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Law Enforcement Liability Insurance for Police Officers

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Working in emergency services, whether you’re a firefighter , EMT , or police officer, means that there’s a good chance that you’ll one day find yourself in a situation that could leave you legally liable. While you may have gotten into your job to keep people safe, you may end up finding yourself in trouble.

It may be a good idea to get your hands on law enforcement insurance. Due to the complicated nature of this kind of insurance, we’ve created this handy guide to police officer insurance, and we’ll break down the various forms of coverage, the average cost of insurance, and the top insurance carriers available.

Police Officer Liability Insurance

Police officers can sometimes cause injuries while working. Injured persons can file a personal injury claim in return. When it comes to police officers,  legal costs and settlements can be very harsh. And without necessary protection,  they can easily face financial problems after paying large sums of money.

Law enforcement general liability insurance sees to it that police officers don’t shoulder the financial burden when they face personal injury claims. This insurance does so by providing $1 million up to $2 million coverage minimum, which is more than enough to pay for minor injuries a person sustains.

Aside from having backup funds in times of trouble, police officers must get general liability insurance to have more confidence and freedom in doing their jobs.  Many uninsured or underinsured police officers think twice about taking action, especially when it can potentially cause injuries. With that said, general liability coverage makes it possible for police officers to become more attentive and proactive.

Though they always mitigate the risk of causing injuries, police officers can easily injure someone and face a lawsuit as a result.  Tasks, which it may be impossible for law enforcers not to hurt others, are subduing a riot, apprehending a suspect, conducting a rescue operation, and many more.  The table shows some real cases where police officers received a lawsuit after allegedly injuring a person.

What Happened? Result
A police officer shot a man twice in the arm after an unwarranted vehicle pursuit. Available information states that the police officer doesn’t have a justifiable reason for pursuing the victim and shooting him twice The victim filed a lawsuit against the police officer seeking compensation for the damages he sustained.
A protest broke out in Toledo, Ohio, and police officers handled the scene. Officers used wooden bullets and tear gas to keep the mob at bay. Protesters suffered from cuts, temporary blindness, and fractures. Twenty individuals, who joined the protest, filed a lawsuit against the City of Toledo and its police officers.
One of the police officers handling a rally in La Mesa accidentally shot a woman in the face with a beanbag projectile. The woman in question just happened to find herself at the scene and was not involved in the protest.  The woman filed a lawsuit against the police officer for numbness, nerve damage, and broken cheekbone.
A police officer accidentally shot a man through his front door window. The victim was carrying a shotgun and hiding inside his house and near the window. The police officers, on the other hand,  found themselves within the premises of the man’s residence to investigate a disturbance.   The man filed a lawsuit against the police officer asking for compensation for permanent physical injuries and related complications, permanent physical impairment and/or disfigurement, severe emotional distress, ongoing pain and suffering mental anguish, loss of consortium, post-traumatic stress, anxiety, and significant loss of quality of life.
Student filed a lawsuit against Rochester City and its police officers accusing them of wrongful arrest and personal injuries Unknown
A motorcycle club filed a lawsuit against police officers after they were arrested wrongfully.  Received a $50,000 compensation

Professional Liability Insurance for Police Officers

Performing one’s duties as a police officer takes time. And if a police officer has just started his career, then mistakes can happen. People can file a lawsuit against the police officer for his mistakes. That’s why there’s professional liability insurance that can help.

Professional liability coverage will take care of lawsuits accusing a police officer of committing malpractice, where it was actually an honest mistake or error. In addition, it will also pay the payment to the plaintiff if ever the lawsuit turns out unfavorable . We know you’re wondering what malpractice this insurance covers:

  • Malpractice In Search and Seizure
    • Barging into the house using unnecessary force

    • Conducting the search without showing a search warrant to the property owner

    • Isolate the owner from their property while the search is happening

    • Taking away of cash and other valuables during the search

  • Malpractice in Crafting First Inspection Report (FIR)

    • Failure to register the source’s statement to the FIR

    • Not listening to the source’s statement/report of a probable crime

    • Bending the source’s statement to make it irrelevant and not subject to action 

    • Failure to act once the FIR is filed

  • Malpractice in Crafting/Filing Post Mortems

    • State a false cause of death

    • Asking compounders and non-doctors to sign the post mortem record

    • Done without respect to the integrity of the deceased’s body

    • Done hastily and without heed to proper procedures

  • Malpractice in Investigation

    • Failure to send the items to the concerned agency for analysis, which result in the loss of vital evidence

    • Failure to preserve the crime scene and prevent unauthorized individuals from entering

    • Not reporting to the crime scene on time

  • Malpractice in Arrest and Interrogation

    • Use of excessive force/hurting the accused

    • Failure to inform the accused of the nature and cause of the accusation against him

    • Failure to inform the family/friends of the accused about the arrest

    • Isolating the accused and refusing contact to family/friends

Many police officers face lawsuits accusing them of using excessive force. Commonly, the persons filing the lawsuit seek settlement amounting to more than $3 million.  The officers’ department takes care of the payment if ever the lawsuit goes awry. But still, it’s important to get insurance so that there’s a backup if ever police officers have to pay for the costs using their own money. 

We conducted a quick study using 1,534 cases to provide insights about police malpractice, and these are the results:

  • The most common malpractice that police committed is hurting/killing a suspect by allegedly firing a gun, and this constitutes 67.73% of all cases

  • The majority of cases, where concerned parties accused law enforcers of committing malpractice, involve Black-Americans and European Americans as suspects. This clearly implies that allegations of police brutality aren’t associated with the African-American community only

  • Almost half of the records show that the police intended to use force (not necessarily meaning excessive force)  when hurting or killing a suspect while conducting an arrest. 

The commission of malpractice is the least that police officers want to happen.  The legal consequences of actions sometimes impede the proactive performance of duties. With that said, aside from protection, having insurance will help police officers do tasks with more confidence. 

Law Enforcement Car Insurance

Car accidents are one of the leading causes of death of police officers. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention states that 1,387 police officers died in 2011 - 2020, and 21% are vehicle-related. 

Car accident, police officers might get involved while driving, is hitting a pedestrian or hitting another car. In terms of the latter, PAHO’s publication (Pan American Health Organization) provides an idea about the likelihood of severe injuries to a pedestrian in relation to how fast the colliding vehicle is.

Speed Likelihood of Fatal Injuries (expressed in percentage)
10 - 30 kph 15%
40 - 50 kph 85%
60 - 70 kph 100%

On the other hand, WHO’s  (World Health Organization) short publication provides insights about the consequences about what can happen when a car crash happens:

  • An increase in an average speed of 1 km/h typically results in a 3% higher risk of a crash involving injury, with a 4–5% increase for crashes that result in fatalities.

  • Speed also contributes to the severity of the impact when a collision does occur. For car occupants in a crash with an impact speed of 80 km/h, the likelihood of death is 20 times what it would have been at an impact speed of 30 km/h.

In connection to speeds and the likelihood of accidents, police officers can’t help but overspeed while in pursuit.  According to a report published in 2004 ,  a total of 40 police officers died in 1994 - 2002 after experiencing an accident during a chase. 

Most fatalities, because of accidents during a police pursuit, involve pedestrians. The same report states that 104 who died were non-motorists and 948 were people who were in another vehicle. In conclusion, at least 1,052 casualties were collateral deaths of a police pursuit accident. 

Getting auto insurance for police officers is highly recommended.  Specific policies that fit police officers best are personal injury protection and auto liability coverage.  These insurance policies will take care of all the expenses after a car crash. The table below provides the exact cost of injuries resulting from road accidents:

Type of Injury/damage Cost
Death  $1,654,000
Affecting the victim’s quality of life $96,344
Minor injuries $25,768
Destroyed vehicle  $5,678

Umbrella Insurance for Police Officers

Umbrella insurance is an add-on policy to car insurance. What this insurance does is provide additional funds if ever the car insurance policy doesn’t provide enough funds to cover expenses. Police officers should consider getting this insurance policy if their car insurance cannot cover all expected risks, and its limits cannot be extended (e.g. the carrier doesn’t allow to go over the $1 - $2 million standard coverage). 

Law Enforcement Insurance Discounts

If you’re looking for a law enforcement insurance discount, then you’ll be happy to hear that many first responders are entitled to discounts. These discounts can apply to individual police officer liability insurance but they can also apply to unrelated forms of insurance like auto and homeowners coverage.

If you provide proof that you’re a member of a police department to your insurance company, you can expect to get between a 2% and 10% discount on your cop insurance premiums. Discounts may be higher on specific policies for police officers like police misconduct insurance.

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Police Officer Liability Insurance Cost

The cost of law enforcement professional liability insurance can vary dramatically based on the form of coverage you’re looking for as well as who the policy is for. For example, police department insurance will typically be more expensive than insurance for off duty police officers.

You’ll also need to account for the history of the individual looking for a police professional liability insurance policy. If a particular officer is looking for a policy and they have a history of making claims, then their insurance will end up being more expensive because the insurer is taking a larger risk by working with them.

Company Cost per month Cost per year
FLEOA $54 $648
Travelers $62 $744
Xinsurance $63 $756
Average Cost $59.60 $716

These numbers are meant to represent a reference point that you can use to determine how much your insurance will cost but there’s no guarantee that they’ll be the same for you. The average cost of police officer insurance per month came out to $59.66 while the average cost per year amounted $716.

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Best Insurance for Police Officers

If you’re looking for the best police officer insurance policy, it’s usually a good idea to start with looking for the best insurance carrier. We’ve gone ahead and collected three of the top insurance companies that work with police officers in this part of our guide and we’re going to give you a brief rundown of their services and average pricing for a $1 million liability coverage.

FLEOA Liability Insurance

FLEOA insurance is offered by FEDS, also known as Federal Employee Defense Services. FEDS has been in business since 2007, and they were founded with the goal of protecting law enforcement professionals and other federal employees from litigation and wrongful charges.

FLEOA Insurance Policy Details

Federal law enforcement liability insurance is available through FEDS, and they offer a range of different coverage options, including civil coverage against suits where you’re not covered by the DOJ. They also offer administrative and criminal coverage to their clients.

Pros

  • Affordable

  • Range of coverage options

  • Experience in the field

Cons

  • Slow to provide quotes

Average cost : $54

Best for : Affordable coverage

Our rating : 5/5

Travelers Law Enforcement Insurance

Travelers is one of the oldest insurance companies in the United States, and like their competitor, The Hartford, they have survived several catastrophes that have dissolved other insurance companies. They were one of the first companies in the United States to offer accident insurance to travelers.

Travelers Insurance Policy Details

Travelers offers law enforcement liability coverage to both individual police officers and police departments. Their coverage applies to official activities and moonlighting and they offer an additional payment of $25,000 for physical damage to personal property that is on a suspect when they are arrested.

Pros

  • Additional personal property coverage

  • Umbrella protection available

  • Covers officers while moonlighting

Cons

  • Costly

Average cost : $62

Best for : Undercover or moonlighting officers

Our rating : 4/5

Xinsurance Law Enforcement Insurance

Xinsurance is an insurance company that specializes in providing high-risk insurance that many other insurance companies may be reluctant to offer. For example, they offer guard dog, security guard, tattoo shop, and pilot insurance. Alongside all of these, they also offer police officer coverage.

Xinsurance Policy Details

Xinsurance has a variety of forms of coverage available for police officers, ranging from asset protection to legal liability protection both on- and off-duty. They also cover you against wrongful acts, alleged assault and battery, firearms liability, and failed CPR.

Pros

  • Huge variety of coverage options

  • Umbrella coverage available

  • Quick to respond to claims

Cons

  • Expensive

Average cost : $63

Best for : Comprehensive coverage

Our rating : 4/5

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