You may be surprised to discover that professional liability insurance for government employees is considered a wise purchase. Just because one holds a position as a federal employee doesn't mean that he or she is immune to lawsuits from either the civilian sector and fellow government employees.
Professional Liability Insurance Explained
In whatever professional capacity you hold - government employees included - you may encounter lawsuits brought against you personally. For example, if a performance report you write for a subordinate employee results in the employee not receiving an anticipated promotion, the employee can actually sue you. This is not to say that the lawsuit necessarily has merit, but the case can still be brought to court. This results in legal fees in addition to the hassle of the ordeal.
Professional liability insurance for government employees does not stop you from getting sued, but it can cover your legal costs and in some cases will cover the cost of any settlement ordered against you. The amount of your coverage depends largely on how much you are willing to spend for quality insurance.
Government employees are not only limited to active duty military members and elected officials. Plenty of people work for the government without never having donned a military uniform or having run for office. Even someone who works at the laundry facilities at a military installation can be considered a government employee, so obviously the term ''government employee'' is a broad term encompassing a large group of people. Any government employee who at risk for lawsuits - even frivolous ones - will want to consider obtaining professional liability insurance.
An Ideal Plan
How do you know what to look for when shopping around for professional liability insurance for government employees? Although your requirements may vary according to your particular position, a good policy will include:
- Coverage of legal defense in the event of a lawsuit
- Adequate coverage for any judgments brought against you for both errors & omissions and bodily injury/personal property damage
- Coverage which extends into your retirement, if applicable
Remember that the government does not have to pay for legal costs even if the lawsuit brought against you is due to your acting in a professional capacity. It is important to be prepared to cover the cost for legal fees, and this is why you need insurance.
Find Professional Liability Insurance for Government Employees
Professional liability insurance for government workers is provided by many different companies. Look for a company that has extensive experience in dealing specifically with government employees:
- Mass Benefits Consultants provide professional liability insurance that is designed for the specific needs of government employees. This company issues policies in amounts of protection of up to a million dollars.
- IDRA Insurance specializes in professional liability insurance and has experience in dealing with government employees. Policyholders must join the IDRA organization prior to applying for coverage.
- AFGE offers a comprehensive plan for government employees, but similarly to the IDRA plan applicants must have a membership within the organization prior to applying for coverage.
- USAA, which is considered one of the best insurance companies for military-affiliated people, offers liability insurance programs through Hartford.
There are many more insurance companies that offer quality liability insurance to employees of the government. If you do not currently have professional liability insurance and you work in any governmental capacity that may be vulnerable to a lawsuit, it is time to find appropriate coverage.
Word of Mouth
Talk to the people who work with you in a similar role and see if there is a preferred provider among them for liability insurance. Sometimes the best way to find a quality provider is by surveying the people who already have coverage similar to what you need. Be sure to also check with your superiors to see if you are eligible to have a portion of your annual insurance premiums paid by the government.