Workplace Violence Insurance Surges in Aftermath of Shootings

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Author, Sam Brown, Vice President, Human Services Group, Rancho Mesa Insurance Services, Inc.

In response to the hundreds of mass shootings taking place each year, the insurance marketplace has produced new workplace violence products to help employers and employees recover from a crisis.

U.S. employers have an obligation for duty of care for the safety, health, and security of employees (see Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Act of 1970). Duty of care requires protection against workplace violence hazards.

Number of Mass Shooting in United States
A mass shooting is an attack resulting in 4 or more.

Year # of Incidents
2017 327
2016 385
2015 333

It is the employer's obligation to protect its employees from violence. Homeland Security defines an active shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a confined and populated area.” While OSHA describes workplace violence as “any act or threat of physical violence, harassment, intimidation, or other threatening disruptive behavior that occurs at the work site.” What is your organization doing to protect its people from these types of events?

Over the last three years, the United States recorded an average of 348 mass shootings per year.

Virginia Tech Mass Shooting Costs

Description Cost
Support for survivors and families of victims $2.7 million
Cleanup, renovations, and other facility changes $6.4 million
Settlement payments and other legal costs $4.8 million

Costs to Consider

As victims, families, and co-workers struggle to heal after losing friends and loved ones, the costs continue to mount.

Aside from treating survivors, consider some of the costs from the Virginia Tech University shooting: survivor support, cleanup, renovations, facility changes, settlement payouts and legal costs.

How would your organization absorb the cost of such an event?

Workplace Violence Policy Coverage

In addition to providing a consultant to guide businesses through an emergency event, a covered event will trigger legal liability coverage to address legal expenses. These expenses may be related to the following:

  • Business interruption expense
  • Defense and indemnity expenses
  • Public relations counsel
  • Psychiatric care
  • Medical or dental care
  • Employee counseling
  • Temporary security measures
  • Rehabilitation expenses
  • Limits start at $1,000,000 with $0 deductible

Among other underwriting considerations, when pricing workplace violence policies, carriers factor in operations like exchanging money with the public, working with volatile or unstable people, providing services and care to the public, and working where alcohol is served. Take a look at your organization's operations to see if there is a risk.

Please contact Rancho Mesa Insurance Services to discuss whether this insurance is right for your organization. 

Information sourced from McGowan Program Administrators.