Pennsylvania Jail Insurance Policy Information
Pennsylvania Jail Insurance. Jails are confinement facilities housing inmates for relatively short periods of time - they may be convicted of minor crimes and serving sentences that are generally less than a year long, or awaiting trial or sentencing.
While some jails host no more than a few hundred inmates, others are bustling facilities capable of accommodating several thousand.
Jails are contained in local law enforcement facilities. They provide temporary detainment for prisoners awaiting sentencing, those facing minor sentences, or until arrangements can be made for transportation to permanent or long-term facilities.
Prisoners generally stay in jails less than one year. After being taken into custody, a prisoner is booked, photographed, and fingerprinted. A physical and mental health evaluation is done to determine whether there are additional needs, and a security assessment is completed.
A body search is conducted to confirm that no weapons or contraband items are being taken into the jail. Depending on the facility, the prisoner may wear his or her own clothing or be issued a uniform. If the facility takes the prisoner's clothing and other personal property into custody, all items must be listed with a receipt signed.
All commercial and public organizations face hazards, but jails, perhaps more than any other organization, are virtually synonymous with "risk" - from fights among inmates that can also pose a threat to correctional officers to clandestine cooking techniques, PA jails are filled with hazards.
With such a high risk profile, it is especially important for the bodies that manage jails, generally departments of correction or law enforcement authorities, to carefully consider the insurance needs of these facilities. To find out what types of jail insurance a correctional facility might require, keep reading.
Pennsylvania jail insurance protects your correctional institution from lawsuits with rates as low as $157/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do PA Jails Need Insurance?
Jails need insurance for the same reasons that lead any other commercial or public organization to invest in top-notch coverage; they can, at any time, be confronted with unforeseen circumstances associated with massive costs. Some of the risks that apply to jails are universal, while other perils are unique to correctional facilities.
Like all other buildings, jails can - for example - be exposed to an act of nature. As varied as earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, lightning strikes, and severe floods, these natural disasters can cause damage of such a magnitude that the facility becomes inoperable.
Theft and vandalism are universal risks, but inmate-related theft and vandalism of jail property is almost guaranteed within jails.
The many PA jail-specific liability risks would include the occupational injury of correctional officers, inmates being injured on the premises in circumstances for which management could ultimately be held responsible, and arson committed by inmates.
It can be challenging for correctional facilities to find an insurer who both deeply understands their needs and is able to meet them, and for this reason, partnering with an insurance company who caters specifically to Pennsylvania jail insurance is recommended.
What Type Of Insurance Do Pennsylvania Jails Need?
Jails need to carry several different forms of insurance. The precise coverage that will best protect the financial interests of an individual jail depends on factors that include the number of inmates it typically houses, how many correctional officers and other workers it employs, its location, and the materials from which the building was constructed.
An in-depth consultation with a skilled insurance broker who has extensive experience with this field is the most effective path towards obtaining the insurance program that shields a jail from all major perils. Having said that, some types of Pennsylvania jail insurance that are indispensable include:
- Commercial Property - This type of insurance covers financial losses resulting from perils that strike the physical building, but also the assets therein. The types of perils that fall under property insurance typically include acts of nature (often with the exception of floods), theft, and vandalism.
- General Liability - This type of Pennsylvania jail insurance coverage covers third party bodily injury and property damage claims. In the event that a visiting relative is injured due to poor maintenance, for instance, general liability insurance would cover the resulting legal costs.
- Workers' Compensation - Should a jail employee sustain a work-related injury, of which there is a high risk in this field, workers comp pays for the employee's medical costs, whether the injury was acute or long-term. If the employee is rendered unable to return to work due to occupational injuries, their lost income is also compensated.
- Inmate Medical Coverage - This type of coverage can also be called correctional medical insurance. It offers health and medical insurance to inmates. Correctional medical liability insurance is another related policy that jails will need to carry; in the event that an inmate suffers injuries or health conditions for which the facility could be held liable, it covers legal costs and settlement fees associated with resulting lawsuits.
Bear in mind that the insurance needs an individual jail has are unique. For this reason, a jail's managerial board should find a seasoned insurance broker who can assess their risk profile together with them, and help them source the Pennsylvania jail insurance that will optimally protect their financial interests.
PA Jail's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is very high due to the number of prisoners living in the jail and any visitors. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, stairways, elevators, and floor coverings should be in good condition. Adequate lighting, marked exits and egresses are mandatory.
Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair, with snow and ice removed, and generally level.
There must be procedures to ensure the safety of each incarcerated individual. Any potentially violent or harmful prisoner must be separated from other prisoners. Additional care is required when there is any indication that a prisoner needs either medical attention or may cause harm or injury to himself or herself.
Security concerns regarding the prisoners, employees, guards, visitors, and guests are high and need careful evaluation. Evacuation plans must be in place with regular disaster training conducted.
If the jail furnishes inmates for roadwork, there must be adequate protection for the inmates while in transit and off premises. If inmates are allowed off premises, as in work release programs, there must be adequate supervision to protect public safety.
Professional liability exposure comes from the exercising of police powers, the potential for allegations of personal injury, and from medical care for the prisoners. Allegations regarding discrimination, false arrest, invasion of privacy, negligent hiring and supervision, sexual abuse or harassment, unlawful detention, and use of excessive force are common.
All individuals who work with the prisoners are subject to thorough background checks, including criminal history. Hiring, training, supervision and policy procedures are all important parts of promoting professional attitudes towards inmates.
Workers compensation exposure is very high to employees, guards, drivers, and officers from an injury inflicted by prisoners, who may be violent or mentally ill. Vehicle accidents, assaults, slips, falls, cuts and bruises, back and knee injuries are common.
There may be exposure to caustic chemicals, bloodborne pathogens, or infectious diseases. Activists, victims, family, friends, or relatives of victims and other injured parties may also act out against jail employees.
The training of the jailers, guards, and employees in the handling of emergencies is a critical item to evaluate. Physical exams and psychiatric evaluations should be conducted at least annually.
Property exposure is very high. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems, and cooking equipment. Any storage of firearms or ammunition on premises increases the potential for damage from fire and can be a target for theft. Electrical circuitry must be up to code and evaluated regularly.
All jails must serve food to inmates. The cooking facilities must be well maintained and cooking done under a hood or in the oven. If grease-laden vapors are produced, a fire protection device should be in place. Filters should be cleaned regularly.
Any laundry facilities, vocational training, or services should be evaluated for any additional fire hazards. Arson is a concern as some inmates may start fires for revenge or to gain attention. Smoke detectors are critical for early detection of a fire. Smoking should be prohibited.
Because some prisoners are violent, the cells and areas where they might be must be resistant to their damage. Wiring and security features must be inaccessible to inmates. Since law enforcement agencies must operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, there must be advance disaster planning in place.
Crime exposure is due to employee dishonesty and money and securities. All employees must undergo criminal background checks. All ordering, billing, and disbursements must be kept separate. Money collected from such places as the jail store or vending machines must be counted by two individuals and should be deposited on a regular basis.
Inmates' property retained by the facility must be inventoried and a signed receipt maintained on file.
Inland marine exposure is due to bailees customers, computers and valuable papers and records. If the jail is private and bills the state or municipality for services, accounts receivable coverage may be needed. Jails have a bailees exposure as they retain the personal property of prisoners.
Receipts should be provided for any item taken into custody. Computers control many aspects of the jail including clerical functions and security, such as opening and closing doors and other shutdown procedures. There should be adequate backup and duplicates made of all programs.
Valuable papers and records include all information about the prisoners incarcerated in the jail. These should be duplicated with a copy kept at an off-site location.
Commercial auto exposure can be very high as vehicles may be used for the transport of prisoners or inmates, public officials, employees, and guests. Employees can be on the road 24 hours a day, seven days a week, often with traffic congestion, poor road conditions, or inclement weather.
Defensive driving training is necessary. Drivers must be trained to verify that intersections are clear before going through red lights. MVRs must be checked regularly. Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept in a central location.
Pennsylvania Jail Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about the specific types of Pennsylvania jail insurance policies typically needed, and what limits to consider, speak with a business insurance broker that is experienced in commercial insurance.
Pennsylvania Economic Business Outlook & Commercial Insurance Requirements
While you might have a fantastic idea for a business, if you aren't setting up shop in the right PA location, there's a good chance that you won't see the success that you hope to achieve. With that said, it's important that you have an understanding of the economic status of the state that you are thinking about doing business in. It's also important for you to know what type of rules and regulations regarding insurance are in place in that state.
If you are thinking about doing business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, keep on reading to find out some valuable information that you can use to make the best choices for your operation.
Pennsylvania's Economy Now And Into The Future
In terms of the economy, Pennsylvania's future looks pretty bright. It boasts the sixth largest economy in the United States. It is also home to some of the largest private and public organizations in the nation, as per sales.
The job market is expected to see steady growth in Pennsylvania during the 2021 calendar year. That rate is expected to be 1 percent, which is a marked increase from previous years. This is largely due to the high pool of educated laborers that reside in the state. Currently the unemployment rate is 4.9 percent, which is on-par with the rest of the nation. It is believed that the unemployment rate will continue to drop as more jobs are added.
For business owners, there are several industries that will afford success. The food products industry, particularly related to agriculture, contributes largely to the state's economy. This is expected to continue moving forward throughout the 2021 calendar year. Other industries that are forecasted to see growth include:
- Printing & Publishing
If you are thinking about doing business in PA, working in one of these industries will likely afford you success.
Insurance Requirements For Businesses In Pennsylvania
The Pennsylvania Insurance Department regulates insurance in PA. Business owners are legally required to carry workers compensation insurance. This type of coverage is a must for any business that employs any W2 part-time or full-time employees, and for employees that are either hourly or salaried. You must also carry PA commercial auto insurance if you plan on using a vehicle to conduct anything related to your business.
While commercial liability insurance is not required in Pennsylvania, it is still a wise idea to invest in. This type of coverage will protect you from the cost of any lawsuits that could potentially arise.
Additional Resources For Local, State And Federal Government Insurance
Learn about commercial insurance for local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings.
- County Administration Offices
- Fire Departments
- Government Buildings
- Law Enforcement Entities
- Public Buildings
Cooperative efforts between insurance professionals and public officials have led to the satisfactory arrangement of coverages for public properties that may include large building schedules spread over a number of locations and geographic areas.
Liability insurance protection is a matter of much greater concern. As governmental and charitable institutional immunity continues to erode, the onslaught of lawsuits makes adequate liability protection essential.
Public utilities have unique insurance needs usually best handled by specialists in their field.
Because government entities are becoming more inventive in raising money, they are involved in activities that may not appear to be government-related so that they may require coverages that at first glance do not seem appropriate for them.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Building, Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Money and Securities, Accounts Receivable, Audio/Visual Equipment, Computers, Contractors' Equipment, Fine Arts, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Cyberliability, Employee Benefits, Public Officials' Liability, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Oowned Auto & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Extra Expense, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Employment-related Practices, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and; Stop Gap Liability.
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Also find Pennsylvania insurance agents & brokers and learn about Pennsylvania small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including PA business insurance costs. Call us (267) 296-1099.