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

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. 

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. Because Oregon has no statute of limitations on reporting claims of sexual assault and molestation, insurers are reluctant to offer coverage because they are liable in perpetuity.

Due to a state statute barring government agencies from offering insurance, the Education Department could not offer groups such coverage, and the department exhausted its search for alternative solutions, 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.

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

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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. She previously worked in Iceland and Qatar and was a Fulbright scholar in Spain where she earned a master's degree in digital media. She's been a kayaking guide in Alaska, farmed on four continents and worked the night shift at several bakeries to support her reporting along the way.