Why do I need this policy?
Why do I need this policy when the city or county I work for already has a general liability policy? Police officers and their departments can face claims of negligence, failure to protect, false arrests or civil rights violations. These suits can lead to costly litigation for law enforcement professionals and the communities they serve. Police Professional Insurance through PGU can help mitigate financial loss so your police department can continue to protect you and your fellow citizens. Our policy ensures coverage for acts, errors, and omissions which occur while officers perform their professional duties.
The balance of rights between the lawbreaker and the law has changed. Courts have made it easier for criminals and suspects to bring suits against law enforcement and criminal justice personnel. Awards have skyrocketed and the courts have recognized extended liability of the defendants’ superiors, including the mayor, municipal manager and executives. To make matters worse, the number of suits has increased dramatically. While many cases do not result in settlements or judgements, all have to be defended. At the price of litigation today, this can be devastating to municipal budgets.
Another threat to law enforcement personnel is the lack of specialized experience on the part of legal counsel once a suit has been filed. Because it is also in our interest to minimize the number of judgments brought against our policyholders, we provide qualified defense attorneys. However, we do welcome your recommendations of local counsel.
New legal interpretations and liberalizations of the Civil Rights Act have left the field of liability wide open.
Often times, charges don’t stop with the officer and neither does our Law Enforcement Liability protection. If you don’t know about VICARIOUS LIABILITY and how court rulings have changed, you’d better find out now! If you go to court, the average defense cost is $10,000, it is not uncommon for defense costs to exceed $10,000 whether you’re held liable or not. So even if you win, you lose. Our liability program is designed to protect you against vicarious liability charges.
The customary complaint is failure to adequately train subordinates, but vicarious liability can also include hiring (Did you weed out the unfit?), failure to direct (Do you have a written manual of policies and procedures?), negligent assignment (Was a subordinate unsuitable for the assignment?), negligent retention (Why wasn’t this person fired some time ago?) and negligent entrustment (Did you properly supervise “off-duty” officers where they used a gun, car, night stick or other property belonging to the governmental agency?).
There are more facets to vicarious liability than you can imagine and new exposures will be continually created. It doesn’t make sense to face the potential loss of income and even financial ruin from known exposures that can be covered. Consult with your attorney or insurance representative.
Surplus Lines everywhere else
Larger entities considered on a special acceptance basis.
Coverage also available for individual Constables, Marshals and other process servers
Full prior acts coverage available on claims made form
Consent to settle clause with 60% co-insurance
Defense costs in addition to limits
Pay on Behalf
Coverage written on primary basis
Punitive Damages not excluded (where allowable by law)
Personal Injury definition includes civil rights violations
Moonlighting covered if departmentally approved
Approved Mutual Assistance Agreements