Fatal shootings boost demand for active assailant insurance

Awareness is building as history repeats itself

Fatal shootings boost demand for active assailant insurance

Insurance News

By Bethan Moorcraft

A video game tournament in Jacksonville, Florida, turned tragic last month when a lone gunman opened fire on the gamers, killing two people and injuring 11. It was the latest in a string of fatal shootings in the so-called #GunshineState (as gun control advocates have labelled Florida), following the Parkland School shooting earlier this year, the Fort Lauderdale airport shooting in 2017 and the deadly Pulse nightclub attack in 2016.

However, random acts of violence are not limited to one state, one industry sector or one cause. Fatalities occur across various industries and geographies with a variety of weapons. Though impossible to predict, there are steps businesses can take to protect people and to mitigate damages caused by active assailant events.

Companies can purchase active shooter / active assailant insurance coverage in order to manage expenses incurred in the aftermath of a violent incident and gain services that will help with recovery from an event. As more tragic incidents occur and make global headlines, more people are becoming aware of the coverage and demand is on the up, according to Charles Caldwell, president and CEO at Midlands Management Corporation, which offers active shooter assailant coverage.

“As insurance agents and brokers become more aware of active shooter assailant coverages, the more they will start offering it to clients with the exposure. It’s a shame they need to have these discussions, but that’s the state of affairs today,” Caldwell told Insurance Business. “Clients don’t necessarily want to think about the active shooter threat. It’s hard to fathom that something like that could happen to you, but in this day in age, brokers should at least lay out the possibility that this could happen to anyone at any time.”

Midlands’ active shooter assailant coverage is similar to others in the market in that it includes legal liability (for damages and claim expenses), physical damage coverage, business interruption coverage, as well as added benefits like public relations and medical counseling and extra expense coverage for clean-up and recovery costs. Caldwell pointed out that it’s a “broad coverage form that’s not as expensive as one might think.”

“For private companies, business interruption is an extremely important part of the coverage form,” Caldwell added. “If a location becomes a crime scene, ingress and egress could be barred for days, which means the insured could be left without revenue from its business operations. Likewise, the liability coverage is very important. The minute an event occurs, we can help the insured limit any liability they have or isolate their liability so they understand their exposures from the offset.”

As public awareness of active assailant risk grows, more people will purchase the coverage and more carriers are likely to enter the sector. That will help to “keep the premiums competitive,” which will also “help the buyer,” Caldwell explained.

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