According to Playgroup WA’s finance and administration manager Christine Clark, calls and emails from playgroup committees and individuals come thick and fast across the playgroup year.
“It’s understandable,” Christine said. “People want to clarify what is and isn’t covered by their insurance with Playgroup WA.”
In a nutshell, each year Playgroup WA negotiates on behalf of playgroups and their families, to acquire good value insurance cover to meet the needs of members and their children. The cover is also designed to cover the individual playgroup’s equipment, toys and facilities.
“However, while we take many phone calls and answer a great number of emails about insurance cover – we usually suggest playgroups contact Finsura Insurance Brokers – our current broker – to get a definitive answer on their individual enquiry,” said Christine.
Which is where Finsura corporate account manager Geoff Doyle steps in. Although based on the east coast, Geoff’s only a phone call or email away from providing more in depth information about your playgroup insurance questions and visits us here in Perth twice a year.
Finsura places on behalf of playgroup a $20 million public liability insurance policy, child and adult accident and injury insurance and property insurance for affiliated WA family playgroups (Playgroup WA associate and professional membership categories do not include this insurance cover).
“The most frequent questions I get, centre on what’s actually covered, so I start by explaining that the child and care giver, whether that’s them or another adult, is covered in most circumstances.
“This includes when travelling to and from playgroup, events or excursions and while at the playgroup. This cover also includes running an activity, fundraising and promotion or simply playing with the children or cutting up the snacks!,” Geoff said.
“However, all families attending playgroup must be financial members of Playgroup WA and the playgroup must be registered with Playgroup WA for the insurance cover to be effective.”
True visitors are covered by insurance but this does not mean that families can continue coming to playgroup indefinitely without becoming financial members, reminded Geoff.
“Potential members are covered for two consecutive visits, but must then take out an annual membership with Playgroup WA to ensure that they are covered by our insurance program,” he said.
Other members called to ask if their school age children were covered at playgroup during school holidays.
Geoff advised the quick answer is yes, but clarification is advised.
“So while insurance cover is available to older children attending playgroup, it is something for the individual playgroup as a whole to decide.”
And it’s really important to remember to keep attendance records at playgroup – they are required for insurance purposes and playgroups MUST keep a record of which families actually attended each session. You can use either an attendance sheet, kept in a file, or an attendance book. For more details simply download a copy of our Online Manual and turn to page 66 (links to relevant forms are also included on this page of the manual) or get in touch with Playgroup WA on 1800 171 882.
If an accident does occur, please notify Playgroup WA on – 1800 171 882 (Monday to Friday 9am to 4.30pm) – as soon as possible and complete an incident form.
This report allows you as a playgroup to identify how accidents can be prevented in the future but does not constitute a claim for insurance.
“Finsura has special forms for making an insurance claim and these are available via Playgroup WA,” explained Geoff.
“Once you have completed the form, please return the form to Playgroup WA who will then forward to Finsura on your behalf.”
Insurance cover can only go so far and it is important to remember that just because you have cover doesn’t mean you can be indolent about safety or security.
“Each member should feel some responsibility for making sure the venue or location is safe and free of risks,” said Geoff.
“This means regularly checking that equipment meets Australian Standards for the age range, checking and disposing of broken equipment, glass, syringes, scalding dangers and other safety hazards.
“These checks should happen before you allow children free range at the venue and need to be done regularly at your location and/or on special excursions. He advised members to report all incidents and accidents that happen at playgroup to the playgroup coordinator or Playgroup WA directly. “Even if you don’t think much of it at the time, it could be part of an insurance claim in the future,” he explained.
“If in doubt – get in touch, a quick phone call can put everyone’s mind at rest and allow you to get on with things!”
Finsura’s Geoff Doyle advised the benefits available under Playgroup WA’s injury and accident insurance policy vary according to what the injury is and whether you have private health cover or not. The benefits apply to all Playgroup WA members aged 0-90 however, please note you cannot claim the ‘gap’ between the Medicare benefit and the doctor’s charge.
Your playgroup has cover for theft of or damage to property, including money, broken glass and fixtures insurance. There are maximum amounts covered for each circumstance as well as maximum amounts payable under the insurance policy. An excess of $250 applies to each and every claim, depending on the type of event that has caused the damage/theft.
If an accident, injury, damage or theft occurs at playgroup, please first contact Playgroup WA – 1800 171 882 (9am to 4.30pm Monday to Friday) – for further information.
Before signing a lease or agreement with a third party regarding a playgroup venue, make sure that you are not being asked to take on more than your playgroup is insured for. Finsura will check any Indemnity clauses within the lease agreements before you sign them, to ensure you fall within the current scope of insurance provided.
It can sometimes be difficult or impossible to prevent third parties (non-members) from using your property, or property for which you are responsible. Geoff advises playgroups to prominently display notices disclaiming responsibility for any injuries sustained by third parties using your equipment or toys. Equally any notices providing safety information (such as limiting the use of equipment to children over a certain age and size) should be prominently displayed.
As long as it’s recognized as a normal playgroup activity where all members are invited and can attend – your insurance cover stands. However please note that if you hire rides or amusement activities for any event, like fun days or a picnic, you will need to ensure that the Third Party Company has its own Public Liability Cover and that a Certificate of Currency confirming its insurance is kept on file, together with the day book. Also, playgroups are no longer required to complete an Event/Excursion Notification document UNLESS 1000 or more attendees are expected.
** PLEASE NOTE **
Any construction, repairs or maintenance must be completed by a qualified trades person to ensure that all repairs or new constructions meet the relevant building codes.
The ratio on or near water-based activities (pond, pool, beach, lake etc) MUST be 1:1 there is no exception to this rule (the ratio for land-based activities is 1:5).
If you plan on using or hiring an inflatable, you must obtain the hirer’s Certificate of Currency and keep it with the day book and the attendant must set up & dismantle the inflatable on their own and the attendant must be present during the usage of such equipment.
Log in to the member’s gateway to view updated insurance details.
Should you have any queries regarding insurance cover, please contact:
Finsura Insurance Brokers Pty Ltd
Geoff Doyle – Corporate Account Manager
Phone: (02) 9899 2999
Ask most people and they’ll tell you that while they have insurance cover, they really hope they’ll never have to use it! The same goes for playgroup but the best thing is – by joining Playgroup WA, your insurance cover is taken care of!
Imagine turning up to playgroup after a particularly stormy winter’s night to find a tree branch has fallen and crushed a section of your play equipment – you’ll certainly breathe easier knowing you can make a claim under your playgroup insurance.
Or maybe one of your playgroup toddlers has a fall and knocks a baby tooth out? After the tears have been mopped up – make sure you complete an accident report and lodge it for any future insurance claim. According to Karen Collins, Playgroup WA development officer south west, insurance cover is something that all playgroups should really understand.
“Having that knowledge that you’re covered by insurance is a great relief to so many of our playgroups and it gives great peace of mind when an unforeseen event happens,” Karen said.
Julie, from one of our south west playgroups, lodged an insurance claim after her playgroup had been broken into and vandalised extensively.
“Our soft furnishings and toys were ruined leaving our playgroup parents and children devastated,” she said. Luckily the playgroup was a current financial member of Playgroup WA with full insurance cover ensuring the claim, once lodged, was dealt with quickly.
There are so many possibilities the mind boggles but you can certainly rest easy knowing your insurance cover is extensive – all you have to do is get in touch with Playgroup WA and our current insurance broker Finsura for more information!
* Subject to the terms and conditions of the policy wording.