CIGNA Property & Casualty has introduced a broad Employment-related Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) policy with a Workplace Violence coverage option to give small businesses added protection as the legal relationship between employers and employees continues to evolve.
"Most companies with fewer than 1,000 employees think that they won't be hit by an employment related lawsuit," says Robert J. Groff, vice president, CIGNA Commercial Insurance Services. "They believe their policies, procedures and training will protect them. Even if they are hit with a lawsuit, they feel their Commercial General Liability (CGL) policy will protect them. The problem is that their CGL policy language may exclude EPLI claims. And the best preventative measures will not protect against the high cost of fighting even a nuisance claim. Taking a wrongful termination case to trial could cost $200,000 to defend.
"In addition, workplace violence is on the rise and it threatens a company on a number of fronts," Groff says. "There is a financial impact when an employee is injured in a workplace violence incident and an impact on the company's internal and external image," Groff adds. "Our Workplace Violence coverage helps a company regain productivity following an incident and repair its public image."
The new policy has two separate components:
In addition to the coverage, companies will also have access to loss control resources, such as:
"We provide access to policies and procedures to help companies prevent as many claims as they can and to help in defending against an allegation of wrongdoing," says Groff. "But no company does everything right all the time, especially in this age of evolving legislation. You're dealing with a moving target as the government and the courts keep changing the rules. The threat of costly and damaging lawsuits far outweighs even the best efforts to prevent abuses"
The policies are available to firms with fewer than 1,000 employees.