The Role of Workplace Violence Insurance in Modern Risk Management

Why Every Organization Needs Workplace Violence Insurance

In today’s world, the risk of workplace violence and active shooter incidents is a pressing concern for organizations, regardless of their political stance or industry. Unfortunately, many standard insurance policies fall short in providing adequate coverage for such incidents. Let’s explore why specialized workplace violence insurance is crucial.

Understanding the Risks

Workplace violence is an uncomfortable but real threat. According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), nearly 2 million American workers report having been victims of workplace violence each year. This statistic underscores the importance of preparedness. Your commercial general liability (CGL) policy might cover visitors or clients affected by such incidents, but it often doesn’t protect employees adequately. Similarly, property insurance may cover physical damage but not income lost during police investigations. Workers’ compensation focuses on physical injuries, leaving gaps in mental health support unless accompanied by physical harm.

Spotting the Gaps

CGL policies have specific limits, typically ranging from $1 to $4 million, which might not suffice in severe cases. The rising costs of medical care, legal fees, and settlements can quickly exhaust these limits, leaving your organization vulnerable. Additionally, business income coverage in property policies has exclusions for government action during investigations, leaving you exposed to revenue loss. For example, if your facility is shut down for an extended period due to an investigation, the financial impact can be devastating without proper coverage.

Workers’ compensation covers physical injuries but often excludes standalone mental health support for employees who witness violence without physical harm. This gap is significant because the psychological impact of witnessing a violent event can be profound, leading to long-term issues such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Addressing these mental health needs is crucial for the well-being of your employees and the overall health of your organization.

A Comprehensive Solution

The good news is there’s a specialized insurance policy designed to address these gaps: the active shooter/workplace violence insurance policy. This policy provides higher coverage limits, includes legal liability costs, and covers both physical and non-physical injuries. It ensures that both visitors and employees receive necessary trauma counseling and therapy without the burden of co-pays or deductibles. This comprehensive approach not only mitigates financial risk but also demonstrates a commitment to employee well-being, which can enhance morale and loyalty.

Added Benefits and Resources

Beyond financial coverage, these policies offer valuable resources. Insurers and risk management teams conduct crisis preparedness assessments, evaluate facility security, and help develop crisis management plans. This proactive approach can potentially prevent incidents and improve overall safety. For instance, having a solid crisis management plan in place can expedite response times and minimize chaos during an incident, potentially saving lives and reducing harm.

Insurers often provide training programs for employees, teaching them how to recognize warning signs and respond effectively to threats. These programs can be invaluable in creating a culture of awareness and preparedness within your organization.

Why Nonprofit and Healthcare Organizations Need This Most

Nonprofits and healthcare facilities, in particular, face heightened risks due to the nature of their work. They serve vulnerable populations who might react unpredictably, increasing the potential for violence. Nonprofits often assist individuals with financial needs, mental health issues, or developmental disabilities—populations that may have heightened stress or emotional instability. Similarly, healthcare workers are frequently in high-stress environments, dealing with patients who might be in pain, distressed, or suffering from mental health crises.

Ensuring comprehensive coverage and preparedness is essential for these sectors. Not only does it protect the organization financially, but it also ensures that these vital services can continue to operate even in the aftermath of a violent incident. The peace of mind that comes from knowing there is a plan and coverage in place is invaluable.

Take Action Now

Don’t wait for an incident to highlight your policy gaps. The consequences of being unprepared can be severe, both financially and in terms of human cost. Contact Drew Colwell with WaFd Insurance Group to discuss how workplace violence insurance can protect your organization and provide peace of mind. Ensuring your organization is fully covered and prepared can make a significant difference in the event of a crisis.

About the author – Drew Colwell is a commercial insurance agent and risk manager who specializes in working with nonprofit organizations, healthcare providers and other human service related businesses all over the US. His contact information is below.

Phone: 406-204-3666



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