Maryland Sorority House Insurance Policy Information
Maryland Sorority House Insurance. Sorority houses play a vital role in college life for numerous female college students. These organizations offer an indispensable opportunity to form social bonds that may last a lifetime with fellow members, but sorority houses also nurture academic excellence and encourage philanthropic activities.
Sororities are clubs or organizations that provide social and/or lodging facilities for female college and university students. Some sororities are national in scope, while others are local. National organizations generally have a board of directors whose members are alumni of the sorority.
The board may set up a foundation to provide scholarships for undergraduate members, but these are run by the national organization. Fund-raising activities may be conducted by the national organization or by the individual chapters.
Sorority houses may provide recreational facilities for members.
Recruiting of new members is done through a process called rushing, in which prospects attend social events and are interviewed by existing members, who then vote on whether to admit the prospect as a member. Most MD sororities give preferential consideration for membership to prospects whose mother or sister had also been a member.
Once approved for membership, the prospect goes through a trial period before her initiation into the sorority. Membership in a sorority can be expensive. In addition to national and chapter dues, there may be an initiation fee, room and board charges, expenses of social and philanthropic events, and fines for infractions of rules.
An emerging issue is whether sororities should be limited to females only or open to male or transgender students.
Members of Greek sororities often live, study, and party together in sorority houses, and campus life would be difficult to imagine without sorority houses.
Precisely because of the fact that sorority houses function as strong support systems during such a wild time in life, running a sorority house, or being its treasurer, represents a tremendous responsibility.
Those in charge of a sorority chapter's finances do not have to worry if unforeseen circumstances will crop up. Rather, they will have to prepare to protect the sorority house when a minor or major disaster happens.
Investing in Maryland sorority house insurance is not optional, but just what types of coverage are needed, and why? Keep reading to learn more.
Maryland sorority house insurance protects your Greek organization from lawsuits with rates as low as $47/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do MD Sorority Houses Need Insurance?
As bustling hubs of student activity, it is no surprise that sorority houses face numerous threats. Some of the risks that sorority houses have to factor in are universal in nature, while others are more specific to these unique organizations.
It doesn't matter f the sorority is Alpha Chi Omega, Alpha Delta Pi, Alpha Gamma Delta, Alpha Omicron Pi, Alpha Phi, Chi Omega, Delta Delta Delta, Delta Gamma, Delta Zeta, Gamma Phi Beta, Kappa Alpha Theta, Kappa Delta, Kappa Kappa Gamma, Pi Beta Phi, Zeta Tau Alpha or others - MD sorority houses are legally obliged to carry certain types of insurance for good reason - if a sorority house were to be impacted by a major peril, the resulting costs can be devastating.
The first perils that might come to mind include those associated with large-scale social events; both members of a sorority house and guests, such as visiting fraternities, could be injured, and accidental damage to third party property may also occur during such times.
However, sorority houses also have to consider other scenarios. A sorority house could be impacted by an act of nature, such as an earthquake or hurricane. Burglary and vandalism could cause property damage, as may accidents. Important equipment, such as sound systems or HVAC units, could suddenly break down and require replacement or repair.
All these scenarios, as well as many others, would have the potential to inflict severe financial damage on a sorority house, even to the point of bankruptcy.
In partnering with an insurance company who understands the unique needs of sororities, they gain peace of mind in knowing that their insurer will cover most of the costs associated with serious perils when they have the right Maryland sorority house insurance selected.
What Type Of Insurance Do Maryland Sorority Houses Need?
The precise types of coverage that a MD sorority house needs to carry will depend on their unique circumstances. Factors that include the location of the sorority house, how many college students live there, and what kinds of events are hosted at the sorority house.
Because the path toward being fully insured can be challenging, it is vital to consult an insurance broker. However, among the most important types of Maryland sorority house insurance needed are:
- Commercial Property - This type of insurance protects sorority houses from financial loss in the event their property - meaning the building, but also its contents - is impacted by perils such as acts of nature, theft, vandalism, and accidents. A significant portion of the resulting repair or replacement expenses will be covered.
- General Liability - If a sorority house engages in an activity that causes a third party to be injured or results in loss of property, or if a third party were to sustain injuries on the premises, costly and drawn-out property damage or personal injury claims may follow. General liability insurance covers the associated legal costs up to a predefined limit.
- Directors And Officers Liability - This form of Maryland sorority house insurance coverage protects the sorority house and its officers by taking care of the legal costs officers face because they hold a particular office within the sorority house.
- Special Event Insurance - Large-scale social events hosted in sorority houses should be covered with special event insurance, a short-term type of coverage that covers injured participants' medical expenses as well as the costs of any property damage.
Because of the complex nature of the chapters' activities, further types of Maryland sorority house insurance may also be needed, ranging from excess liability to liquor liability and commercial auto insurance.
To learn more about your sorority's insurance needs, consult an insurance broker who is deeply familiar with the needs of sorority and fraternity chapters.
MD Sorority House's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is very high due to the number of youthful residents and their guests. The sorority house should meet all life safety codes to assure resident safety. There should be locks and alarms in place to deter unauthorized entry. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, the sorority must be well maintained, with floor covering in good condition.
The number of exits must be sufficient and well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. Sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots should be free from defects and cleared of ice and snow in inclement weather. Balconies should be regularly inspected and maintained. Roofs should be inaccessible to students.
Liquor is a concern if allowed on the premises or used at off-site parties hosted by the sorority, as there may be little supervision to prevent overconsumption or drinking by underage residents or their guests. Any special events offered and sponsored by the sorority need very careful evaluation as additional security may be required.
While hazing of new members is illegal in almost every state, some sororities continue to disregard this, resulting in bodily injury. Personal injury allegations may arise from assault, bullying, discrimination in the process of selecting new members, invasion of privacy, and wrongful eviction.
The sorority should follow the national organization's rules and regulations regarding the use of liquor and the selection and induction of new members into the sorority.
Workers compensation exposure at a local house or chapter may be limited to an on-site adult supervisor, a cook, and a housekeeper. Cleaning and maintenance operations can result in lung, eye or skin irritations and reactions. Slips and falls, back injury, hernias, sprains and strains from lifting and working at awkward positions are common.
Food preparation operations can result in cuts, scrapes, and burns. Interaction with residents and their guests may involve situations that could produce injuries, such as assault. Employees should be trained in dealing with these situations.
The national or parent organization may have employees who organize and control the overall operations.
Property exposure can be high due to having a large number of unsupervised college girls in control of a large house. There should be adult supervision on premises at all times. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, air conditioning and heating systems, and cooking equipment. Smoking and the use of candles in dormitory rooms should be prohibited.
Many houses are older, converted hotels, apartments, or single-family residences. Conversions should be handled by professionals with appropriate permits and licenses obtained. The sorority's national association should oversee the conversion and provide rules for maintenance, housekeeping, and permissible activities. Conversions must meet current codes.
The age, condition, configuration, size, repair, and roof of the building affect the potential for loss as damages must be repaired to match the rest of the structure. The houses must be inspected regularly to ensure all life safety and fire controls continue to be met. Good controls must be in place to prevent, detect, and suppress fire.
If meals are prepared on site, the kitchen should be equipped with adequate fire prevention and control devices. Hard-wired smoke detectors should be installed in all dormitory rooms as well as common areas. While the house is unoccupied during breaks, heat should be maintained to prevent pipes from breaking and causing water damage.
Houses may also be targets for vandalism. Business interruption exposure can be high due to the loss of room rents should backup facilities be unavailable after a loss.
Inland marine exposure is limited to mobile items used for ceremonies. For most sororities, records are maintained by the national organization. If the local sorority bills for dues and other fees, accounts receivable coverage will be needed. There may be computers, contractors' equipment used for lawn care, fine arts for paintings and statuary, or valuable papers for members' and donors' information.
Crime exposure is generally limited to theft of money from application fees, fines, fundraisers, membership fees, and special social events. While property of residents could be stolen by employees, other residents, guests, or trespassers, this should be covered on their parents' homeowners policies.
Business auto exposure is limited due to the lack of employees. If hired and non-owned coverage is requested for volunteers using their vehicles on sorority business, the driver and vehicle should be reviewed very carefully due to the high potential for accidents caused by younger drivers, transporting a large number of passengers, or driving long distances after dark to sorority houses located on other campuses.
Maryland Sorority House Insurance - The Bottom Line
To discover the exact types of Maryland sorority house insurance policies you'll need, what coverage limits to consider and the associated costs, consult with a reputable agent that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Maryland Economic Data And Business Insurance Regulations
Business owners that have their sights set on Maryland should to take a number of factors into consideration before the set up shop; namely, they need to determine if the state offers favorable for business owners in general, as well as their specific industry. After all, it doesn't matter how top-notch the products and services a business offers may be, if the location isn't favorable for the industry - and businesses, in general - the operation is going to have a hard time thriving.
Below, we examine key factors that indicate whether or not Maryland is favorable for business owners. We also look at some of the must-have types of commercial insurance coverage that are required in the state.
Economic Trends For Maryland Business Owners
A state's unemployment rate is key indicator of whether or not the climate is favorable for business operations. As of May, 2019, the unemployment rate in the Old Line State was 3.8 percent; 0.2 percent higher than the national average. In October of 2021, the rate hit a record low of 3.7 percent, so in less than a year, the unemployment rate has increased by .01 percent; a marginal increase. However, there have been gains in recent years; in 2010, the rate was 7.8 percent; that's a 4.0 percent increase in less than a decade.
The best place to start a business in Maryland is in Baltimore, the state's largest city. Suburbs of the city also offer promising conditions for business owners, such as Ellicott City, Columbia, Fulton, Lutherville, and Elkridge.
The state of Maryland offers a friendly culture for business of all shapes and sizes; but, the industries that are see the most success in the Old Line State include:
- BioHealth and Life Sciences
- Advanced manufacturing
- Information technology
- Aerospace and defense
- Financial services
- Energy (specifically green energy)
- Hospitality and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations In MD
The Maryland Insurance Administration regulates insurance in Maryland. Commercial insurance is designed to protect business owners from potential perils; it also protects anyone that interacts with a business, including consumers, vendors, and employees. Having the right type of coverage is not only crucial to avoid serious financial devastation in the even that a catastrophe does occur, but certain types of insurance are mandated, meaning business owners must carry specific forms of coverage.
In the state of Maryland, business owners are required to carry workers' compensation insurance, which offers coverage for on-the-job accidents and illnesses that employees sustain, is also required. Other forms of insurance coverage that business owners may need to invest in depend on the specific industry; for example, companies that distribute or sell alcohol will need liquor liability insurance, and businesses that utilize vehicles for business-related operations should carry commercial auto insurance to protect their drivers and other motorists on the road.
Additional Resources For Lodging Places Insurance
Find out what types of business insurance that hotels, motels and other lodging places should have to protect their varied operations.
All lodging places provide sleeping accommodations for their patrons. Dining facilities are common because those who sleep will want to eat.
Many facilities also provide extra features such as offering recreational and exercise facilities or possibly meeting rooms and convention arrangements. Property coverage is needed because of high building and business personal property values at risk that are subject to a number of potential causes of loss, chief of which is fire.
Liability insurance is absolutely necessary because of the number of guests and the potential for losses ranging from slips and falls to food consumption to loss of life in the event of a disaster.
Other liability concerns are the additional guest services such as swimming pools, exercise rooms, recreational activities, and bars. Crime losses involving the theft of guest property, inventory and supplies must also be considered.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Business Income and Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, Employee Dishonesty, Guests Property, Money and Securities, General Liability, Employee Benefits, Liquor Liability, Umbrella, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage, Hired and Non-Owned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Flood, Spoilage, Bailees Customers, Commercial Articles Floater, Contractors Equipment, Fine Arts, Signs, Special Floater, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Garagekeepers And Stop Gap Liability.
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