Washington Municipalities Insurance

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Washington Municipalities Insurance Policy Information

WA Municipalities Insurance

Washington Municipalities Insurance. In the public sector, exposures to risks and losses aren't anything new. In fact, public officials face numerous liabilities on a daily basis. Given the fact that city officials are tasked with so many responsibilities, such as balancing budgets, managing debts, ensuring that the residents in their jurisdictions are safe and have access to proper protection and education, infrastructure is functioning properly, and more.

Given all of the responsibilities that municipalities are tasked with, it's no wonder why officials are exposed to so many risks.

Municipal buildings provide office and meeting facilities for township, city, county, or state legislative operations. They often have auditoriums designed for large public gatherings or for political assemblies. A council runs municipalities, either elected or appointed and may have a mayor who acts as the leader.

Wide varieties of services are 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 municipalities contract utility services, such as gas, water, or electricity, for residents within their geographical area.

In order for municipalities to protect themselves from the numerous risks that they face, investing in the right type of Washington municipalities insurance is essential. What type of insurance should municipalities carry and why is insurance coverage so important? Read on to find out more.

Washington municipalities insurance protects your municipal buildings and operations from lawsuits with rates as low as $67/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.

Why Do Municipalities Need Insurance?

In the event that a city official makes an error or a poor decision that ends up damaging the constituents that represent, officials, as well as the city, are responsible for any associated damages.

For example, if a budget is mismanaged and funds aren't allocated to the departments they are supposed to be allocated to and aren't used for what they are intended to be use for and constituents file a lawsuit against the city, serious financial repercussions could arise.

That's just one example of the issues that municipalities and city officials face and why Washington municipalities insurance coverage is so important. In the event that an unforeseen circumstance, an error, or even an intended action that does not benefit the municipality occurs, insurance would help to cover the related costs that are associated with damages, repairs, medical bills, and legal defense fees.

Without the right WA municipalities insurance coverage, the municipality would have to pay for the related expenses themselves. With municipal insurance, however, if and when an issue does arise, the insurance carrier would cover the associated costs.

What Type Of Insurance Do Municipalities Need?

The type of Washington municipalities insurance coverage that municipal operations require varies and depends on a variety of factors.

With that said, however, there are several types of coverage that all WA municipalities should carry. These municipal coverages include:

  • General Liability: This type of coverage protects municipalities from third-party liability and property damage claims that may occur on properties that are controlled under a municipality. For example, if someone were to trip and fall on an improperly maintained sidewalk or if a vehicle were to be damaged on a pothole that has existed for a long time and the injured individual or the person who owns the damaged vehicle filed a lawsuit against the municipality, this part of an insurance policy would cover the expenses that are associated with legal defense fees, as well as any settlements that a court may be find the municipality responsible for.
  • Crime Insurance: An important part of protecting the constituents of a municipality is crime prevention. Officials must take the necessary precautions to protect their cities from potential crime as much as possible. If a city fails to do so, however - for example, if there rioting and looting were to occur and business did nothing to prevent or quell the illegal, destructive, and harmful actions, business owners or anyone who else that was affected by the rioting and looting could file a lawsuit against the city. This part of a municipality insurance policy would help to cover any of the related costs in this type of situation.
  • Employment Practices Liability (EPLI): Generally, this type of coverage offers municipalities with the protection they need against claims that may be made by employees for unfair employment practices; age, race, or gender discrimination, wrongful termination, unfair discipline, retaliation, or nepotism that leads for unfair hiring practices, for example. If someone were to file a lawsuit against the city for these negative employment practices, this part of an insurance policy would help to pay for the related expenses.

These policies are a few examples of the type of Washington municipalities insurance coverage you should consider for your municipal operations. To find out more about the coverages that a properly designed WA municipality insurance policy should offer, speak with an insurance broker.

WA Municipalities' 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 egress 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. Municipal facilities may be a target for vandals, disgruntled citizens, criminals, or terrorists. Security inside the facility, as well as outside areas including owned parking area, 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 volunteers, janitorial staff, building or yard maintenance workers, repair personnel, and drivers. 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.

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. Municipal 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 vacation every year.

If the facilities have offices to collect fees, penalties, or obtain permits and licenses, there may be an exposure to hold up.

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.

If any owned equipment is used or taken off-premises, the exposure increases. 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 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.

Washington Municipalities Insurance - The Bottom Line

To learn more about the specific types of Washington municipalities insurance policies you'll need and how much coverage your municipal buildings and operations need - speak with an experienced insurance broker who understands the unique risks that municipalities face.

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.

Made In Washington

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 Miscellaneous Insurance

Find informative articles on miscellaneous businesses including the types of commercial insurance they need, costs and other considerations.


Miscellaneous Business Insurance

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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Also find Washington insurance agents & brokers and learn about Washington small business insurance requirements for general liability, business property, commercial auto & workers compensation including WA business insurance costs. Call us (206) 801-0021.

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