Harassment and Discrimination: Is It Covered by Commercial Insurance?

Harrasment and Discrimination in the Workplace San Diego, CA

No matter what type of business you run, there is always a risk of being sued for some form of harassment or discrimination. Some of these suits may have no valid ground, while others may be related to employee misconduct that was out of your control. Because of this, it’s important to know if you have a commercial insurance policy that will cover you in case one of these lawsuits arises. The insurance experts at American Tri-Star in Vista want to share some information about the law and how different types of policies might work in these situations.

General Liability

Commercial general liability (CGL) policies provide coverage for bodily injury or property damage due to accidents. In general, emotional stress is not considered personal injury, so the majority of harassment or discrimination cases aren’t covered by CGL. Intent to harm cannot be inferred from harassment alone, and many policies do not cover incidents deemed willful and malicious.

Umbrella Liability

A commercial umbrella policy may provide coverage for discrimination suits based on the impact the discrimination had on an individual rather than the actual treatment of that person. Claims based on the imagined or perceived conduct of employees of the insured, provided they were not acting with the approval of the employer, may also be covered.

Employment Practices Liability

In many instances, employment practices liability (EPL) insurance covers claims of harassment or discrimination. EPL insurance is becoming more common as the frequency of these lawsuits increases. It may also include coverage for failure to hire incidents and wrongful termination. However, every business should know what that specific coverage means. Some Vista commercial insurance policies may exclude coverage for discrimination that took place before the policy was in effect or because of willful acts committed by the agency.

The Law

Any action that violates another person sexually, whether by physical or verbal means, is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In the vast majority of cases, a business is liable for any violations occurring on agency property and agency time, and caused by agency employees, whether or not management was aware. An EPL policy is the best safeguard against damages, but will typically only cover fees, judgments, and court costs up to the limits of the policy.

Even if you’re not concerned about harassment and discrimination suits, every business still has unique insurance needs. Get in touch with American Tri-Star to make sure you have the right policy to keep your agency protected against various types of damage. We also offer affordable auto, homeowners, health, and bond insurance Vista residents prefer. Call 760-758-1600 today to speak with one of our knowledgeable agents.