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Health insurance is no one’s favorite subject. But when it comes to your school district and your students’ accidental injuries, you may find yourself diving headfirst into the murky, confusing waters of primary vs. secondary insurance—while also dealing with deductibles, out-of-pocket expenses, co-payments, coordination of benefits, school district liability, and more. So here are a few quick tips to get you back on dry land fast with participant accident insurance.

What is Participant Accident Insurance?

Participant accident insuranceHappy physical education teacher talks to her students during a class as they walk across the elementary school gym. is a plan that pays a cash benefit when the insured (in this case, a student) is injured in an accident. The money helps pay medical bills.

Participant accident insurance is generally a very affordable plan, unlike a primary health plan.

This coverage can be used in two scenarios when an accident—like twisted ankles, bumped heads, cuts, bruises, burns, or something more serious—happens while students are in your care.

  1. If the student has health insurance coverage, the health insurance is considered the primary coverage, and the participant accident would be secondary coverage. All medical treatment would be put through that plan first. In this instance, the participant accident insurance would be used to supplement the costs not covered by the primary coverage, like the deductibles, co-payments, and other out-of-pocket costs. This keeps the student’s family from facing a huge burden of medical debt.
  2. If the student doesn’t have health insurance, the participant accident plan benefits can be put toward medical expenses. While not meant to replace primary coverage and certainly not as robust as health insurance, it can help relieve some treatment expenses.

Whether it’s used as secondary coverage or its benefits help provide some repayment if there is no primary coverage, participant accident coverage can fill a financial gap in case of student injury.

Does Your School Need Participant Accident Insurance?

We never plan for accidents to happen, but statistics show they occur despite our best intentions: an estimated 2.2 million children ages 14 and under sustain school-related injuries each year.

Parents want assurance that injuries aren’t the result of dangerous conditions on the school campus or the negligence of teachers or others responsible for their child’s care. Although not the only consideration, an accident plan that removes all or part of a financial burden may lessen the knee-jerk reaction of suing the school district for damages, saving you from expensive and lengthy litigation.

Are There Different Kinds of Participant Accident Insurance?

Yes. But while all pay benefits for injuries, the way they are offered vary. The most common types of participant accident insurance are:

  • Mandatory plans, where parents pay the premiums, not the school. These are excess plans that pay secondary to the family’s primary health insurance. Or, if the family doesn’t have primary coverage, they aren’t facing the costs entirely alone.
  • Compulsory plans, where the school covers the premium. Families appreciate the care the school shows in providing this additional layer of protection to their child’s health and wellness.
  • Voluntary plans, which the parent has the option to purchase. These are for student protection outside of school hours or for when participating in activities on or off-campus.

Accident insurance plans are also available to cover interscholastic sports and catastrophic incidents.

Where Can You Find Participant Accident Plans?

A-G Specialty Insurance has been a leading presence in the student accident medical expense field for nearly 40 years. We know the ins and outs of primary vs. secondary coverages and can navigate the coordination of benefits with ease. We can even use our more than 40+ nationwide provider networks to help control costs. Over 3,200 K-12 schools and 675 colleges and universities trust us to protect them and make their lives easier. It’s a trust we don’t take lightly, and we work every day to make it even stronger.

If you’d like to learn more about participant accident insurance, we’d love to talk about your options and what’s best for your school. And we promise to clear up any confusion or questions about primary and secondary coverages and all they entail.

We look forward to speaking with you soon.


A-G has the experience to offer the best custom coverage for every program and the best customer service to ensure a worry-free process for every claim. The nation’s most competitive K-12, collegiate and youth programs Achieve Greatness with A-G!

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