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 officers can sometimes cause injuries while working, similar to private investigators. 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.
|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|
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:
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.
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|
|Affecting the victim’s quality of life||$96,344|
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).
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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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|
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.
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 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.
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.
Range of coverage options
Experience in the field
Slow to provide quotes
Average cost : $54
Best for : Affordable coverage
Our rating : 5/5
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 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.
Additional personal property coverage
Umbrella protection available
Covers officers while moonlighting
Average cost : $62
Best for : Undercover or moonlighting officers
Our rating : 4/5
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 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.
Huge variety of coverage options
Umbrella coverage available
Quick to respond to claims
Average cost : $63
Best for : Comprehensive coverage
Our rating : 4/5
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Lonnie Bell Insuranker
Policy Type: Business Insurance
Company name: Employers Insurance
Use anyone except Employers. Period. They are non-transparent and shameful. After I complained long enough to warrant a call from a supervisor, the supervisor called back from a PRIVATE NUMBER (no caller ID), left a message that they are not reversing their decision (without any communication with me), and failed to leave a phone number for me to call back. She was hiding! They also fact find via email and phone calls, which is terrific for speed and communication. However, after setting a precedence of email or phone calls, they send time sensitive information via email, without any heads up... they are hoping you miss it and forfeit via expiration. Evil policies. Go elsewhere.
This place is an absolute joke of a company and should be ashamed of the way they conduct business. I was hurt on the job at the end of July and it took them just shy of 7 weeks to issue out a paycheck to me. Yes the amount was back dated but still. Not many have the luxury of not receiving a paycheck for almost 2 months. To top it all off, the original adjuster marked me down for the wrong state which caused a problem from the get go, I've had 3 different adjusters now since each one can't seem to figure out the simplicity of my claim. All my paperwork which includes, my job, house, and drs visits all are from the same state and city but yet some how I have been filed under a completely different state 1500 miles away. They do not answer your phone calls or emails no matter how many you leave. I've had to escalate my frustrations to the supervisors of each of these individuals in order to even get some kind of response. I've had more communication and information given to me about my claim from the customer service representatives then the actual adjusters.......... please tell me how that works?! A serious overhaul needs to happen here in order to serve your clients the way they deserve to be taken care of. 10/10 do not recommend this company to a single soul on earth
I have never had the displeasure of working with a more incompetent and disrespectful person in my life. I’m an injured worker and the adjuster that was assigned to my case was named Carrie Furgeson. In the past 6 weeks that I’ve been injured and out of work I have only been able to get ahold of her twice, not for lack of trying. I have left countless voicemails, countless emails, and she ignores them all. When I am finally able to get ahold of her I’m greeted with terrible customer service. She is rude, she talks over me and I’m hardly able to get a word in edgewise. She spelled my name wrong on my documents even after I spelled it for her properly countless times, this caused a whole new issue with my bank. I have bill collectors from the hospital calling me demanding payment and Carrie Furgeson won’t do a single thing to help, or to get them paid. All of my documentation is in Colorado, my job is in Colorado, my address is in Colorado, all my Dr offices and appointments have been in Colorado and Carrie still managed to hold my claim because she wasn’t sure what state she needed to file it under. It’s been 6 weeks since my Injury and my company still hasn’t received the wage paperwork to fill out so they can get me my correct wages. When she’s not ignoring me she’s answering my questions with “I don’t know” well I don’t know how she got this job, because apparently she doesn’t know anything about it. She is a disgusting morose individual inside and out and I genuinely wish her the worst in all of her future endeavors. I highly recommend you don’t use this company. Please if you are a business owner and your looking into this company please don’t use them. I’m sure they have the cheapest payment and that’s why companies use them in the first place, but you will be doing your employees a grave disservice by forcing them to venture into this absolute dumpster fire of a company. I would rate 0/5 if possible but 1 was the lowest I was allowed.
Their general liability insurance purchase process is simply the best online experience I've ever had in my life!
As long as they cover your line of business, you're literally covered! best rates, best coverage, best online experience, best professionals, can't be happier that I chose them!