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#1310451 - 11/22/09 02:34 PM Accident Clause in Policies?  
Joined: Jun 2005
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oceano Offline
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oceano  Offline
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Canada
Hi --

I'm just putting together my Studio Policies form, (so excited to start teaching from my own place, and not travel to homes!) -- and am wondering what you all think about this clause:

While I will try to ensure a clear and safe pathway, I am not responsible for any injuries or accidents outside of the studio, including personal and vehicular. While I will do my best to watch out for the students, I am also not responsible to verify the safe meet-up between parents/guardians and students outside of the studio.

I don't want to sound insensitive, but around my complex are a couple narrow lanes that, should you not be paying attention, could result in a fender bender. Also, I can't necessarily see that the student made it safely to the car. I would hate anything happen to anyone on transitioning to or from piano lessons, but I also don't want to be sued for negligence or fault.

What do you think?

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#1310459 - 11/22/09 02:47 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: oceano]  
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Barb860 Offline
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northern California
Do you have an insurance policy (renters or homeowners) that has business-in-the-home coverage?


Piano Teacher
#1310462 - 11/22/09 02:56 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: Barb860]  
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david_a Offline
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I don't know the law, so I don't know if such denials of responsibility are legally valid in your area - but you should look into that before you bother with such a clause.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310494 - 11/22/09 04:14 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: david_a]  
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oceano Offline
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Canada
Barb860 -- I'm not sure - I'll have to look into that.

David_a -- I'll look into that as well.

Thanks smile

#1310618 - 11/22/09 08:17 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: oceano]  
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Morodiene Offline
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I think david is correct. You can certainly have such disclaimers, but if it came down to it, you could get sued no matter what you wrote - even if they signed a waiver.

Perhaps rephrase the second part to say: "Parents are responsible for meeting their child promptly when their lesson ends at the door." Or something to that effect. No need ot mention that you will do your best to "watch" out for the students, because then that means you are claiming some responsibility.

Do you have a waiting area? Or would students have to leave right after their lesson and wait outside or in a public area in your complex? That might raise cause for concern, and so you may want to stress to parents that they must arrive before the child's lesson is over to pick them up. I find it is best to have a waiting area, because traffic and other unforseen events do cause parents to be late sometimes. You can simply proceed to teach the next student and not have to worry about the safety of a child waiting outside alone.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1310644 - 11/22/09 08:53 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: Morodiene]  
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david_a Offline
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In my (very limited, one-time) experience, home-business insurance specifically excluded injury compensation - I would have had to buy full-fledged commercial business insurance for that. When I saw the price tag, I decided to just shut my mouth and hope nobody got hurt.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310737 - 11/23/09 12:14 AM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: david_a]  
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oceano Offline
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Canada
hmm... okay...

Yes, I do have an inside waiting area - my living room has a window to the back lane where the parents would ideally pull up, and there is a patio and walkway to the lane. Its just that I couldn't VERIFY they arrived safely, from the angle of the piano room. Also, if a vehicle collision incurred (tight back lane) I'm wondering if the average parent would try to blame me for partial responsibility.

Also, I'm not looking to have an extensive studio at the moment, as I already have a full-time job. Perhaps 5 or 6 students max for now (with the idea of gradually growing) -- I don't know if financially, getting home-business insurance is worth it at this point.

Thanks for your responses smile

#1310822 - 11/23/09 09:28 AM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: oceano]  
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R0B Offline
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For what it is worth, I wouldn't make any mention in your policy about potential dangers.
It implies that you are aware, that a hazardous situation could arise.

I would simply state that parents, or a responsible adult, shall be responsible for a safe passage, to, and from, your premises.

That puts the onus directly on them, and not you.


Rob
#1310839 - 11/23/09 10:14 AM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: R0B]  
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Morodiene Offline
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I agree with Rob. Also, you may want to warn parents or those responsible for dropping off and picking up the student to drive cautiously in that area. But don't put anything about that in your policy. One's ability to drive with caution is not something that belongs in a music studio policy.


private piano/voice teacher FT

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#1310903 - 11/23/09 11:40 AM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: R0B]  
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Betty Patnude Offline
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Betty Patnude  Offline
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Puyallup, Washington
Originally Posted by R0B
For what it is worth, I wouldn't make any mention in your policy about potential dangers.
It implies that you are aware, that a hazardous situation could arise.

I would simply state that parents, or a responsible adult, shall be responsible for a safe passage, to, and from, your premises.

That puts the onus directly on them, and not you.


I agree with Rob also.

You need to state in your policy that it is the responsibility of the parent to provide transportation to and from your studio and to be on time for lesson and pick up.

I do not let my students out the front door unless I see their car in the driveway waiting for them. They remain sitting at the window where they can see the car pulling up. I have a patio area outside with a small grassed area where they can wait for their student on a clear day. Since Puget Sound has so many rainy days it is not used that often. One concern I have is about siblings running around the yard and getting hurt so I try to make it clear as to which part of the property they may be on. We have about 0.58 land which is a big attraction for kids to run around on. I offer a very small part of the property for parking, waiting, or being out of the car.

I believe you can put a rider on your home insurance policy for the value of your studio equipment and instrument, I'm not sure about the liability part. My husband takes care of this for me, but I just asked him this question and it seems that our new insurance company said "it's not needed". This is making me uncomfortable and I need to verify that indeed my piano will be covered in loss as well as having liability. I think they were just avoiding saying "No." So, it's back in his hands to verify it with them. So, I'm glad this question came up today!

You might also check with an attorney to ask that one question. The question needs to be asked in Canada where you live. There is a legal service abailable with our membership in the US of Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) but answers would reflect USA residence.

Best wishes in the establishment of your home studio!

Betty Patnude

#1310935 - 11/23/09 12:39 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: Betty Patnude]  
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david_a Offline
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Betty: Insurance probably differs from place to place, but in my case it's exactly as you described. Expensive equipment on a rider, liability not available.


(I'm a piano teacher.)
#1310943 - 11/23/09 12:51 PM Re: Accident Clause in Policies? [Re: david_a]  
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lilylady Offline
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boston north
What a different world we live in now.

What happened to the lovable neighborhood piano teacher where a student just walked to and from their lessons?

And no one sued a neighbor?

Maybe I was lucky, but when I taught in my home, it never even dawned on me that there might be liabilities! You see, I was one of the above neighbohood students!!!


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