Failure to Educate Lawsuits Question the Effectiveness of Online Education

Online education programs for working adults promote a tailor-fit experience for people looking to continue or finish their education or set themselves up for a better role in their current career field. Five-week courses, low cost, online and in-person options, etc. All these things sound very enticing. But in recent years, for-profit online schools have seen a wave of regulation and lawsuits hit them.

In some cases, students of online schools have sued the online programs because of receiving a lower standard of instruction while actually having to pay more than students who go to school on campus and who get more hands-on instruction. What’s more, other online colleges have been hit with claims related to predatory behavior and shady tactics to pressure students to sign up for classes or adding fees that were not previously discussed.

In the wake of recent allegations, the government has instructed Senate task forces to investigate how online, hybrid and off-campus courses are established and monitored at online-based universities. What was found was a loose structure to approving and monitoring new classes as well as undisclosed ways of charging students more for tuition and fees.

This has opened the door for more lawsuits and put online educators at risk of being subject to legal claims. It’s important for online schools and educators to know the importance of protecting against possible liabilities that are now made known.

In November of 2017, the state of California sued online university, Ashford University, for ripping off students by misrepresenting tuition costs and fees. These lawsuits are only going to continue until for-profit schools change certain structures to their operations, but even if they don’t, educators at these online schools should still invest in liability insurance for educators.

Educators liability insurance protects educators by offering to cover defense costs in addition to policy limits. Plus, prior acts coverage is available to protect against claims made after five years. Educator insurance companies, like Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc., promotes protection for educators who need coverage against broad claims and today’s liabilities related to ill wills by an institution.

Teaching and research professionals face just as much risk as the online schools themselves, and their employer’s professional liability insurance may not be enough to cover overall costs. Having an educators liability policy added will supply not only peace of mind, but a safeguard against claims that can end someone’s career and future in the education system.

About PGUI

Professional Governmental Underwriters, Inc. is a full-service risk management company dedicated to assisting public, educational and non-profit entities in the management of their professional liability exposures. We are dedicated to providing state-of-the-art professional underwriting management and loss control advisory services on behalf of our designated carriers. For more information, call us toll-free at (800) 586-6502.