Washington Credit Union Insurance Policy Information
Washington Credit Union Insurance. Credit unions are non-profit financial institutions owned by their members, who are often a group of people with a common interest such as membership in a trade union or alumni association. Credit unions were originally formed to provide low-interest loans to their members. These members deposit money and have ongoing access to their funds through ATMs, checks, or electronic means. They have the right to close their accounts and withdraw or transfer their money to another financial institution.
Credit unions earn income from interest charged on loans, profits from investments, and transaction fees. They may offer financial planning or investment services. To maintain public confidence in the industry, credit unions are highly regulated at the federal and state level. The regulations change frequently so additional operations may be added as permitted.
Many Americans are choosing credit unions for their financial needs over traditional banks. Unlike banks, which are owned by large corporations, credit unions are owned by the members of the institution. As such, whatever profits a credit union does make goes back to the institution itself to improve the services that their members receive, or the funds are invested in the community. Additionally, credit union members enjoy lower fees and better rates on savings than traditional financial institutions provide.
Despite the numerous benefits that WA credit unions offer, there are risks associated with this type of financial institution. Since they hold the money of their members, it's the job of a credit union to protect those funds. Despite the best efforts of credit union operators to provide exceptional services and to protect the interests of their members, unforeseen problems can arise. Therefore, it's important that you take the necessary precautions to protect your credit union and the members it serves. What's the best way to do that? - By carrying the right type of Washington credit union insurance coverage.
Washington credit union insurance protects your member-owned business from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Credit Union Need Insurance?
When it comes to money, problems are always a possibility. A credit union could be robbed, for example, and members' money could be stolen. A fire could erupt, damaging the structure that the credit union operates out of. A member could trip, fall, and suffer an injury while making a deposit. An employee could be injured while working. These are just some of the problems that could arise.
When unforeseen problems do arise, you will be held liable. Your liability means that you are responsible for covering the cost of any losses, damages, or injuries that may occur; the cost of which could be excessive. To avoid having to pay for these expenses out of your own pocket, investing in the right type of Washington credit union insurance is important.
What Type Of Insurance Do Credit Unions Require?
There are several forms of insurance coverage that a credit union should invest in. Examples of policies that these financial institutions should carry include the following:
- NCUA Insurance - This type of insurance is backed by the National Credit Union Administration (NCUA). The NCUA is associated with the federal government, but it is an independent agency. NCUA insured credit unions protect up to $250,000 of their members deposits. This type of insurance coverage is crucial, as it certifies that should anything go wrong with the deposits that are made in your financial institution - a theft, for example - those deposits will be protected by the federal government.
- Excess Insurance - With excess insurance, your members' deposits will be protected beyond the $250,000 that NCUA insurance offers. Should members have amounts that are higher than $250,000 deposited in your credit union, excess insurance will guarantee they are covered from losses above the NCUA limit.
- Commercial Property - In addition to protecting your members' money, it's also important to protect the commercial space that a credit union operates out of. Commercial property insurance protects the structure of the credit union, as well as the contents that are housed within it, such as inventory, supplies, and equipment. This type of policy provides protection against acts of nature, such as fires, storms, and fallen trees, as well as acts of vandalism, such as graffiti or broken windows.
- Commercial General Liability - If member or a vendor slips and falls on the credit union's property, or if someone claims that an employee of the credit union damaged their property, commercial general liability insurance will protect you. This form of insurance protects you against third-party accidents and injuries; it pays for the cost of any legal fees, as well as damages that may be awarded.
- Workers' Compensation - If you have employees in almost any state - you'll also need to invest in workers' comp insurance. This form of coverage will cover the cost of any medical expenses and lost wages should an employee sustain a work-related injury or illness.
These are just some examples of the type of Washington credit union insurance policies a credit union should invest in. The amount of coverage needed will vary and are dependent on the specifics of each individual WA credit union.
Washington Federal Credit Union's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure comes from slips and falls due to public access to the premises. As customer safety and security are very important, the credit union may have one or more armed security guards on duty while it is open. All employees must be trained in proper procedures during a holdup to minimize the possibility of violence to or kidnap of customers. Floors, stairs, and elevators need to be in good condition, with steps and uneven floor surfaces prominently marked.
The number of exits must be sufficient and well-marked, with backup lighting in the event of a power failure. Steps should have handrails, be well-lighted, marked, and in good repair. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. There should be security in the parking lot equal to or better than the surrounding area. If the business is open after dark, such as for access to ATM machines or deposit boxes, lighting must be adequate.
Personal injury exposure arises from breaches of customers' privacy and confidentiality of their financial records, discrimination in lending practices, and for allegations of assault and battery during the apprehension of suspected robbers. The use of closed-circuit camera systems prevents such incidents from evolving into a "he said / she said" situation. Employees must be trained to handle such situations properly.
Product liability exposure is very low as financial products sold to customers are intangible. There may be some minor exposure if the credit union sells items like tee shirts or advertising novelties or offers small gifts to customers as a reward for doing business with them.
Directors and officers exposure may be limited if the credit union is small and run by members. If operations are larger and operate more like a bank, the exposure increases as directors and officers are more likely to be sued for results of their decisions in times of economic downturn. Credit unions may offer investment advisory services, estate handling, management of individual and corporate trusts, employee pension funds, escrow fund gathering and other financial activities. Directors and officers can be sued if funds from any of these are mismanaged.
Errors and omissions exposure by accountants and auditors can cause significant loss. There must be checks and balances in place to quickly catch and fix errors that are made. The background and training of all professional-level employees must be thorough and continual to keep up-to-date with industry changes. Monitoring is necessary.
Workers compensation exposures are moderate due to the possibility of injury or death of guards, tellers, and managers during an armed robbery. Tellers should be separated from customers by barriers such as high counters. Those working with customers at walk-up or drive-in windows should be protected by bulletproof glass enclosures. As most work is done on computers, employees are exposed to eyestrain, neck strain, and repetitive motion injuries including and carpal tunnel syndrome. All workstations should be ergonomically designed to reduce the chance of such injuries.
Property exposures are primarily from fire due to the electrical wiring for computers, printers and other electronic office equipment, heating, and air conditioning systems. All wiring must meet current codes, be well maintained, and be adequate for the credit union's operations. Circuitry for electronic equipment may be easily damaged from smoke, water, and heat, which will result in a total loss even with a small fire.
The building and its contents can be damaged during burglaries, robberies, and vandalism. Appropriate security measures should be taken, including physical barriers to prevent entrance to the premises after hours and an alarm system that reports directly to a central station or the police department. Since regulations require that customers have access to their monies on deposit at all times, disaster planning for potential interruptions is vital. Extra expense coverage should be considered as the credit union must continue operations after a loss.
Crime exposures are primarily from employee dishonesty, either from the theft of cash or from the improper transfer of funds held for customers. Money and securities can be stolen during armed robbery and safe burglary. Credit unions need a Financial Institutions Bond to cover these exposures. Background checks should be conducted for anyone who will have access to the accounts.
There must be regular monitoring and auditing of the books by outside auditors to prevent and identify problems. All employees must take at least one continuous week of vacation a year. Safes, vaults, theft-proof cashier cages, guards, and watchpersons are needed to protect money. Tellers' drawers should be stripped regularly and money moved to the vault. Bank drops should be made throughout the day to prevent a large buildup of cash available to thieves.
Controls and programming to prevent computer fraud should be reviewed. Extortion is a growing concern due to the high value of assets held by credit unions.
Inland marine exposure is from accounts receivable for billings to customers, computers for tracking financial data, and valuable papers and records for customers' and regulatory information. Off-premises coverage should be considered for kiosks and self-standing cash machines in other stores. Duplicates of all data should be made and maintained and stored at a separate location for ease of restoration in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposures may be limited to hired and non-owned exposure for employees running errands. If the company provides vehicles to officers or key employees, policies should be in place for personal and permitted use of the vehicles. Any driver must have a valid driver's license and acceptable MVR. Vehicles must be well maintained with records kept in a central location.
Washington Credit Union Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more about what type of Washington credit union insurance you should carry and how much coverage you should have, speak with a trusted insurance broker.
Washington State Economic Outlook & Business Insurance Requirements
For anyone who is thinking about starting up a business, it is important that they choose a location that suites the industry that they wish to work in. With that said, in order to determine whether or not a location is the right choice for your business, you should have an idea about the state's economic status. You should also have an understanding of the WA state regulations related to the types of commercial insurance that you are required to carry.
If you are thinking about starting up a business in the State of Washington, below, we offer some insight into the state's economic status. We also offer a glimpse at the WA insurance requirements that business owners must abide by.
State Of The Economy In Washington
Washington state may be famous for its gloomy weather, but when it comes to the economy, things here look bright. The economic outlook for Washington is healthy. It is expected that there will be more jobs added in the 2021 calendar year. There will be an increase in the productivity of labor. There will also be an increase in the state's unemployment rate during the year 2021, with a forecasted rate of 4.7 percent.
Washington is regarded as one of the top for businesses in the nation. In fact, it is listed at the 11th best state for business by Forbes. The industry that is expected to see the most growth are related to STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math). Among the top industries in this state include information technology. Education, healthcare, finance, and travel and tourism also contribute largely to the awesome economy of this state.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In WA
The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner regulates the insurance industry in WA. Businesses are legally required to carry workers' compensation insurance. This type of coverage is required for any business that employs either hourly or salaried employees, and either part-time or full-time employees. You are also required to carry commercial auto insurance if you use a vehicle to conduct any type of business in this state. That means that if you are using a car to transport goods, make deliveries, or meet with clients, you must carry business auto insurance.
While commercial general liability insurance is not required in Washington, it is highly recommended. This type of insurance offers protection from lawsuits and other legal fees that may arise.
Additional Resources For Financial Institutions Insurance
Discover the types of commercial insurance that banks, finance companies and other financial institutions need to protect their asset management, deposit, lending, investment and other operations.
- Check Cashing
- Credit Union
- Currency Exchanges
- Finance Companies
- Insurance Company
- Mortgage Broker
Financial institutions handle, receive, disburse, and invest money of others.
They are subject to regulations specific to their operation but they are also subject to legal and moral obligations for their customers.
Customers entrust their funds to these institutions because of their confidence in the management's ability.
Insurance is a necessary means to protect the financial institutions and their customers against various types of losses.
The financial services offered and the personal relationships created by the institution can only be protected through the use of a sound insurance program and appropriate bonding practices.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Extra Expense, Equipment Breakdown, Financial Institutions Bond, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Directors' and Officers' Liability, Employee Benefits, Fiduciary Liability, Professional, Umbrella, Hired and Non-Owned Auto, Workers Compensation & Surety Bonds.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Buildings, Earthquake, Flood, Leasehold Interest, Real Property Legal Liability, Computer Fraud, Extortion, Fine Arts, Signs, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices, Law Enforcement Professional, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage And Stop Gap Liability.
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