You may think your business has enough insurance already. But if it is vulnerable to employee theft and fraud — and most businesses are — you may want to consider adding more coverage. Some insurance companies offer policies to protect against loss of money and property due to criminal acts by employees. Here is how to decide whether your business needs one.
Employee dishonesty insurance can cover not only theft of money, property, and securities but also willful damage to property. If, for example, an employee smashes a computer or kicks a hole in a wall, it is likely covered. This type of policy also covers losses from all employees. However, coverage generally is based on occurrences. So, if more than one employee is involved in a single theft, the payout will be based on that single occurrence.
Rates and deductibles typically depend on a business’ level of risk. However, separate employee dishonesty insurance policies are likely to have higher loss limits and more customized coverage than is available with coverage offered as part of a business insurance package.
Employee dishonesty insurance covers only property your business owns, holds for others, or is legally liable for. It usually does not cover theft or damages caused by employees of businesses that provide services to your company. (For coverage related to third parties, such as contract workers, you may need to add ‘endorsements’ or buy a broader business crime policy).
Employee dishonesty insurance also generally will not cover loss of:
- Intangible assets such as trade secrets or electronic data
- Loss of employees’ property
- Damage covered by another insurance policy
- The unexplained disappearance of property
The burden of proof for employee dishonesty claims is solely on the policy owner. Insurance companies will pay claims only if there is conclusive proof that an employee caused the loss.
Finally, employee dishonesty insurance is not a substitute for a fidelity bond if a bond is required by a funding source or other contractual agreement. And such bonds can offer advantages. For example, Federal Bonding Program bonds, intended to encourage employers to hire hard-to-place applicants, reimburse employers with no deductible for loss due to employee theft.
Consider your options
Before buying employee dishonesty insurance, look closely at what your general liability or business owner’s policy covers so that you do not pay for the same coverage twice. In addition, keep in mind that some businesses — such as restaurants and retail stores, where employees often handle cash — may benefit from it more than others. For help determining what your company needs and finding affordable coverage, contact us.