Washington DC Security Guard Insurance Policy Information
Washington DC Security Guard Insurance. If you're the owner and operator of an DC security guard company, you and your team provide an invaluable service for the people and institutions that you serve. You're tasked with the responsibility of protecting the facilities and individuals from various types of threats; vandalism and theft, for example.
Though you make every effort to ensure that you and your staff are properly attending to your responsibilities, there's always a chance that something could go wrong.
Security operations evaluate clients' needs for fire and burglary protection, develop a security plan, implement it, and monitor it as agreed to by the client. Security plans may be as simple as construction of physical barriers to prevent access to the client's premises, or as sophisticated as using biometrics and electronic surveillance equipment to detect intruders.
The security service provided may include random drive-by security patrols, guards stationed at clients' premises, or alarms and security systems, including monitoring from a central station and responding to calls. Some security companies offer more extensive threat analysis and prevention services, such as procedures and systems to prevent crimes by employees (such as embezzlement or fraud), industrial espionage (such as theft of proprietary information), or cyberattacks.
When mishaps arise, you're legally responsible for the financial repercussions that may be associated with them. How can you protect yourself from the various risks that you face and the potential financial devastation could cause? – By investing in the right type of Washington DC security guard insurance coverage.
Washington DC security guard insurance protects armed and unarmed security guards from lawsuits with rates as low as $87/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
Why Do Security Guard Companies Need Insurance?
As the operator of a company that provides security guard services, you face a number of unique risks. You are responsible for the facilities and individuals you are hired to protect. You are also responsible for your employees, your commercial property, and much more. But you never know when something could go wrong.
For example, though you make sure your guards are properly trained, a mistake can happen or an oversight could occur, leading to the damage of a client's property. An employee could suffer a work-related injury and require medical care and be unable to work while recovering. The commercial property that you operate your agency out of could be involved in a fire and significant damage could occur.
In any of these situations, as the owner and operator of your security guard company, you are legally responsible for any financial repercussions that are associated with any mishaps that may arise.
The cost of those expenses could be astronomical. Could you afford to cover them yourself? Even if you could, it's likely that they'd have long-lasting effects and could likely even result in the loss of your business.
With the right type of Washington DC security guard insurance coverage, expenses related to mishaps would be covered by your insurance company. In other words, you wouldn't have to bear the burden alone.
In addition to the financial security insurance provides, you're legally required to carry certain types of coverage. If you fail to, you could end up facing serious ramifications, including hefty fines and possibly even legal trouble.
What Type Of Insurance Do Security Guards Need?
The type of Washington DC security guard insurance required varies and depends on several factors; where your operations are located, the size of your business, and what type of properties and entities you protect. The best way to find out exactly what type of coverage you need is by speaking with an agent that's experienced in insuring organizations like yours.
With that said, however, there are certain types of coverage that you'll need to carry. Examples include:
- Commercial General Liability - This coverage covers the cost of third-party liability claims; claims that are related to both personal injury and property damage. For instance, if a client or a vendor suffers an injury while visiting your commercial property and files a lawsuit against you, commercial general liability insurance will cover the associated legal expenses, as well as any amounts that you may be required to pay out to the plaintiff.
- Professional Liability - In addition to general liability, you'll also need professional liability coverage. Also known as errors and omissions or "E&O insurance, this policy covers any lawsuits that may be filed against as a result of negligence or errors on behalf of your company. For instance, if one of your security guards falls asleep on the job, the property they're supposed to be protecting is vandalized or broken into, and the client takes legal action, an E&O policy would cover any related expenses.
- Commercial Auto - You'll also need to cover any vehicles that your company uses for work-related purposes. If any of your vehicles are involved in an accident, this policy will help to pay for repairs to the property of other drivers that may have been impacted by the accident. It will also cover medical care for any injuries that other motorists may sustain.
- Workers' Compensation - This policy covers the cost of medical care, lost wages, and other expenses that are related to injuries or illnesses that your employees may sustain while they're on the job.
These are just some of the types of Washington DC security guard insurance coverages that should be in pace. Other coverage options might include inland marine and commercial umbrella insurance.
DC Security Guards Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposures are limited at the office location due to lack of public access. Off-premises exposure is extensive. Depending on services offered, the potential for causing either bodily injury or property damage may be considerable, particularly if the security company responds to alarms and employees carry weapons. Background checks, monitoring, and supervision of all employees are required.
Guards must be careful not to infringe on the lawful rights of others. Personal injury exposures include breach of confidentiality of client information, libel, slander, wrongful detainment, trespass, and invasion of privacy. These may fall under the professional liability coverage.
Professional liability exposure is high due to the protection offered to clients for their safety and security. If a fire or burglary loss should occur, the security agency could be held liable for failing in its professional duty to the client. Personal injury hazards include assertions of invasion of privacy, wrongful detention, or unreasonable use of force. The commitments and promises made by the security company should be reviewed and evaluated.
If the security service carries firearms, all federal, state, and local statutes must be followed. Training, supervision, and monitoring are crucial. There should be a written contract with each client, explaining services and offering advice. These agreements must be signed by the client, including acknowledgments of services that were recommended and not taken.
Workers compensation exposure is high. Stress-related illnesses arise periodically due to the serious nature of the work. Guards work alone in dark areas that may be targeted by burglars. There should be check-in procedures, instruction, and training on how to handle trespassers and emergency situations. While responding to alarms, employees may be injured in automobile accidents, threatened, or physically attacked by intruders who may be carrying weapons.
If guards use vehicles, they must have training in proper evasive maneuvers. Any firearm use by employees must be permitted only after there is extensive training and periodic recertification. Without firm procedures regarding firearm ownership, handling, and storage, hazards may increase dramatically.
Property exposures are generally limited to those of an office. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating, and air conditioning systems. If alarm or monitoring service is provided, electrical systems must meet current codes and be able to support the load from computer equipment and communication devices at all the monitoring stations. As monitoring must be constant, additional backup and maintenance equipment may be needed to keep the equipment and devices operational around the clock every day of the year.
If vehicles are stored and maintained on the premises, the fire exposure increases due to flammables including lubricants, oils, degreasers, and solvents. These must be properly labeled, stored, and separated from one another. Computers and related equipment may be targets for theft.
Extra expense exposures are high if service contracts and agreements require that the clients' alarms be monitored constantly. Contingency plans, contracts, and arrangements should be in place to provide for a seamless relocation if a loss disables the monitoring location.
Equipment breakdown exposures include breakdown losses to the computers and monitoring equipment, electrical control panels, and other apparatus.
Crime exposure is from employee dishonesty, including theft of customers' property as guards and employees responding to calls often have open access to customers' premises. Hazards increase in the absence of procedures and monitoring of the insured's workers who may have such access. Background checks of all employees must include verification of criminal records, education, and employment background.
Inland marine exposures are from accounts receivable if the company offers credit, computers, mobile equipment, and valuable papers and records for clients' reports and contracts with reviews of the customers' security needs. Mobile equipment includes radios, base station, walkie-talkies, and other items carried by guards or in their vehicles. Surveillance equipment is highly sophisticated, sensitive and a target for theft. All equipment must be secured and locked up when not in use.
Hazards may increase in the absence of procedures to ensure proper accounting of all equipment. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards, especially if alarm or monitoring services are offered. Duplicates of all records must be made and kept off site.
Business auto exposures can be extensive if mobile patrols are offered. All drivers must be licensed with acceptable MVRs. All vehicles must be well maintained with documentation kept in a central location. If the service responds to alarms, the warranties and guarantees provided to clients concerning response time should enable employees to respond without having to break or disobey any traffic laws. If company vehicles are supplied for use by employees, there should be written procedures regarding personal use by those employees and their family members.
Security Guard Insurance - The Bottom Line
To learn more and ensure that your DC security guard company is properly protected, speak to an experienced insurance broker about your specific needs.
Made In Washington D.C. Economic Data, Regulations And Limits On Commercial Insurance
Whether you have a great idea for a business and you're considering your first startup company or you are already operating a business and you're looking to expand, the location of your operations is one of the most important factors you'll need to consider. In order for a business to achieve success, it must be situated in an area that offers a healthy economy and a market that your products and/or services will appeal to.
The unemployment rate of a region paints a picture of the area's economy. A lower unemployment rate indicates that the area has a healthy business climate that can sustain the residents of the region. In addition, it's important for prospective proprietors to find out which industries are thriving in the area they're considering for their operations.
Furthermore, business owners must take into consideration what type of commercial insurance policies they will need to carry in order to protect themselves, those who interact with them, and to ensure that they are compliant with the law.
If you're considering Washington, D.C. for your business, below, we provide an overview of the above-mentioned information so you can determine if the nation's capital offers favorable conditions for success.
Economic Trends For Business Owners In Washington D.C.
In December of 2019, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate in Washington, D.C. was 5.3%. While that rate is considerably higher than what the national average of 3.5% at the same time, the rate had fallen throughout the course of the year.
For example, in July of 2019, the unemployment rate was 5.6%, in August it was 5.5%, and in October, it was 5.4%. This steady decline indicates that more employment opportunities as a result of a healthy business climate have become and are becoming available in D.C.
Washington, D.C. is divided into four specific quadrants, including NE, NW, SE, and SW. While all regions are considered suitable for businesses, those that are situated in commercial areas - Northwest, Southwest, and Southeast - as opposed to Northeast, which is primarily residential, are likely to offer the best opportunities for prospective business owners.
There are several industries that are experiencing growth in D.C. Not surprisingly, government-related sectors and businesses that provide services for the government are seeing the most growth. Additionally, leisure, hospitality, and tourism are also prime industries in the nation's capital, as the region attracts millions of tourists from around the globe. Construction, education, and health round out the top industries in the region.
Commercial Insurance Requirements In Washington D.C.
The Washington D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking regulates insurance in DC. Washington D.C. mandates very few forms of insurance coverage by law. They enforce worker's compensation.
Washington D.C. requires you to have worker's compensation insurance if you hire even one employee on a regular basis. This includes part-time employees, family members, minors, and immigrant employees. It is not required for independent contractors or domestic employees, though you should check to make sure any contractors you have are true contractors, and not employees.
Washington D.C. also requires all business-owned vehicles to be covered by commercial auto insurance. Other types of business insurance that business owners should carry depend on the specific industry.
Additional Resources For Miscellaneous Insurance
Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.
- Adult Daycare Insurance
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
- Bail Agent
- Control of Well
- Employment / Staffing Agency
- Engraving Business
- Facility Support Services
- Mail Order
- Oil And Gas Lease
- Personal Concierge
- Photofinishing Lab
- Portable Sanitation
- Printers & Publishers
- Private Water Districts
- Process Server
- RV Parks & Campgrounds
- Security Guard
- Surety Bonds
- Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) Drone
- Waste Disposal Landfill
- Wedding Planner
An insurance contract is an agreement where one party obligates itself to make good the financial loss or damage sustained by a second party when a designated event occurs. The event must be fortuitous and happen by accident. The named insured must have insurable interest at the time of loss. One final point is that in order for any contract to be considered insurance, there must be a risk of loss.
Fortuitous Event - An occurrence largely beyond the control of any involved party; happening by chance; accidental; for example: fire, lightning, windstorm, explosion or flood.
Insurable Interest - In order to recover from a loss to property, the holder must have an insurable interest in the property at the time of the event or occurrence. An insurable interest is any right, title or interest in property where the holder of that right, title or interest sustains financial loss if the property is damaged or destroyed. Any lawful and substantial economic interest in the safety or preservation of the property from loss, destruction or damage also constitutes an insurable interest.
An entity does not have to be the property owner to have an insurable interest in it. Examples include, but are not limited to, mortgagees, trustees, vendors, lessees and bailees. Insurable interest for any entity must exist at the time the loss occurs.
Risk Of Loss - If property could never be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. If property must necessarily disintegrate or be destroyed, there is no risk of loss. Between these two extremes is the exposure of risk that can be insured.
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