What are your recommendations regarding BYOB?

We recommend that you contact your Headquarters about your organization’s policy regarding their BYOB policies. Each organization has their own policies regarding alcohol and events.

Who is covered under the insurance program?

The policy defines an insured as the Fraternity/Sorority, Foundation, House Corporations, Chapters, Colonies and Alumnae Associations. In addition, any member, volunteer or employee is also an insured, while they are acting on behalf of the organization. Your organization has purchased a comprehensive policy to protect you should you be named in a lawsuit while acting on their behalf.

What are the risk management issues to consider with “house boys?”

House Boys living in the chapter house is a rarely seen exposure in women’s fraternities/sororities. Each situation is unique and should be very carefully analyzed. The exposures as we see them are enumerated below and should be considered by your House Corporation. Our position is that as long as the House Corporation is addressing the following risk management considerations, we can support this practice:

  • Male visitation restrictions are common in every facility
  • Access to common areas must be limited and probably have only limited times during the day where it is possible
  • Access to the sleeping rooms should be restricted at all times
  • Security of the resident/members is of utmost concern
  • The compensation of room and board becomes both a taxable and worker’s compensation exposure for the employer
  • The House Corporation can ultimately have the confidence in the “men” abiding by the rules;however, any allowance for the men to have male or female guests creates a more complex situation. It would be our recommendation that guests not be allowed.

Please contact us directly, so that we can help you to ensure that you are properly prepared and protected.

How do you recommend that we handle chapter members with food allergies?

It depends! If the food allergies are minor and something that you feel your cook/caterer can easily accommodate, then we recommend that you carefully lay out the expectations with both the members in question and the cook/caterer. If the food allergies are too severe in nature or very difficult to accommodate, we recommend that you release the member(s) in question from the meal plan. If the allergy is so severe that it calls for total elimination of the ingredient from the premises, then we recommend that you consider releasing the individual from their housing contract.

In order to avoid repeated dietary requests, we recommend that the House Corporation require a doctor’s note before agreeing to any special arrangements. If you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to contact us

What happens when a liability incident occurs?

Any type of incident should be reported immediately to MJ Insurance . Officers and
members will be interviewed by the insurance company to uncover the details of the incident. More than likely several people are going to be named in the lawsuit. The insurance policy will provide defense costs and pay any judgment against you as an insured as long as you are acting on behalf of the Sorority/Fraternity and following the rules and guidelines that are in place.

Are all activities covered by the insurance policies?

The General Liability policy covers premises, as well as operations liability. Premises liability means that coverage exists for claims arising on owned or rented property. Operations liability means that coverage exists for any typical event that is held off premises, such as philanthropic activities, dances, and social events. The organization’s policies are very comprehensive and protect that organization and its members. Virtually all sponsored events are covered; however, intentional acts (defined as deliberate intent to harm or break the law) that produce a loss are not covered.

Remember: as long as you are following the policies and/or guidelines of your organization and are acting on behalf of your organization, your interests will be protected by the insurance policy.

If I am injured during a sponsored event or at the chapter house, will the organization’s insurance policy pay for my injuries?

When a member or volunteer is injured during a sponsored event or at the chapter house, they need to rely on their own medical insurance to pay for their injuries, unless the organization is grossly negligent in causing their injuries. The General Liability policy exists to defend the organization’s members and volunteers should they be named in a lawsuit. It is not a substitute for a personal medical insurance policy.

Is the exposure for alcohol-related activities covered by the insurance program?

Under the insurance program, the fraternity/sorority is covered under host liquor liability coverage, which is similar to the type of coverage under a homeowner’s policy. This coverage protects an insured should they be named in a civil lawsuit in which someone was injured due to the consumption of alcohol. This coverage will respond as long as the courts interpret that the insured is not in the business of serving, selling, manufacturing, furnishing or distributing alcoholic beverages.

Remember: It is extremely important that all members of the fraternity/sorority follow the organization’s alcohol policy.