Accounts of misconduct and inappropriate workplace behavior plagued headlines through 2017 and well into 2018, and as a result, employers are becoming more aware of their employment practices exposure.
As many as 72 percent of small business owners recognize that they are exposed to employment-related risks, according to the Hanover Insurance Groups and Forbes Insight's 2018 Small Business Risk Report. Of that 72 percent, only 20 percent were confident that they are adequately insured, and 59 percent had plans to expand their coverage or obtain employment practices liability insurance (EPLI) coverage.
With the risks they are facing made more apparent, employers are actively seeking resources on best practices and are in search of risk management guidance. These factors equate to making EPLI an area where producers can provide important counsel.
Meaningful Risk Management
Employers do not need to wait for newly imposed requirements from recently passed bills to begin examining their risk management strategies. With a wide range of exposures associated with employment practices, producers can provide guidance on where to start.
Producers play an important advisory role as they help clients think critically about their risks and help develop prevention plans. Producers help clients by reviewing:
- Corporate policies – Policies defining expectations of proper employee behavior need to be created or updated and should work to reinforce the company’s culture.
- Implementation and response procedures – Advisors help to establish procedures that outline how corporate policies will be implemented and enforced.
- Reporting processes – A feeling that employees can report harassment without fear of negative repercussions is important, as is knowing that their claims will be properly investigated. Effective reporting channels are critical to thorough risk management.
Even with a thoughtful risk management plan in place, employers can still find their reputations on the line. That is where an effective EPLI insurance policy comes into play.
There is no one policy that suits all needs, and your producer will be sure to consider definitions, who to cover, and key coverage provisions to ensure that you're properly insured.