”


PTOs in Newton (and most places) do not have any coverage through the school department or the city. If you want insurance, you need to buy it.

Huh? Insurance? Well, think about it…

  • a child slides down a slippery slide and gets injured
  • your treasurer decides the PTO won’t mind making a permanent loan to his/her personal bank account
  • the hundreds of dollars worth of prizes you bought for your spring fair get stolen/rained on/otherwise ruined
  • the local loony decides to sue your board for deciding to sell cookie dough, and thereby contributing to childhood obesity

Unlikely? Sure. But definitely possible. For a more detailed and realistic summary, see the Why does my PTO need insurance? article here, for a recap of all the bad things that could expose your PTO to ruin (published, it’s worth noting, by AIM, which is, as noted above, the company that is the main source of insurance policies for PTOs).

Sadly, their marketing pitch is pretty convincing, and in recent years, it has become increasingly common for PTOs to purchase insurance (indeed, many PTOs in Newton have already purchased it). At the very least, it seems worthwhile to offer protection to PTO officers, who by taking on their PTO responsibilities are also taking on — often unwittingly, even — a liability risk (more the risk of the cost of defending themselves than of being successfully sued, but we all know how much lawyers cost!)

Types of Insurance

There are four types of insurance PTOs should consider purchasing:

  • Directors and Officers Liability: Covers the aforementioned directors and officers against being sued for their rash decisions
  • General Liability: Covers the PTO in case someone is injured at an event they hold, etc.
  • Fidelity Bond: Covers against embezzlement
  • Property: Covers those ruined spring fair prizes or any other property your PTO might happen to own (note that usually when a PTO purchases something like a computer or other equipment, it becomes the property of the NPS, and is no longer the PTO’s responsibility)