Law Enforcement Liability coverage was developed to respond to losses that result from “wrongful acts” due to acts, errors or omissions of law enforcement agencies such as police and sheriff departments. It is critical protection that should be carried by any law enforcement agency. Protection extends to political entities and their public officials, law enforcement officers, other employees, auxiliary personnel, reserves, and authorized volunteers. Private companies that offer security services, such as patrol or guard services, have similar exposures to loss and they also qualify for coverage under Law Enforcement Liability policies. However, for such agencies, protection for loss resulting from “wrongful acts” has to arise from acts, errors or omissions of their owners and employees.
There is no standard Law Enforcement Liability coverage form or policy. Insurance companies that provide this coverage have developed forms that reflect the type of law enforcement agencies and security firm situations that they have chosen to target. Some insurers may select their preferences among classes such as:
- Airport Police
- County Police Departments
- Government Building Security Staff
- Highway Patrol
- Municipal Police Departments
- Private Security Firms
- Sheriff Departments
- State Police
- Transportation Authorities
- Various entities that run jails or prisons
Because of the wide variety in the type and scope of law enforcement operations, coverage forms and policies vary significantly, it is important to review any particular policy to make sure it provides the desired coverage.
Special coverage is necessary because protection is excluded by general liability policies that are designed only for losses of the type that are routine for owning and operating a regular business. Law Enforcement Liability policies are available to handle incidents such as:
- Police Misconduct
- Innocents harmed in improper, high-speed chases
- Excessive use of force
- Harm due to dereliction of duty (such as failure to provide protection)
- Property damage related to law enforcement duties
Law enforcement jobs are more dangerous than most and they carry a special need for extra coverage. The Law Enforcement Liability policy meets that need.
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