Government Buildings Insurance Policy Information
Government Buildings Insurance. The public and governmental sector encompasses a broad range of different entities, all of which have their own clearly-defined purposes.
Government buildings provide office and meeting facilities for various governmental operations. They often have auditoriums designed for large public gatherings or for political assemblies.
Fire departments, public schools, courthouses, public utility companies, police stations, and social service offices are merely some of many examples. Regardless of their role in society, each public or governmental entity also relies on physical buildings to carry out its activities.
It is easy for members of the public to see government buildings simply as places that make up the foundation of society. The fact, however, remains that these institutions, and the buildings in which their activities unfold, are vulnerable to the same perils that threaten any commercial venture or residence.
For this reason, government buildings need insurance just like any other organization. What kinds of government buildings insurance coverage might public entities need to rely on? Find out more by reading on.
Government buildings insurance protects government facilities and operations from lawsuits with rates as low as $97/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked local, state and federal government buildings insurance questions:
- What Is Government Buildings Insurance?
- How Much Does Government Buildings Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Government Buildings Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Government Buildings Need?
- What Does Government Buildings Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Government Buildings Insurance?
Government buildings insurance is a type of insurance coverage designed for government-owned buildings, such as schools, libraries, town halls, and other public buildings. This insurance provides protection against a range of risks, including fire, theft, storm damage, and other natural disasters.
The coverage typically includes compensation for repair or replacement costs, as well as any related expenses such as temporary relocation or cleanup costs. Government buildings insurance is often purchased by government agencies to ensure that the public buildings and facilities are protected against financial losses due to unexpected events.
How Much Does Government Buildings Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for smaller local, state and federal government buildings ranges from $97 to $159 per month based on location, size, revenue, claims history and more.
Why Do Government Buildings Need Insurance?
Governmental and public entities, and the buildings in which they are based, need insurance for the same reasons that lead businesses of all types and sizes to invest in the best coverage they can afford. Some types of coverage will be legally mandated.
Others are optional, but highly advisable because they can prevent catastrophic financial loss in the case of unforeseen circumstances.
Theft, vandalism (including arson), and acts of nature as varied as earthquakes, hurricanes, wildfires, and serious floods are examples of perils that can wreak havoc on any building. Even accidents caused by human carelessness can lead to serious damage.
Both members of the public and employees may become injured within governmental or buildings, in turn leading to potentially massive liability-related costs that far exceed the entity's budget.
The perils that can befall a public or governmental entity are as diverse as these organizations themselves are, and their insurance needs are also unusually complex.
These entities should ideally partner with an insurer who specializes in covering public bodies, as these insurance companies are best situated to provide the government buildings insurance to help such organizations overcome the challenges they face.
In addition to the financial protection that government buildings insurance provides, being properly covered ensures that your operation is complaint with the law.
In most locations, government buildings are legally required to carry certain kinds insurance coverage, and if they don't, they could face serious fines or potentially lose their business.
What Type Of Insurance Do Government Buildings Need?
The specific types of insurance coverage a governmental or building or organization may need depend on numerous factors. The exact nature of the body's activities, the jurisdiction within which they are based, and their number of employees are merely examples.
The entity's risk profile is also crucial - fire departments will have entirely different insurance needs compared to, for instance, libraries. Consulting an insurance broker who specializes in public sector insurance is essential.
With that in mind, some examples of common types of government buildings insurance that any public entity will need are:
- Commercial Property - This type of government buildings insurance exists to make it easier to manage financial losses associated with property damage resulting from perils that include acts of nature, theft, and vandalism. It covers not only the building itself, but also assets therein - computers and furniture, to name some examples. Note that historic buildings are generally covered by niche policies.
- General Liability - Public and governmental entities will also need to carry general liability insurance in order to protect themselves from the costs associated with third party property damage and personal injury claims. These policies help to cover attorney fees as well as settlement payments.
- Workers Compensation - Employees can sustain work-related injuries or illnesses in any field. Ranging from burns sustained by firefighters to the carpal tunnel syndrome administrative employees may suffer from, public entities can be held liable. Workers' comp can pay for such employee's medical costs as well as reimbursing any income they lose to related work absences.
- Employee Dishonesty - Also called employee dishonesty bonds, this type of coverage protects public bodies from the financial fallout caused by deceptive or illegal activities on the part of an employee, whether in the form of theft or misleading the public.
Because government buildings are so diverse in nature, it is important to be aware that their insurance needs are unique.
Consulting an commercial insurance broker who focuses on the public sector is vital for these entities; these professionals specialize in crafting policies that offer public bodies the government buildings insurance coverage that protects them from all major perils they may be confronted with.
Government Building's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is high due to services provided to residents and the public's access to the building. If tours are given, exposures increase significantly as guests may be led through areas generally "off limits" to more casual visitors. Legislation and judicial decisions have eroded governmental immunity protection in most states. Public and life safety code compliance is very important. To prevent trips, slips, and falls, all premises must be well maintained with flooring in good condition.
Adequate lighting, marked exits and egresses are mandatory. Steps must have handrails, be well lit, marked, and in good repair. Elevators and escalators should be inspected annually by an outside service contractor. Parking lots should be free of ice and snow. Government facilities may be a target for vandals, disgruntled citizens, criminals, or terrorists.
Security inside the facility, as well as outside areas including owned parking areas, needs to be carefully implemented and monitored. An evacuation plan must be in place. Personal injury losses may occur due to alleged assault, discrimination, invasion of privacy, or unlawful detention.
Public officials' liability exposure can be severe. Today's political climate has seen an increase in lawsuits against public officials for failure to perform the functions of their office, failure to account for tax funds, failure to enforce regulations, failure to follow mandated procedures, such as open bidding on contracts, bad faith, and other errors or omissions. Defense costs can be prohibitively expensive.
Workers compensation exposures are varied, from office workers to janitorial staff, building or yard maintenance workers, repair personnel, and drivers. Workers may incur back injuries, hernias, slips, falls, strains, or sprains.
Skin or lung irritation can result from working with cleaning chemicals and paint. Office workers may develop repetitive motion injuries. Workstations should be ergonomically designed. There may be interactions with angry constituents or protestors. Employees should be trained to deal with difficult situations.
Property exposure is generally low. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. There may be a restaurant or cafeteria on premises. Most offices and auditoriums have extensive wiring for lighting, computers, and other electronic equipment. It must be in good repair and adequate for its use.
Valuation may be a concern in older buildings with unique architectural features that may be difficult to rebuild with like construction and quality after a loss.
Smoke detectors are critical for early detection of a fire. Smoking should be prohibited. If there is a restaurant or cafeteria on premises, all cooking equipment should be properly protected.
Garages for storing, fueling, and maintaining vehicles must be separated from office facilities. Governmental facilities may be a target for political activists or for terrorists. Adequate security is required. There should be disaster recovery plans in place to continue operations in the event of a large loss.
Crime exposure is from public officials' dishonesty, employee dishonesty and money and securities. Background checks, including criminal history, must be completed on all employees. Receipts must be provided for all payments of taxes, fees, fines, and penalties, with daily reconciliation between receipts and money received. Regular deposits must be made.
Money should not be left on premises overnight. There must be regular audits, preferably by an outside firm. All employees must take at least one complete week of vacation each year. If the facilities have offices to collect fees, penalties, or obtain permits and licenses, there may be an exposure to holdup.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable for billings, audio/visual equipment, computers, contractors' equipment, fine arts, and valuable papers and records. Contractors' equipment may be used off-premises to build, maintain, or service municipal streets and roads.
Fine arts such as statuary and paintings, artifacts, historical documents, rare or historical books, or manuscripts may be one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. If insured, valuation should be done by a qualified appraiser.
Valuable papers and records are often delicate and must be protected from fire, water damage, vandalism, theft, or other losses. All records should be duplicated and retained at an off-site storage facility.
Commercial auto exposure can be high if vehicles are used to transport public officials, guests, and visitors. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be maintained on a regular basis with records kept in a central location. During inclement weather, drivers may be on the road for extended hours in adverse conditions.
Supervision is necessary so drivers can be rotated and not become overly fatigued. There may be a high non-owned auto exposure if employees use their own vehicles to run errands or attend meetings on municipal business. Employees should carry personal automobile insurance with adequate liability limits.
What Does Government Buildings Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Governments and their buildings can be sued for a variety of reasons. Here are some examples, along with the types of insurance that can help protect them and pay for potential lawsuits:
Personal Injury: If someone is injured on government property due to negligence or unsafe conditions, they may file a personal injury claim. In such cases, general liability insurance can help cover the legal fees, medical expenses, and any compensation awarded to the injured party.
Employment-Related Claims: Government employees may file lawsuits against their employers for reasons such as wrongful termination, discrimination, or harassment. Employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) can help cover the costs associated with defending against these claims and paying any settlements or damages awarded to the plaintiff.
Property Damage: If a government building or its contents are damaged due to accidents, natural disasters, or vandalism, the government may face lawsuits from individuals or businesses affected by the damage. Property insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing the damaged property, as well as any legal fees and compensation awarded in lawsuits related to the damage.
Professional Liability: Government officials or employees may be sued for mistakes or negligence in the performance of their duties, resulting in financial loss or harm to others. Professional liability insurance, also known as errors and omissions (E&O) insurance, can help cover the costs associated with defending against these claims and paying any settlements or damages awarded to the plaintiff.
Auto Accidents: Government-owned vehicles can be involved in accidents that result in property damage, injury, or death. If the government is found to be at fault, they may be sued for damages. Commercial auto insurance can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing damaged vehicles, as well as any legal fees and compensation awarded in lawsuits related to the accident.
Cyber Liability: Government buildings and systems may be targeted by cybercriminals, resulting in data breaches or cyberattacks. If sensitive information is compromised, the government may face lawsuits from affected individuals or organizations. Cyber liability insurance can help cover the costs of responding to a data breach, as well as any legal fees and compensation awarded in lawsuits related to the cyber incident.
In each of these examples, insurance can help protect government buildings and entities from the financial burden of legal fees, settlements, and damages awarded in lawsuits. This allows the government to continue providing essential services and maintaining its infrastructure without being crippled by the costs associated with legal disputes.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 9111 Executive Offices, 9121 Legislative Bodies, 9131 Executive And Legislative Offices Combined, 9199: General Government, Not Elsewhere Classified
- NAICS CODE: 921110 Executive Offices, 921120 Legislative Bodies, 921130 Public Finance Activities, 921140 Executive and Legislature, Combined, 921190 Other General Governmental Support
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 9015 Building or Property Management - All Other Employees, 8810 Clerical Office Employees NOC
Description for 9111: Executive Offices
Division J: Public Administration | Major Group 91: Executive, Legislative, And General Government, Except Finance | Industry Group 911: Executive Offices
9111 Executive Offices: Offices of chief executives and their advisory and interdepartmental committees and commissions.
- Advisory commissions, executive
- City and town managers 'offices
- County supervisors' and executives' offices
- Governors' offices
- Mayors' offices
- President's office
Description for 9121: Legislative Bodies
Division J: Public Administration | Major Group 91: Executive, Legislative, And General Government, Except Finance | Industry Group 912: Legislative Bodies
9121 Legislative Bodies: Legislative bodies and their advisory and interdepartmental committees and commissions.
- Advisory commissions, legislative
- Boards of supervisors
- City and town councils
- County commissioners
- Legislative assemblies
- Study commissions, legislative
Description for 9131: Executive And Legislative Offices Combined
Division J: Public Administration | Major Group 91: Executive, Legislative, And General Government, Except Finance | Industry Group 913: Executive And Legislative Offices Combined
9131 Executive And Legislative Offices Combined: Councils and boards of commissioners or supervisors and such bodies where the chief executive is a member of the legislative body itself.
- Legislative and executive office combinations
Description for 9199: General Government, Not Elsewhere Classified
Division J: Public Administration | Major Group 91: Executive, Legislative, And General Government, Except Finance | Industry Group 919: General Government, Not Elsewhere Classified
9199 General Government, Not Elsewhere Classified: Establishments primarily engaged in providing tax return preparation services without also providing accounting, auditing, or bookkeeping services. Government establishments primarily engaged in providing general support for government, which include personnel, auditing, procurement services, and building management services, and other general government establishments which cannot be classified in other industries. Public finance is classified in Industry 9311.
- Civil rights commissions-government
- Civil service commissions-government
- General accounting offices-government
- General services departments-government
- Personnel agencies-government
- Purchasing and supply agencies-government
- Supply agencies-government
Government Buildings Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about that government buildings insurance policies needed, how much coverage to have and the premiums - speak with a commercial insurance broker that is experienced in government insurance.
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
- Specialty Government
The local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings industry needs business insurance for a variety of reasons.
First and foremost, business insurance helps protect against financial loss. Governments and their agencies often handle large amounts of money, assets and sensitive information, making them a target for theft, fraud and other criminal activities. Insurance can help cover the costs associated with recovering from these types of losses.
In addition, government agencies and buildings are at risk for natural disasters, such as floods, earthquakes and hurricanes. Commercial insurance can help cover the costs of repairing damage caused by these types of events.
Furthermore, government agencies and services often deal with the public on a daily basis, making them vulnerable to liability claims. For example, if a government building is not properly maintained and a visitor slips and falls, the agency could be held liable for the injuries sustained. Insurance can help cover the costs of legal proceedings and any damages awarded.
Lastly, commercial insurance can help protect against unexpected disruptions in operations. For example, if a government agency's computer systems were to crash, it could disrupt the agency's ability to function effectively. Business insurance can help cover the costs of getting the agency back up and running as quickly as possible.
Overall, the local, state and federal government agencies, services, operations and buildings industry needs insurance to protect against financial loss, natural disasters, liability claims and disruptions in operations. Without it, these agencies could face significant financial and operational challenges.
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.