Virginia Township Insurance Policy Information
Virginia 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 Virginia township insurance program.
What is VA township insurance? Why is it important? For more information about this vital insurance coverage, keep on reading.
Virginia 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.
Why Do Townships Need Insurance?
Also known as municipality insurance, Virginia 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 VA 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 Virginia 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 VA 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 Virginia 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.
VA Township'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.
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.
Virginia Township Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about Virginia township insurance programs and what type of coverage it should include to provide comprehensive protection, speak with a reputable insurance broker.
Virginia Economic Data & Small Business Insurance Information
If you're planning on starting a business, a lot of planning and factors need to be taken into consideration. Of course, having a great business model and offering valuable products and services are all keys to your success; however, there's something else that you need to take into consideration: where you're going to set up shop.
In order to reap the success that you hope for, you need to choose a location that offers favorable conditions for your specific business. If you operation isn't located in a location that can benefit from what you plan on offering, you aren't going to achieve the success that you desire.
For entrepreneurs who are thinking about Virginia as a location for their headquarters or a branch of their company, it's important to familiarize yourself with the economic trends in the commonwealth. It's also essential that you have a keen understanding in regard to the type of insurance coverage you'll need to carry to protect yourself, your clients, and your employees.
Business Economic Trends In Virginia
In regard to job growth, VA exceeds the rate of national job growth. As of February 2022, unemployment rates were at a historic low in The Volunteer State, with a rate of 3.2% throughout the state; 0.1% lower than the last historic low of 3.3% in October of 2018. That's lower than the national unemployment rate, which was reported to be 3.8% in February of 2019. Economists are forecasting continued job growth throughout the state into 2022.
The Commonwealth of Virginia has seen a dramatic upswing in economic growth in recent years. As of late 2022, the unemployment rate had fallen to a record low of just 2.9 percent; a significant difference compared to the national unemployment rate, which was 3.7 percent. In a one-year period, nearly 65,000 jobs were added. In 2019, the unemployment rate and economic growth of the state continues to be positive, and it expected to remain in the green well into 2022 and the future.
In regard to areas that offer the most favorable conditions for business owners, there are several. Metropolitan areas, including northern (Arlington, Fairfax, etc...), central (Richmond, Ashland, Lynchburg, etc...), and southern (Chesapeake, Newport News, Hampton, Norfolk, etc...) all afford great opportunities for entrepreneurs. However, virtually any location in the Commonwealth of Virginia can be considered favorable for business owners.
Industries that offer great promise in Virginia include:
- Education and training
- Information technology
- Travel and tourism
Commercial Insurance Regulations & Limits In VA
The Virginia Bureau of Insurance regulates insurance in Virginia. Just like any other state in the country, there are regulations in place regarding commercial insurance. Business owners are required to carry certain types of coverage to protect themselves, their clients, and their employees.
Small businesses with 2 or more employees are required by VA state law to have workers comp insurance coverage.
If you use certain types of motor vehicles for business-related purposes, you'll also need to invest in commercial auto insurance coverage to protect your drivers, as well as other drivers on the road.
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 VA local small businesses by General Liability Class Code and learn about Virginia small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including VA business insurance costs. Call us (703) 747-9779.