Township Insurance Policy Information
Township Insurance. As a part of the public sector, township officials are exposed to a lot of risks and can face a lot of losses.
Managing fiscal policies and debt, protecting the physical safety of their residents, making sure public education received adequate investments, addressing crime; township officials are responsible for a lot.
Township buildings provide office and meeting facilities for township operations. They often have auditoriums designed for large public gatherings or for political assemblies. A council runs townships, either elected or appointed and may have a mayor or other chief official who acts as the leader.
A wide variety of services may be provided to residents in exchange for tax dollars. These services may include planning and zoning, licenses and permits, assessors', and surveyors' offices, courts, disease control, sanitation, road construction and maintenance, snow removal, and public protection such as police or fire departments.
Some townships contract utility services, such as gas, water, or electricity, for residents within their geographical area.
In order to protect themselves from any liability issues, these officials should invest in the right type of township insurance program.
What is township insurance? Why is it important? For more information about this vital insurance coverage, keep on reading.
Township insurance protects your municipal operations and buildings from lawsuits with rates as low as $37/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Below are some answers to commonly asked township insurance questions:
- What Is Township Insurance?
- How Much Does Township Insurance Cost?
- Why Do Townships Need Insurance?
- What Type Of Insurance Do Townships Need?
- What Does Township Insurance Cover & Pay For?
What Is Township Insurance?
Township insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides coverage for local government entities such as townships, boroughs, and villages.
This type of insurance is designed to protect these entities against losses or damage to public property, including buildings, parks, and other facilities. The policy may also provide liability coverage for lawsuits or claims against the township for damages or injury to individuals.
Some common types of coverage included in a township insurance policy may include general liability, property damage, workers' compensation, and auto insurance for government-owned vehicles.
How Much Does Township Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small townships ranges from $37 to $59 per month based on location, size, services offered, claims history and more.
Why Do Townships Need Insurance?
Also known as municipality insurance, township insurance coverage is an insurance program that combines coverage for the unique risks that officials face.
Township officials are responsible for a lot, and as such, they face numerous liability issues. Examples of the risks that public sector officials face include:
- Lawsuits related to employment practices, such as sexual harassment, discrimination, wrongful termination, and hostile work or volunteer environments.
- Legal issues related to police enforcement, such as failure to protect, civil rights violations, negligence, and false arrests.
- Data breaches that result in the compromise of the confidential data and personal information of employees or volunteers.
- Real or alleged errors and omissions and misstatements or misleading statements.
These are just a few of the risks that township officials face.
Should an employee, volunteer, or resident of the municipality that an official governs take legal action against the township, the insurance coverage that a township insurance policy provides would help to pay the related expenses, including legal representation fees and the damages that a court of law may find the defendant guilty of.
The costs that are associated with legal action can be astronomical, and as such, this type of insurance can prevent public officials and municipalities from serious financial losses.
What Type Of Insurance Do Townships Need?
A robust township insurance program will include coverage for the many risks that elected officials face.
Because insurance requirements may vary, it's best to speak with an agent who has experience insuring municipalities.
Examples of the coverage that township's should have include:
- General Liability: This form of coverage protects a township against any bodily injury or property damage claims that may be associated with any of the locations and operations that fall under the entity of the municipality. These injuries and property damages may occur as a result of poorly maintained roadways and sidewalks, natural disasters in which elected officials failed to practice due diligence, and even town construction activities.
- Errors And Omissions (E&O): E&O insurance coverage (also known as professional liability) protects public officials from actual and alleged errors, such as misstatements or misleading statements that an official may make while executing the duties of a public entities.
- Law Enforcement Liability: This coverage helps to cover the costs that are associated with defending police officers from various allegations and lawsuits that the public may make against police officers while they are conducting law enforcement operations and activities; failure to protect, violations related to civil rights, false arrests, and negligence.
- Cyber And Data Breach: If elected officials, employees, or volunteers of a township have access to confidential data in electronic or hard copy form and a data breach occurs, cyber and data security will help to cover any lawsuits that may arise.
- Employment Practices Liability: This type of coverage offers townships protection for claims that are made by employees and volunteers that are related to wrongful practices; sexual harassment, discrimination of any kind, wrongful termination, wrongful demotion, failure to promote, defamation, libel and slander, invasion of privacy, unfair discipline, and harassment of any kind. Employment practices liability will help to cover legal expenses, as well as any compensation that may need to be paid out.
The aforementioned coverages are a basic outline of what a robust township insurance program should provide. The specific coverage that this type of program should provide depends on the unique needs of each township.
Additionally, policy limits vary and depend on the unique needs of each township. The cost of township insurance coverage also depends on several factors.
Townships' 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.
An outside service contractor should inspect elevators and escalators annually. Parking lots should be free of ice and snow. Township facilities may be a target for vandals or disgruntled citizens. 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. /p>
Public officials' liability exposure can be severe. Today's political climate has seen an increase in lawsuits against government authorities 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 street and road crews. Workers may incur back injuries, hernias, slips, falls, strains, or sprains.
Skin and 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.
Township buildings may have been donated and remodeled for current 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. Wiring must be up to date and the building must meet codes for its current occupancy. 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. Township 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.
Deposits should be made promptly with appropriate security provided. 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. Duplicates of all files should be stored at an off-site facility for easy retrieval in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is limited generally to hired non-owned and some owned service vehicles. 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.
What Does Township Insurance Cover & Pay For?
Townships can be sued for a variety of reasons, such as:
- Personal injury: If someone is injured on township property, they may sue the township for damages. For example, if someone slips and falls on a sidewalk that the township is responsible for maintaining, they may sue the township for medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering.
- Property damage: If a township employee or vehicle damages someone's property, the property owner may sue the township for the cost of repairs or replacement.
- Civil rights violations: If a township violates someone's civil rights, such as discriminating against them based on their race, gender, or religion, the individual may sue the township for damages.
- Breach of contract: If a township enters into a contract with a vendor or contractor and fails to fulfill its obligations, the other party may sue the township for breach of contract.
Insurance can help protect townships from the financial consequences of lawsuits by providing coverage for legal defense costs and settlements or judgments. Here's how insurance can help pay for the lawsuits in the examples mentioned above:
Personal injury: If the township has liability insurance, the insurance company will typically provide legal defense and pay for any settlement or judgment up to the policy limit. For example, if the township has a $1 million liability insurance policy and a person sues for $500,000, the insurance company would pay the settlement and legal costs up to $1 million.
Property damage: If the township has property damage insurance, the insurance company would cover the cost of repairs or replacement of the damaged property. The township may also have liability insurance to cover any legal defense costs if the property owner sues.
Civil rights violations: If the township has civil rights liability insurance, the insurance company would provide legal defense and pay for any settlement or judgment up to the policy limit. The policy may also cover damages for emotional distress or punitive damages, which are meant to punish the township for its actions.
Breach of contract: If the township has errors and omissions insurance or professional liability insurance, the insurance company would provide legal defense and pay for any settlement or judgment up to the policy limit. These policies are typically designed to cover claims related to professional services provided by the township, such as contracting or consulting services.
In summary, insurance can help protect townships from the financial risks of lawsuits by providing coverage for legal defense costs, settlements, or judgments. By having the right insurance coverage in place, townships can ensure that they can continue to provide essential services to their communities without facing crippling financial liabilities.
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
- 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
Township Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about township insurance programs and what type of coverage it should include to provide comprehensive protection, speak with a reputable insurance broker.
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.