In Short

Several insurers will offer coverage for summer programs nearly derailed by state rules

By: - June 9, 2022 12:04 pm

Clarissa Helliwell instructs a group of kids at a summer school program at Beck-Kiwanis Park in Ontario. (The Enterprise/Liliana Frankel)

The Oregon Association of Education Service Districts announced Thursday that three insurance agents will provide specialty coverage for sexual assault and molestation to community groups offering summer learning programs. 

Last week, the Oregon Department of Education announced a requirement that community groups have such insurance in order to receive the $50 million in state grants available this summer for learning programs. 

Insurers willing to help with coverage

Evelyn Sorenson, Durham and Bates, Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance

Email: [email protected]

Bill Gilmore,  Great Basin Insurance

Email: [email protected] 

Matt Lokan, Bliss Sequoia Insurance & Risk Advisors 

Email: [email protected] 

Others will be added to this document

School districts obtain this coverage through the Oregon School Boards Association, but for small community organizations, it can be prohibitively expensive and difficult to procure. 

The department sought help from its own insurance broker, which couldn’t find an insurer for the community groups. The department exhausted its search alternatives, according to Director Colt Gill.

The service districts association wrote in a statement that the three insurers are “ready, willing, and able to provide reasonable rates in a short timeline for this summer.” As the association connects with more agents, they’ll add them to this document. An FAQ on the summer grants program can be found here.

Those insurers are Portland-based Evelyn Sorenson at Durham and Bates, Bill Gilmore of Great Basin Insurance in Klamath Falls and Matt Lokan of Bliss Sequoia Insurance & Risk Advisors in Salem. 

Community groups can use the state grant money to cover the costs of the added insurance.

CORRECTION: A previous version of this article incorrectly stated that there is no statute of limitations on claims of sexual assault and molestation in Oregon. There is no statute of limitations on prosecuting such crimes when new evidence is obtained. The Oregon Department of Education sought assistance from its own insurer, as the department itself cannot offer insurance. The article incorrectly said the Education Department couldn’t offer communities insurance due to a state statute.

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Alex Baumhardt
Alex Baumhardt

Alex Baumhardt has been a national radio producer focusing on education for American Public Media since 2017. She has reported from the Arctic to the Antarctic for national and international media, and from Minnesota and Oregon for The Washington Post.