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Law Enforcement Liability Policy – Part 1

Law Enforcement Liability coverage was developed to respond to losses that result from “wrongful acts” due to acts, errors or omissions of law enforcement agencies such as police and sheriff departments. It is critical protection that should be carried by any law enforcement agency. Protection extends to political entities and their public officials, law enforcement officers, other employees, auxiliary personnel, reserves, and authorized volunteers. Private companies that offer security services, such as patrol or guard services, have similar exposures to loss and they also qualify for coverage under Law Enforcement Liability policies.

There is no standard Law Enforcement Liability coverage form or policy. Insurance companies that provide this protection have developed forms that reflect the type of law enforcement agencies and security situations that they have chosen to target. Some insurers may select their preferences among classes such as:

  • Airport Police
  • County Police Departments
  • Government Building Security Staff
  • Highway Patrol
  • Municipal Police Departments
  • Private Security Firms
  • Sheriff Departments
  • State Police
  • Transportation Authorities
  • Various entities that run jails or prisons (such as stadiums or arenas)

Please see part two of this discussion for more information on what is provided by Law Enforcement Liability Policies.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.

 

Law Enforcement Liability Policy - Part 2

There is a wide variety in the type and scope of law enforcement and security operations. Therefore, Law Enforcement Liability forms and policies vary significantly, it is important to review any particular policy to make sure it provides the desired coverage.

Special coverage is necessary because protection is excluded by general liability policies that are designed only for the type of losses that are typical for owning and operating a regular business. Law Enforcement Liability policies are available to handle incidents such as:

  • Police Misconduct
  • Innocents harmed in improper, high-speed chases
  • Excessive use of force
  • Harm due to dereliction of duty (such as failure to provide protection)
  • Property damage related to law enforcement duties
  • Coverage for incidents involving personnel during moonlighting activities (Note: this is available ONLY when the covered entity has given permission to employees to moonlight)
  • Incidents that occur when providing first aid or emergency medical treatment that is directly related to enforcement activities
  • Limited coverage for damage to personal property of others that is damaged or lost while in the custody of the law enforcement entity

Naturally, the cost of providing a legal defense of lawsuits is covered. However, this critical component may be offered either as part of the policy’s stated insurance limits or separately. It is very important to be aware of the method used. Litigation in this area tends to be both complicated and expensive. When defense costs are provided as part of the policy limits, those limits must be sufficiently high to account for erosion.

Particular attention must also be applied to how a given policy addresses application of policy limits, deductibles and self-insured retentions. The methods used by different carriers may vary substantially, so careful comparisons must be made to be sure that the proper coverage is secured.

Law enforcement jobs are more dangerous than most and they carry a special need for extra coverage. The Law Enforcement Liability policy meets that need.


COPYRIGHT: Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc. 2019

All rights reserved. Production or distribution, whether in whole or in part, in any form of media or language; and no matter what country, state or territory, is expressly forbidden without written consent of Insurance Publishing Plus, Inc.