Can Workplace Violence be Insured?
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) have estimated that annually approximately two million Americans are victims of workplace violence. No one is immune from such threat but there are ways to help minimize the risk and considerations to take to protect an organization in case of a threat. Workplace violence can range from verbal or written to physical threats that are intended to cause serious emotional or physical injury and can lead to property damage. Workplace violence is often thought of as active shooter incidents but employers should be aware of other the other scenarios to be proactive in protecting their employees. Workplace Violence situations can encompass a variety of scenarios, such as: domestic violence, when employees fight with each other, angry customers, threats (verbal or written), and this is not an exhaustive list of the various types of workplace violence.
The economic cost of an incident can hurt an organization not only financially but can also affect the organization’s morale (employees, employers, its constituents). An incident can lead to increased workers’ compensation claims and decrease in productivity. Do not assume that your General Liability or Directors’ & Officers’ policies will automatically insure your expenses associated with a workplace violence claim. There is insurance that can assist an organization with some financial costs associated with workplace violence, known as Workplace Violence Insurance. The insurance can assist with Business Interruption expense, Public Image Restoration Expense, and Workplace Violence Expense. The following is a brief summary of some coverages that are available to protect against work place violence issues.
- Business Interruption Expense (BIE)
Business Interruption Expense helps with expenses while the organization restores operations at the level that existed prior to incident (workplace violence).
- Public Restoration Expense
The Public Restoration Expense helps pays (the reasonable) cost of:
o Independent public relations consultant
o A Counseling Seminar for individual insureds conducted by an independent consultant
o An independent security guard service
- Workplace Violence Expense
The Workplace Violence Expense helps pay (the reasonable) cost or expenses for Salary or Wages that the Organizations pays individual insured(s) victimized by workplace violence acts and are/is unable to continue to work because of such workplace violence acts.
While there is no standard policy form for workplace violence coverage, you should discuss this exposure with your executives, board of directors, and attorney. No one is completely safe from workplace violence, your organization should take additional steps to help create a safe environment. One step an organization should consider is training managers and employees to recognize potential issues and train them to (if possible) diffuse the situation with proper techniques and remind employees of policies that have been put in place. Also, remind managers and employees to never put themselves in danger if the situation becomes hostile. While, it may not be possible to prevent hostile situations from occurring, being prepared can help minimize risk and protect your organization.
For more information on workplace violence insurance, call us.
*This article is intended for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.