Active Shooter Training
Domestic violence awareness and harassment prevention training (bullying) are closely grouped with active shooter training. Active shooter insurance is gap insurance for commercial general liability insurance. Organizations of all sizes--large corporations, municipalities, schools, hospitals, event organizers, churches, restaurants--are purchasing active shooter insurance.
Why are organizations purchasing active shooter insurance?
- According to the Gun Violence Archive (GVA), there were 51,895 gun-violence incidents in the US in the period Jan-Nov 2018, of which 323 were mass shootings (4+ victims). 3,201 victims were aged 0 to 17. The shootings were spread across the country.
- There was a jump in mass shootings in 2019 to a record of 417 as compared to 323 such events in 2018. Beazley saw a growth of 235% in 2018 and 270% in 2019 for its deadly weapons coverage policy.
- Active shooter incidents happen several industries, they are not limited to specific geographies, and a range of weapons are used in such incidents.
- "The U.S. Occupational Health and Safety Administration’s general duty clause states employers must have a place free of recognized hazards, and active shooting incidents are considered such a hazard.” The basis of claims against employers in active shooting incidents is negligence and failure in hiring, training, and retention.
- There had been complaints made against the Washington, D.C. Naval Yard (2013) shooter by his colleagues; prior to the incident, the shooter had shot through his neighbor's ceiling. The San Bernardino shooting was a result of bullying.
- Commercial general liability insurance policies have "gray areas" on active shooter incidents, especially related to victim compensation. They have a "duty to defend" clause that holds the employer accountable for the shooting; victims have to sue the organization and win to get compensated.
- The 2007 Virginia Tech shooting resulted in $48.2 million in litigation and restoration costs. Rebuilding Sandy Hook Elementary School, Newton, Connecticut after the 2012 shooting cost $50 million. Recovery costs of the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport shooting were $1.2 million.
- MGM Resorts International has to settle the Las Vegas country music concert shooting (from the Mandalay Bay hotel) for $800 million.
Who is purchasing active shooter insurance?
- School and education systems are the largest customers for "McGowan Companies’ Active Shooter/Workplace Violence Insurance Program". An increasing number of healthcare companies are opting for active shooter insurance.
- Paul Marshall, Director at McGowan says "just about every industry is calling us, from fast-food restaurants to night clubs to small eateries and restaurant chains".
- Large corporations are also purchasing active shooter insurance. Active shooter insurance brokers say they are receiving requests from "businesses of all sizes--municipalities, event and parade organizers, churches and schools".
What does active shooter insurance cover?
- Active shooter insurance covers physical damage or loss to property owing to an active shooter incident. This could include relocation, tear down, building closure, or structural upgrades to enhance security.
- Organizations are accountable for the safety of their employees and customers and are "legally obligated to pay for damages and claim expenses". Legal liability or litigation related costs are covered by active shooter insurance.
- Crisis management costs resulting from an active shooter incident are also covered. This could include expenses incurred toward public relations, restoring the company's brand value through an advertising campaign, and providing assurance to employees and families.
- Any business income loss as a result of physical damage or destruction or owing to restricted accessibility in the aftermath of an active shooter incident may be covered.
- Supportive response expenses such as psychiatric counseling for trauma, medical, funeral, or death benefit expenses may be covered by active shooter insurance.
- Expenses toward brand rehabilitation required to restore the attraction of a neighborhood or business district that has been tarnished by a shooting event that occurred outside the insured organization's premises may be covered.
What active shooter insurance does not cover and its limitations
- Active shooter insurance does not cover damages from biological weapons. While some policies require the incident to result in a specific number of deaths and injuries, others may limit compensation based on the type of weapon used.
- Some other common exclusions are terrorism exclusions, employee exclusions, vehicle exclusion, and mental agony exclusion.
How much does active shooter insurance cost?
- Active shooter insurance coverage premiums and limits depend on the venue, location, organization size, the number of visitors, and more. For example, securing insurance for a university can be tough given that a large number of individuals attending and greater risk of a gunman entering the facility unchallenged.
- Annual premiums for small schools ranges between $1,800 to $1 million, and for large schools, they cost between $175,000 to $20 million.
- Annual premium for small businesses (like coffee shops) ranges between $3,500 to $5,000 for coverage of $1 million. The maximum cover that any business owner can get is $100 million.
- The federal government compliance training includes No FEAR Act, harassment prevention, equal employment opportunity, information security training, workplace safety (OSHA), disability accommodation, accessibility, insider threat, domestic violence awareness, workplace violence, workplace substance abuse, and much more.
Workplace Violence/ Active Shooter Training
- Workplace violence training programs train employers to identify behavior such as "verbal threats, verbal abuse, yelling, pushing, kicking, hitting, stalking, and physical violence including lethal violence" than could escalate to violence.
- Sometimes active shooter training programs and workplace violence programs are offered separately or as separate modules. In such cases, active shooter training programs focus on preparedness and action guidelines for active shooting incidents.
Harassment Prevention Training
- Harassment prevention training teaches employees to "understand, avoid, and respond to all forms of harassment, including sexual harassment and workplace bullying". Employees learn to manage conflict, avoid retaliation, and prevent bullying.
- Some incidents of shooting are a result of bullying. The shooting at Reliable Fence Company, Clinton Township, Michigan stemmed from a case of racial bullying.
- Workplace violence training is sometimes grouped with anti-bullying modules in compliance training courses.
Domestic Violence Awareness
- Workplace violence can involve training to identify signs of domestic violence. Signs and symptoms of domestic violence include "unexplained bruises or injuries, disruptive phone calls, disruptive visits from partner, unexplained absences, sudden requests to move to less public area of job site, known court appearances, anxious, moody, depressed, recent break-up".