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Monday, July 08, 2013

Insurer won’t cover Kansas schools that allow guns

School crossing sign featuring assault rifle
Talking Points Memo: An insurance company based in Iowa has refused to renew coverage for Kansas schools that permit teachers and staff to carry concealed firearms on campus, the Des Moines Register reported on Sunday.

EMC Insurance Cos. made the decision after Kansas enacted a new law to allow the concealed guns on campus. The company told the newspaper the decision was based on financial policy, not politics. The company reportedly covers 85 to 90 percent of Kansas school districts.

"We’ve been writing school business for almost 40 years, and one of the underwriting guidelines we follow for schools is that any on-site armed security should be provided by uniformed, qualified law enforcement officers,” Mick Lovell, EMC’s vice president for business development, told the Des Moines Register. “Our guidelines have not recently changed.”
It strikes me that insurance companies often find themselves on the opposite side of issues from supposedly “business-friendly" Republicans. Insurerers are raising the alarm about climate change, for example. There’s a reason for that: insurers make their money by accurately assessing reality. “Insurance is heavily dependent on scientific thought," Frank Nutter, president of the Reinsurance Association of America, told the New York Times recently. “It is not as amenable to politicized scientific thought." So if something is a really stupid idea — like, say, encouraging people to carry loaded guns in schools — it’s not going to be real popular with the insurance industry. In this case, the science is simple math — every time someone is exposed to a loaded gun, their odds of being injured or killed go up, not down.

And EMC’s stance seems to be having an effect. Despite a new law allowing concealed weapons in schools, no Kansas school district has adopted a concealed-carry policy. It’s one thing to pass these idiotic laws, but it’s another to get them to actually work in the real world.

[image by Mike Licht,]

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