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Connecticut Insurer Introduces Workplace Violence Coverage for Small Businesses

  • Hartford-based insurer introduces coverage to help businesses recover from workplace violence
  • Policy provides services and reimbursement for security, counseling, lost income, and more
  • Approximately 2 million non-fatal workplace incidents and 1,000 workplace homicides take place in the U.S. each year

A Connecticut insurer is introducing coverage aimed at helping small and medium-sized businesses recover from acts of workplace violence, saying such incidents can have a major impact on companies’ finances.

Hartford Steam Boiler, a multi-line insurer and part of Munich Re, says the policies are designed to help businesses respond and recover quickly from workplace violence. The coverage includes a security assessment and recommendations, guard services, reimbursement for lost business income,crisis communications, and counseling for workers and their families.

Workplace violence can stem from a wide range of sources, including robberies or other crimes committed against the business or its workers; acts perpetrated by disgruntled employees, former employees, customers, or clients; or domestic incidents that spill over into the workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration reports nearly two million non-fatal workplace violence incidents each year, while the Department of Justice says approximately 1,000 workplace homicides occur annually.

These actions can cause financial losses in a variety of ways, including property damage, increased security costs, and higher workers’ compensation expenses. A violent incident can also lead to psychological impediments, reduced productivity, and the temporary or permanent absence of employees. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health estimates those workplace violence cost employers more than $120 billion each year.

The HSB policies apply to an area within 100 feet of a client business. The coverage also includes a broad definition of what qualifies as a weapon, and businesses can receive benefits for events where a workplace homicide occurs even if no weapon is involved.

The coverage is available as an endorsement to the small business policies of property casualty insurance companies partnering with HSB.

The Department of Labor provides guidance on preventing workplace violence and responding to incidents. Several Connecticut departments crafted a policies and procedures manual for workplace violence that was published in 2012, citing increasing incidents of workplace violence including a Connecticut Lottery employee who murdered four co-workers in 1998 and a mass shooting at a Hartford Distributors warehouse in Manchester in 2010 where a worker killed eight other employees.

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