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How Employment Practices Liability Insurance Works


How Employment Practices Liability Insurance WorksEmployment Practices Liability An Integral Insurance Component

Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance is designed to cover employers against employee-related claims such issues as discrimination, sexual harassment, and wrongful termination. A policy is typically written either on a stand-alone basis or as an addition to an employer’s management liability policies, including Directors and Officers (D&O), Employers Liability and Errors & Omissions. A standalone policy is usually preferable to having the coverage endorsed on another policy because of the potential to exhaust the EPL limits by claims made under other coverages.

What’s key in purchasing the right type of coverage and the limits sufficient enough for a specific firm is to work with an insurance professional who understands the product inside and out and the various policy forms available. There are many insurance companies that sell EPL coverage with a wide range of provisions, making this a highly specialized field where expertise is critical. For example, important provisions to examine carefully include the general insuring language in the policy and its exclusions.

In general, an Employment Practices Liability policy offers broad coverage for claims typical in wrongful termination or employment discrimination cases. The policy is written on a claims-made basis with defense costs within its limits. A lawsuit, an administrative proceeding, or a written claim of discrimination, sexual harassment, or wrongful termination will trigger the coverage to respond. In addition, a policy will cover claims from a variety of other types of inappropriate workplace conduct, including (but not limited to) employment-related defamation, invasion of privacy, failure to promote, deprivation of a career opportunity, and negligent evaluation. A policy will cover directors and officers, management personnel, and employees as insureds.

Policies typically exclude coverage for claims involving ERISA, WARN acts (plant closings), unemployment benefits, COBRA, breach of contract and claims related to National Labor Relations Act. EPL insurance policies do not usually cover criminal fines, civil fines, penalties or punitive damages. They also generally exclude claims for bodily injury and property damage, as there are other types of policies an employer can purchase that cover those claims. Liability for acts involving intentional wrongdoing is also generally excluded by EPLI policies. However, most policies cover claims for emotional distress or mental anguish associated with covered losses.

The cost for Employment Practices Liability insurance is based on a number of factors such as the size of the company, the type of business, the number of employees, where the business is located, the number of claims and lawsuits previously filed and the length of time the company has been in business. Insurance companies may also consider other factors when deciding the cost of the premium and structuring a policy best suited for the company.

Again, EPL insurance coverage varies from policy to policy, making it very important for an insured to understand the extent, length, and limitations of the coverage being purchased. At Axis Insurance Services, we specialize in providing EPL solutions for a wide range of businesses across many industry sectors. We work with a number of insurers to obtain the best policy at competitive rates for our customers. Give us a call at (877) 787-5258 to discuss how we can help you best protect your firm.

Sources: American Bar Association, Aon, IRMI

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Blogged on: August 12, 2014 by Mike Smith
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