Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Entities Insurance Policy Information
Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Entities Insurance. Law enforcement entities are those governmental bodies engaged in the pursuit of criminal justice - while many people will immediate think of police stations when they hear the term, district attorney's offices, social services buildings, and county probation departments also fall under this heading.
Law enforcement agencies provide services and facilities to protect, defend, and educate the public, generally as part of a federal, state or municipal government. Most have either full- or part-time public officers trained in the legal issues of law enforcement and entrusted with preventing and detecting crime.
Protection can be offered from officers who patrol a designated area by motor vehicle, motorcycle, foot, boat, horse, bicycle, or air. Operations may be conducted from a central station or from numerous smaller facilities located throughout the servicing area.
There may be a garage to service vehicles, a kennel for dogs used in canine patrols, barns for horses, storage of watercraft, or a hangar for helicopters. Special operations conducted by law endorsement agencies include counter-terrorism units, SWAT teams, and "undercover" activities with officers infiltrating suspected criminal groups in order to gain evidence of lawbreaking.
Ongoing training is critical to make sure that the rights of victims and suspected criminals are upheld and to ensure that individual officers are protected from injury. Law enforcement operations provide facilities to investigate complaints of harm or wrongdoing and to detain alleged perpetrators.
Confinement is generally temporary until arrangements can be made for transportation to permanent or long-term facilities.
These organizations tend to have a high risk profile, and risk is very much an expected part of the jobs these entities perform. It comes as no surprise, then, that it is crucial for law enforcement options to proactively manage the risks they face.
Preventative strategies, in the form of training and security systems, are one key portion of risk management. Equipping themselves with high-caliber insurance coverage - which will continue to protect them even after disaster strikes - is another.
What kinds of Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance might the police and other agencies require? Discover more in this brief guide.
Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance protects the police and other agencies from lawsuits with rates as low as $297/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do PA Law Enforcement Entities Need Insurance?
Law enforcement entities play a unique role in society, and as such they are vulnerable to specific perils. Simultaneously, these governmental bodies also face the same risks that may befall any commercial or public organization.
While the hazards law enforcement entities may be confronted with are extremely diverse, the common factor that binds them together is that they can all lead to massive costs.
A suspect may file a lawsuit alleging wrongful bodily injury, for example, a process that can lead to tremendous settlement costs. Law enforcement officers and public employees can sustain workplace injuries that lead to medical bills as well as work absences, and in the most severe cases even death.
Even mundane circumstances like a burst pipe or a member of the public slipping on a wet floor can induce significant expenses. Then there are acts of nature, such as wildfires, hurricanes, or earthquakes, which can destroy much of a building overnight.
When an agency has made the right Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance choices, it can avoid undue strain on its budget and help the entity recover more quickly from any hazard it faces.
Because of the sensitive nature of the work PA law enforcement entities do and their high risk profiles, it is crucial to opt for an insurer who understands the specific needs of these organizations.
What Type Of Insurance Do Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Entities Need?
Some forms of insurance are legally mandated, while others are optional but nonetheless highly practical. Each PA law enforcement agency will have unique insurance needs, which are determined by factors such as their location, the nature of their activities, and their number of employees.
An insurance broker who specializes in helping governmental and public bodies craft insurance plans is an essential partner on the path toward optimal coverage. Among the types of Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance that should be carried, however, are:
- Commercial Property - If the building is impacted by perils that include acts of nature, theft, and vandalism, this type of insurance helps law enforcement entities manage the repair and replacement costs that follow. It covers both buildings and other physical assets on the property.
- General Liability - This type of insurance is designed to minimize the costs associated with third party personal injury or property damage claims. It covers attorney fees as well as any settlement expenses.
- Cyber Liability - In the event sensitive electronic data is breached or stolen, this type of Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance coverage helps law enforcement entities deal with the financial fallout. With most records now being digital, it will be essential for any law enforcement agency.
- Workers' Compensation - This type of insurance exists to cover the costs related to occupational injuries employees suffer. Their medical bills and lost wages both fall under these policies, and workers' compensation insurance can also cover death benefits for an employee who is killed in the line of duty.
- Business Auto - While law enforcement entities are diverse, it is safe to say that all use vehicles over the course of their activities. These vehicles need to be insured, in the event that accidents or criminal acts cause personal injury or property damage.
Although these types of Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance coverage are essential to any agency, it is important to keep in mind that these agencies are likely to have further needs.
For this reason, an insurance broker who can guide PA law enforcement agencies through the process of obtaining the coverage that will provide the best possible protection is vital.
PA Law Enforcement Entities' Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is very high due to extensive public access to law enforcement facilities. In addition to prisoners taken into custody and visits from the general public, tours may be given. Law enforcement vehicles and equipment normally kept on the premises pose an attractive nuisance exposure, particularly, to children. If community events are conducted on premises, there should be adequate supervision of all 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 egress are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good maintenance and repair. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be generally level and well maintained, with snow and ice removed.
Suspects and victims must be separated to avoid confrontations. Additional care is required when there is any indication that a prisoner needs medical attention or may cause harm or injury to himself or herself. Children must be monitored and cared for when parents are incarcerated until a child advocate department takes over.
Citizen ride-along programs are discouraged due to the potential for injury should an officer respond to a run. If there are underground storage tanks for vehicle fuel, an underground storage tank policy should be considered.
Off-premises exposures can be substantial as crowds and the media may be drawn to any site where an officer is responding to a call. The area should be secured in order to prevent public access to the site of operations.
While law enforcement activities often benefit from immunity laws, activities that are not directly related will not qualify for that immunity in many jurisdictions.
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 prisoners are subject to thorough background checks, including criminal history. Hiring, training, supervision and policy procedures are all important parts of promoting the professionalism of law enforcement officers. The right to use deadly force is a serious responsibility for the individual officer.
All officers using firearms must be appropriately licensed and trained. Coverage should be extended to include any part-time employment, such as security.
Workers compensation exposure is severe from both a frequency and severity standpoint. Law enforcement officers must be thoroughly trained with a continuing education program in place. Arrests, crime investigations, directing traffic, stopping motorists for traffic violations, or transporting of prisoners can result in the officer being assaulted, beaten, or killed.
Slips, falls, cuts and bruises, back and knee injuries, and shootings are common. Animals or unruly passers-by may attack officers responding to calls. Traveling to an emergency can result in collisions or overturns, especially when traveling at high speeds or during adverse road conditions.
Officers encounter a lot of stress in their jobs, from responding to unknown situation on calls to the injuries and deaths they routinely witness firsthand. The accumulation of these experiences can result in cumulative post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Physical exams and psychiatric evaluations should be conducted at least annually. Training for defensive driving, handling firearms, self-defense techniques, diffusing conflict situations, and communication with the citizenry and the media are critical.
Supervision is important to ensure that all procedures are always followed. All officers must have body armor that is worn while on duty. There may be exposure to bloodborne pathogens, infectious diseases or other hazardous substances.
Property exposure may be significant. In addition to electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems, the storage of firearms and 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.
If there are cafeterias or restaurants on premises, the cooking facilities must be well maintained and all cooking is 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.
Garages used for storing, fueling and maintaining vehicles, kennels for boarding dogs, and barns for boarding horses must be separated from office facilities. Arsonists or terrorists may target law enforcement agencies.
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 are held 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 from employee dishonesty. Background checks should be conducted on all employees. Access to property rooms containing property of others held as evidence in criminal cases must be strictly monitored and controlled.
If money is entrusted to officers for various purposes such as drug buys, it must be closely monitored. Employee dishonesty must also be controlled through separation of duties and regular inventory and auditing.
Inland marine exposure includes accounts receivable if the law enforcement agency bills residents, businesses, or insurers for responses to calls, bailees customers, computers, firearms, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records for arrest and response information. Law enforcement agencies have a bailees exposure as they retain the personal property of victims and suspects.
Receipts should be provided for any item taken into custody. Access to property rooms should be strictly controlled and monitored. Computers are a major part of any law enforcement activity. Duplicates of all files should be stored in a separate location for easy retrieval in the event of a loss.
Mobile equipment carried by officers includes the SWAT teams, bomb squads, and other special units. Equipment may be highly sophisticated surveillance equipment or may be contractors' equipment. If the agency has dogs or horses, an animal floater may be needed.
Commercial auto exposure is very high as vehicles may be used for transport of prisoners or inmates, public officials, employees, and guests. Officers are 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. There must be a pursuit policy on record that officers are required to follow without exceptions. MVRs must be checked regularly.
Vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept in a central location. No modifications of vehicles should be permitted. Law enforcement vehicles and the equipment they carry are costly and may be targeted for vandalism.
Pennsylvania Law Enforcement Entities Insurance - The Bottom Lineyou should carry
To learn more about the specific types of Pennsylvania law enforcement entities insurance policies needed, including coverage limits and premiums, consult with a reputable broker that is experienced in law enforcement 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.