Washington Security Guard Insurance Policy Information
Washington Security Guard Insurance. If you're the owner and operator of an WA 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 security guard insurance coverage.
Washington 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 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 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 security guard insurance coverages that should be in pace. Other coverage options might include inland marine and commercial umbrella insurance.
WA 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 WA security guard company is properly protected, speak to an experienced insurance broker about your specific needs.
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 2022 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 2022, 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.
- Adult Daycare
- Agriculture, Forestry, Fishing & Hunting
- Bail Agent
- Control of Well
- Electric Utilities
- Employment / Staffing Agency
- Engraving Business
- Facility Support Services
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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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