Legal benefits overview

The OPTA Protection Program consists of the Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy including Employment Rights coverage. 

Highlights of the insurance policy include:

  • Professional liability coverage*, which protects your personal assets in the event of a lawsuit.
  • Employment rights defense coverage*, which can pay the costs of defending yourself against specific claims—including dismissal and certification claims.
See Policy Details (PDF)

Note: Insurance coverage only applies to an insured’s activities that begin during the policy period.

What are the specific amounts of the legal benefits?

Your professional liability insurance policy* includes:

  • COVERAGE A – Educators Professional Liability For claims arising out of a member’s duties as an educator, including civil rights issues  up to $1,000,000 per insured per occurrence and $3,000,000 per occurrence. Corporal punishment is covered if administered according to the laws of the jurisdiction in which the school is located. All coverage A includes the cost of defense, investigation and legal fees
  • COVERAGE B – Reimbursement of Attorney Fees and Criminal or Sexual Misconduct Action or Proceeding: Up to $5,000 per claim, per insured, subject to a $10,000 annual aggregate per insured, all claims. Amount available regardless of outcome. Professional Rights or Credential Action or Proceeding: Up to $5,000 per claim, per insured. Up to $1,000 of this amount is available regardless of outcome. Civil Rights Violation Action or Proceeding: Up to $5,000 per claim, per insured. Amount available regardless of outcome.
  • COVERAGE C – Bail Bonds: Up to $1,000 per bail bond, per insured
  • COVERAGE – Private Instruction: Up to $10,000 per claim, per insured
  • COVERAGE – Identity Theft: Up to $10,000 per insured, per policy period
  • COVERAGE  Assault Related Personal Property Damage: Up to $2,500 per assault

Insurance Coverage that gives educators peace of mind

Because the details of OPTA's liability insurance policy are published on, you know exactly the level of coverage provided. OPTA's underlying employment rights defense insurance is guaranteed to cover eligible costs, whether you win or lose.

Confidential and secure career support

Attorneys are bound by attorney-client confidentiality. They represent the client’s best interest, even if your conflict involves another OPTA member.

If you have a legal problem involving another OPTA member (such as another teacher or supervisor), you can rest assured. If attorneys are needed, each eligible member may retain a separate attorney from a panel approved by the insurance company. Each attorney is ethically bound to provide counsel in the best interest of his or her client. Legal costs for covered claims are simply paid through the insurance policy.

How were these attorneys and law firms selected?

In collaboration with the insurance company, attorneys and law firms were selected using the following criteria:
  • Experience in education and employment law.
  • Quality of services and responsiveness to clients’ and OPTA’s needs as demonstrated by user feedback.
  • Efficiency, billing practices and compliance with claims procedures.
  • Competitive rates.
  • Availability and geographic location of practice.
  • Ability to constructively interact with all components of the program.
  • Cooperation with the claims administrator and insurance carrier.
  • Philosophy and approach compatible with those of OPTA.
  • Demonstrated sound judgment.
  • Adequate professional liability insurance as determined by the company.

What to expect from a private-practice attorney

You are strongly encouraged to contact OPTA before hiring an attorney, unless you need to consult an attorney on a criminal matter and are not able to reach the state office. In that instance only, please secure any attorney necessary, then contact the OPTA state office at (541)207-5059 at your earliest opportunity.

What will my private-practice attorney do for me?

Your attorney should:

  • Represent your best interests zealously.
  • Counsel you realistically regarding the representation.
  • Keep you informed of new developments in your case.
  • Submit a claim as required by the insurance company to obtain payment, if you and your attorney have agreed on that method of payment.
  • Provide you with copies of billing statements.

Your attorney may:

  • Ask you to sign an assignment form to authorize direct payment from the insurance company to the attorney.
  • Contact other parties on your behalf.
  • Bill for both the attorney’s time spent assisting you, as well as actual expenses (example: long distance calls, copying, mail, expert fees, etc.).

What if I have concerns about my legal representation?

As a party in a legal proceeding, it is beneficial for you to:

  • Understand that patience is necessary as the legal process can be time-consuming.
  • Discuss your concerns regarding the representation with your attorney.
  • Contact OPTA if concerns persist.

Once your representation by a private-practice attorney has concluded, we’ll send you a quality-control survey. We want your feedback. We will review it and act upon it as appropriate.

More details about policy effective dates:

Our Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy applies to occurrences during the policy period and activities of an insured that begin during the coverage period.

  • The effective date of insurance begins EITHER:
    • On the member’s date of membership acceptance by an OPTA representative OR
    • After a 15-day waiting period for those members who join after Nov. 15 and were eligible to join in August and September.
  • In no event is coverage provided for acts prior to membership.

Claims procedure

What to do when you need help

Except in situations requiring immediate representation by a private-practice criminal defense attorney, eligible OPTA members are strongly encouraged to contact OPTA between 8 a.m.–5 p.m. Monday–Friday to request legal assistance with employment concerns. In some cases, eligible members are referred to private-practice attorneys on the list of firms approved by the insurance company.

Except for criminal defense, only fees from attorneys and law firms approved by Scottsdale Insurance, may be covered. If members retain attorneys in private practice, they must comply with the claims procedure set forth by OPTA.*

If other insurance is available to you covering a loss also covered by this policy, then this policy shall apply in excess of and shall not contribute with such other insurance. Please notify any other potential insurance carriers of your claim.

Need a criminal defense attorney?

If you need an attorney for an employment-related criminal matter and are not able to reach the state office, please secure any attorney necessary, then contact the OPTA state office at 541-207-5059 at your earliest opportunity to request the necessary claim materials.* 

Professional Liability Insurance Policy

View the entire details of the 2020-21 Educators Professional Liability Insurance Policy (effective September 1, 2020, through August 31, 2021).

*THE EDUCATORS PROFESSIONAL LIABILITY INSURANCE POLICY IS UNDERWRITTEN BY A CARRIER RATED A+ XV  SUPERIOR BY A.M. BEST OFFERED THROUGH  RT SPECIALTY, LLC.  ALL COVERAGE IS SUBJECT TO THE EXPRESS TERMS OF THE MASTER INSURANCE POLICY ISSUED TO OPTA, LLC AND KEPT ON FILE AT THE OPTA STATE OFFICE. Coverage applies to an insured’s activities within his/her professional capacity and does not apply to activities that predate the coverage period. View insurance policy details here. Eligibility for OPTA membership benefits is contingent upon OPTA’s receipt of the entire annual membership dues amount for your appropriate membership category. A disruption in payments to an authorized payment plan may result in discontinuation of such benefits, including cancellation of insurance coverage for the entire membership year retroactive to Sept. 1 or your membership date. OPTA reserves the right to determine the appropriate membership category. The OPTA membership year runs from Sept. 1 to August 31.

Oregon Professional Teachers Association
257 SW Madison Ave., Suite 210
Corvallis, Oregon 97333
(541) 207-5059

Copyright © 2021 Oregon Professional Teachers Association

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