Workplace Violence Policies Can Protect Companies from Hidden Costs

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Workplace violence has become a harsh reality in the last few years. Many companies have started to consider separate coverage to protect them from risks not inherent in most corporate insurance policies for workplace violence. With COVID there is increased risks as some workplace violence instances could take place somewhere other than the physical location of the business.

According to a recent report published by PLIS (Professional Liability Insurance Services), in 2018 alone, there were 325 mass shootings up nearly 50% from the year before with the most notorious incident being a night club shooting in Orlando, Florida. These types of incidents are becoming increasingly common, with many being the result from disgruntled workers or customers. These shootings and incidents can create significant costs, lost revenues and liabilities for those businesses that may be affected.

Businesses are increasingly looking to insurance to protect them from these additional costs. According to one report by Neckerman Insurance, more than 2 million Americans reported violent incidents which cost over $120 Billion combined. A workplace violence policy can address the following types of costs.[1]

  1. Business Interruption: A workplace violence incident can lead to lost revenues both from being closed and also post incident if customers don’t feel safe. A WPV policy can cover the cost of lost business and profits.
  2. Bodily injury: A WPV policy can cover the cost of bodily injury claims associated with an incident. If there are casualties, a WPV policy can cover hospital expenses and other costs associated with the hospital.
  3. Property Damage: If there is property damage like broken glass, holes in the walls or temporary boards needed, this type of policy will cover the costs. Note this is based on actual cash value.
  4. Response expenses: In the event this becomes a bigger event, this policy can cover crisis management. It will also cover the expenses associated with the incident which can includes public relations, counselling, additional security and funeral expenses.

Additionally, most insurance policies that concern workplace violence have one thing in common. They only cover the place of business defined in the policy. This coverage provides money for damage, forensics, counseling and loss of revenue as a result of the closure and people being scared away. “Standard insurance policies may not provide the relief for a depleted revenue stream with related costs because there is no direct covered peril to trigger those policies.”[2] It does not provide coverage for employees working away from the designated premises such as employees travelling to a business conference, working remotely, making deliveries or going to a business meeting away from the premises.

[1] https://neckerman.com/workplace-violence-costs-employers-more-than-120-billion-each-year/#:~:text=Every%20year%2C%20nearly%20two%20million,Safety%20and%20Health%20(NIOSH).

[2] PLIS Workplace Violence Brochure Page 2

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