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Schools insurance

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Schools insurance

Crombie Lockwood understands schools insurance. Our schools insurance programme has been in place since 1991, and today we insure almost half of New Zealand's schools.

The programme continues to grow and develop, to address the issues faced by schools and boards of trustees today. 

Our specialist schools brokers are consistently rated highly by our clients for the service and support they provide.

We offer comprehensive insurance cover that can be tailored to your school's unique risks, keeping your school property and reputation fully protected.


Material damage and business interruption

While the Ministry insures some of your buildings and property, you need to take care of your other assets and risks. Overcode buildings, sports facilities, landscaping and other community-funded assets are often huge sources of pride for the school and community. Material damage and business interruption cover ensures these are protected and you can continue to operate if something happens.

Material damage 

A material damage policy can cover the repair, replacement or rebuild of:

  • Overcode buildings
  • Contents
  • Paths and landscaping
  • Playing courts and sports grounds
  • Artificial turf
  • Playgrounds
  • Digital signs

Business interruption

While your damaged property is being fixed, business interruption cover can help you keep operating ie

  • Hiring temporary equipment or furniture
  • Recreating lost records or data
  • Temporary relocation of your administration team

If there’s damage to property you hire out to the community, your business interruption policy can cover you for loss of income.


Claim scenario: A leaking pipe shuts down a school

A water pipe fails in the ceiling of a school's admin centre. Photocopiers, computers, the server and phone system are all damaged. While these are replaced business interruption cover provides for the additional cost of hiring temporary equipment. 


Employment disputes

Employment disputes are one of the most common sources of claim we see from schools. Situations that can lead to employment disputes include:

  • Restructures
  • Redundancies
  • Performance issues
  • Disciplinary processes
  • Dismissals

Employment disputes insurance covers legal costs arising from personal grievance claims, where approved lawyers are used, and covers settlements and award of damages where claims are successful. 

It’s essential to follow the correct procedure when handling employment disputes, so you don’t prejudice the outcome of any claim, and to comply with the conditions of your insurance policy. The New Zealand School Trustees Association (NZSTA) provides advice at no cost,  so it is important you contact them early in the process for guidance.


Liability almost always strikes your school out of the blue. What starts as an accident or unfortunate event suddenly turns into a claim for damages, and with that comes legal costs. Liability insurance covers the legal cost of defending a claim, and the compensation that you may be directed to pay the injured or wronged party.

  • Statutory liability - Covers your defence costs and any penalties you may be required to pay, if there’s an unintended breach of most New Zealand statutes. The most common unintended breach is of obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act (2015). Reparation awards and defence costs are covered. Fines can't be paid as the legislation prohibits this.  
  • Public liability - Protects the school against liability for accidental damage to other people’s property, as well as for injury to others.
  • Employer’s liability - When an employee is injured your school can be legally liable for damages. Employer’s liability covers you for these claims.
  • Fidelity cover - Protects your school from losses that can arrive from dishonest or fraudulent acts by employees or volunteers. 
Professional indemnity

Every school has a commitment to act professionally, but sometimes things go wrong. Professional indemnity insurance covers any amounts you have to pay if your school is found to have negligently breached its professional duty when it comes to: 

  • enrolment procedures
  • implementing curricula
  • suspending or expelling students

A public relations extension to professional indemnity cover is also available, providing up to $50,000 to hire experts to help manage a PR crisis related to a potential or actual claim.


Schools are a common target of cyber criminals, due to their reliance on IT and high number of users. Cyber-attacks are disruptive, upsetting and can lead to serious reputational damage for your school.

How does cyber cover work?

If your school is attacked, your first need is expertise. Cyber coverage is triggered if either your school or your outsourced service provider have a network failure.

  • We get experts on site to help with all aspects of the attack
  • Take action to shut down the attack and prevent further breaches
  • Pay any ransom demanded to ‘free’ your system
  • Repair or restore your system
  • Coordinate expert media and legal consultants to help protect your reputation through crisis management
  • Work with police and other authorities to identify the attacker

Then we help you recover from the attack: 

  • Cover your cybercrime losses if your financial systems have been compromised as a result of scams or hacking, or any other fraudulent manipulation of electronic communication
  • Cover any loss of income attributable to the attack
  • We’ll meet your legal defence costs if you’re faced with any third party or regulatory charges 
  • Provide advice on improving your school’s online security and incident plans

Find out more


Motor vehicle

Motor vehicle insurance

Our comprehensive schools motor insurance policy covers vehicles owned by schools, and those used by staff, volunteers or parents on school business. It includes cover for:

  • Repair of damaged vehicle
  • Replacement of vehicle where it is stolen or can't be repaired
  • Damage caused to the property of others if you are legally liable 
  • Emergency accommodation and travel costs

Drive On – roadside assistance 

Drive On is a popular optional add-on for schools with our motor vehicle policy, offering 24 hour vehicle breakdown assistance. It doesn’t matter who’s driving, because the vehicle is covered, not the driver. The service includes:

  • Assistance with mechanical breakdowns
  • Help changing flat tyres and battery recharge 
  • Help to get back into the vehicle if locked out
  • Top up on fuel if the vehicle has run out
  • Help with vehicle recovery
Safer Schools - health and safety

Our Safer Schools programme helps schools create a safe environment for employees, students and visitors, and to meet obligations under the Health & Safety at Work Act (2015). It includes the following benefits:

  • Risk review to identify gaps and opportunities for improvement
  • Qualified independent health and safety inspection of school facilities and review of systems, plant, equipment
  • Prioritised list of actions for the board of trustees to review 
  • Creation of a risk health and safety system with personalised policies, procedures, forms and checklists
  • Phone support for health and safety guidance and process assistance
  • Direct access to all current hazard management information 
  • Resource and personnel support to deal with notifiable incidents 

More about Safer Schools... 


Our annual travel insurance provides cover for student and sports teams on school trips in New Zealand and overseas. Speak to your broker for more details.

Your schools insurance specialists 

Crombie Lockwood schools insurance brokers are your point of contact for all your insurance requirements. They are highly trained and experienced, with independent surveys consistently rating our schools brokers higher than the industry benchmark. Our brokers visit your school, meet your team and can present to administrators, boards of trustees and parents to ensure everyone understands levels of cover. 

The role of our schools brokers is to help you identify and manage your risks. They can help prioritise your cover so you make the most of your available funds. When it comes to renewal or claim time they help take care of things for you.

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