A municipality doesn’t operate like most other businesses. There are multiple properties to consider, including administrative offices, school buildings, public works equipment depots, and more. The risks associated with each differ based on what kind of work is being done inside, who is visiting, and what types of furniture, machinery, and materials it might contain.
As another example, consider all the different people who are employees of the town. From clerical staff and maintenance workers, to law enforcement and first responders, there are many liability insurance and workers’ compensation needs. Employment practice liability insurance (EPLI), as well as abuse and molestation policies, are also must-haves for municipalities.
How can municipality insurance protect you?
Use the yellow hot spots and explore how municipality insurance can help protect against common risks.
Your township building is susceptible to many perils throughout the year such as wind, rain, collapse, fire, and smoke. When significant damages to the building occur, how will you replace the building and its contents to continue servicing the township?
Property insurance can help protect the property your township owns or leases, including things like equipment, supplies, furniture, and fixtures. Whether you own your building or lease your workspace, property insurance can be purchased separately or can be combined with other necessary coverage to protect your business’ physical assets.
Abuse and Molestation
There are hundreds of reports each year of children being sexually abused by adults. This exposure is excluded from the standard general liability policy form.
Obtain the proper abuse and molestation coverage to protect the municipality from the possibility of significant financial loss in the event of an allegation. In addition, have written documentation within the municipality to address how to prevent sexual abuse from happening, how to report it to authorities, and what to do in an event of an allegation.
If a municipality runs the community sewer and wastewater plant, it can be exposed to many risks such as failure to supply, water contamination, notification expenses, and others.
A sewer authority coverage liability form can cover the professional activities that go along with managing a wastewater treatment facility. Some forms include errors and omissions, failure to supply utilities, and other necessary coverages such as equipment breakdown for the facility.
Public Officials Liability
Any municipality that has elected public officials or governing boards (park boards, historic boards, etc.) has exposure for the financial and other decisions the boards make, which affect the entire population of that municipality.
A municipality can be held liable for wrongful acts and decisions made by elected public officials and governing boards and will need to defend against such allegations. Having a liability policy that can protect against these risks is essential. This can also include employment practices liability as well.
Law Enforcement Liability
Having a municipal police force has many areas of liability, especially in today’s legal environment. Police can be held liable or sued for wrongful detention, police brutality, and other accusations. Unfortunately, these claims normally carry a high dollar value.
Law enforcement liability provides coverage for the municipality and its police officers for allegations that may arise from an officer’s actions. This coverage can also include a line of duty accidental death coverage and a moonlighting endorsement.
Flood and Earthquake Coverage
Depending on your location and surroundings, your borough could be in an earthquake and flood-prone area. The common property policy excludes coverage for these types of claims, leaving a municipality with significant structural or water damage and no coverage.
Adding earthquake and/or flood policies can cover property claims when those disasters occur. Depending on the zone you occupy, limits can go up to $10M and will include a deductible per occurrence.
If one of your employees receives an injury or becomes ill due to a work-related occurrence, you are required by law to have the proper coverage in place.
Workers' compensation and employers liability insurance protect your employees should a job-related injury or sickness occur during the course of employment. Since benefits vary by state law, make sure your insurance agent is aware of all physical locations your business operates in, as well as all physical locations where you hire your employees.
General Liability Insurance
Water on the floor, slippery entry in the winter, broken glass/hazardous debris, etc. These can all be accidents waiting to happen on municipal property. Claims may arise due to bodily injury, property damage, personal injury, and more.
General liability insurance is an absolute necessity. It provides broad coverage when the municipality is deemed responsible and liable, and will also pay to defend any covered lawsuit or action regardless of its merit.
If your municipality is responsible for the utilities that residents rely on, such as sewer, water, or electricity, there is a risk of environmental hazards and contamination, failure to supply, and equipment breakdown. Specialized coverage that takes all these considerations into account is essential.
Municipalities need to consider a variety of other coverage options just like any other business including cyber liability, general liability, employee dishonesty, and fleet insurance.
To learn more about how specialized insurance can benefit your municipality, contact us today.