General liability insurance is designed to cover injuries to third parties experienced at a particular location. As a commissioner, police chief, sheriff or law enforcement official, you should know that this type of policy doesn’t protect the city or county from lawsuits related to actions, mistakes or negligence from officers while on duty. Such lawsuits can be especially costly, wrecking operational budgets. It is strongly recommended that you have police liability insurance to help cover your officers while protecting and serving.
What Does Police Liability Insurance Cover?
While a particular policy’s features will depend on the insurer, these are some of the coverages to look for with police liability insurance:
- Occurrence or Claims made coverage
- Defense costs
- Pay on Behalf
- Punitive damages not excluded
- Personal injury includes civil rights violations by definition
You should also look for a policy that includes vicarious liability which includes protection for charges that go beyond the involved officer(s). This coverage is especially beneficial with respect to claims of negligence when it comes to hiring, instruction, assigning, retaining and trusting a particular officer.
What Else Should I Know?
A police liability insurance policy should be tailored to the specific needs of your law enforcement department. Some policies may put upper limits on population size. Some insurance products are also applicable to individuals, such as constables, marshals and process servers.