Independent schools rewarded for better risk-management

August 13, 2006 (PRLEAP.COM) Education News
Independent schools are paying too much for insurance because they are subsidising state schools where generally the claims experience is greater. The result is a backlash for the independent sector where the battle to control costs is now at the top of the agenda for bursars and school heads.

“Insurance schemes for property and liability cover have until now discriminated against the independent sector. It is unfair that claims in state schools should penalise private schools where risk management is higher and claims lower,” says Hilary Wilkins, Sales and Marketing Director of SFS Group, specialist insurance providers to the independent sector. “Now independent schools have a choice.”

Cost saving
New property and liability cover from SFS Group offers substantial savings for those schools which meet key insurer criteria because it is available exclusively to independent schools. “In view of the potential savings on offer, we recommend every school gets an alternative quotation from SFS Group before automatically renewing their current cover,” says Mrs Wilkins.

The policy is timely with many independent schools reviewing policy renewals in September.

Terms of the new policy have been carefully researched over the past two years in response to pressure from the independent sector to bear down on insurance premiums for property and liability cover. “We have delayed entering the market until we were confident we had a bespoke solution to the particular needs of bursars and private school heads as well as the backing of a world-class underwriter which understands the schools environment. Now we have satisfied all those criteria and we are delighted to be working in partnership with Zurich Municipal, who are taking an innovative and ground-breaking approach, enabling us to offer superior cover and expert advice as well as highly competitive premiums,” she adds.

Property and Liability Plus offers wide-ranging buildings, contents and casualty cover for independent schools. SFS Group’s exclusive scheme insurer, Zurich Municipal, is part of the Zurich Financial Services. Zurich Municipal specialises in working for independent schools, colleges and universities as well as local authorities, charities and voluntary bodies and handles over 100,000 claims each year. Zurich Financial Services is one of the world’s largest insurers and has a Standard and Poor’s rating of A+. With substantial resources and reinsurance arrangements, the group is well placed to manage a diverse range of risks.

Zurich Municipal’s customer-focused approach complements that of SFS Group, which tailors the Property and Liability Plus policy to an independent school’s particular needs. It maintains a 24/7 claims helpline and offers ongoing specialist risk management support to help schools minimise losses.

SFS Group can arrange speedy quotations for all schools and, in addition, offers a comprehensive schools crisis management service.

Shared profits
Zurich Municipal considers the independent schools market to be a unique pool of risk, and prices accordingly. A unique aspect of the product is that an element of the premium may be repaid to individual schools, via SFS Group, where the pool’s claims experience has been better than expected. This ensures that schools’ premiums fairly reflect the claims they make.

Zurich Municipal deals with the customer directly and therefore has a unique understanding of the education sector.

Management of costs keeps premiums below those of other insurers who do not offer a bespoke solution. “Our policy is also good news for parents who can be reassured that their independent school has the right cover in place to ensure that the school and its pupils are protected whilst not paying over the top for insurance, which inevitably would have a knock-on effect on fees,” says Hilary Wilkins.

To obtain your Property & Liability quotation and to find out more about SFS Group’s unique crisis management services, please call the SFS Group helpline on 01306 746300 or visit

Notes to Editors
• Property and Liability Plus includes cover for:
o Buildings and contents including damage and theft
o All liability insurances – public, employer’s and professional negligence
o Libel and slander
o Business interruption
o Terrorism
o Motor
o Money
o Hirer’s liability
o Legal expenses
o Fidelity guarantees
o Travel
• SFS Group is a market leader in the provision of leading edge insurance in independent education since 1989.
• Specialises in insurance for parents with children at independent schools, with over 11,000 parents currently protected.
• Dedicated provider of insurance and associated services to 600 independent schools.
• Works with carefully selected strategic partners: UnumProvident, Zurich Municipal, Equity Red Star, PLUM, docleaf®.
• Founder and sponsor of the School Fees Charitable Trust which was created to assist those parents who, having selected private education for their child with reasonable expectations of being able to meet the considerable costs from their own resources, are unable to pay the fees as a result of genuine hardship, arising from an unforeseen change in circumstance.
• Focused on the development of products for the schools market.
• Committed to improving communications with schools and parents through the use of technology.
• Innovators and providers of bespoke, tailor-made solutions.

Product Range
For parents: SFS Group Life Insurance Scheme, SFS Group University Life Insurance Scheme
For children: Personal Possessions, Personal Accident, Absence from School
For students: SFS Student Shield (personal possessions)
For schools: Property & Liability Plus, Complete Travel Policy for Schools, Crisis Management for Schools

SFS Group Plc, Crossways House, 54-60 South Street, Dorking, Surrey RH4 2HQ

Tel: 01306 746300 Fax: 01306 746301
E-mail: Website:

Contact details
Kirsty McNab
SFS Group
Tel: 01306 746300
Fax: 01306 746301
Mobile: 07899 908158

Mike Johnstone
The Outsourced Marketing Department (PR Agents)
Tel: 01279 657555
Fax: 01279 657565