It’s not something we like to think about, but gun violence is on the rise.
One hundred and fifty-four mass shootings in any nation’s history is a tragedy. To know that this may have taken place in the United States this year alone (as of June 28) is harrowing. As mass shootings across the country reach sickening highs, businesses of all types are facing the stark reality that they could be next.
In the face of multiple tragedies, active shooter insurance is gaining traction and offering some protection against a deadly possibility. Exactly how much protection, and should your business add it to the list of insured risks? The statistics are grim … and when the odds are high of a loss, insuring yourself against it is always a wise decision.
The situation in Florida
It’s a sad fact that gun violence in our own state has been a catalyst for the increased interest in active shooter insurance. The loss of 17 lives at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School sparked worldwide outrage and an unprecedented amount of negative press for guns the National Rifle Association alike. Florida did take steps to mitigate such disasters which make significant positive changes.
Since the incident at the Pulse nightclub on June 12, 2016, Florida has endured 51 more mass shootings as of this year. The semantics of the term is simple: the FBI states that if three or more people are killed at the same general time and location, it qualifies as a mass shooting.
With that fact in mind, even the smallest business runs the risk of being next.
The rise of active shooter insurance
Florida insurers now deal with increased demand for this coverage which was once considered an insurance gray area. In recent years, the FBI discovered that 70 percent of incidents took place in a business/commerce or educational environment with much of that figure being businesses. Fast-forward to today and Florida schools have taken out active shooter policies totaling $3 million.
Businesses were not so quick to protect themselves, with an estimated 95 percent operating without this policy. The right insurance requires “real word” thinking. Business owners must see the situation for what it is and realize that 7 out of 10 shootings target them.
For some insurance companies, an active shooter can be a blanket term for coverage that also pays in the event of other damages such as vehicular or knife attacks. This is more properly termed as active assailant insurance; a term that broadens the scope of this kind of protection to an estimated $10 billion demand by 2019.
Ideologically motivated. Political violence. Terrorism. All of these are what can drive an active shooter and are the terminologies by which modern insurers are finding their way. Definitions of those harmed by an active shooter/active assailant can include not only the direct victims but those who witness and are traumatized by the event.
What active shooter insurance provides
In terms of a cash payout, active shooter insurance can pay out up to $250,000 for every victim of a shooting. Death is of course covered, as are serious injuries such as total disability and blindness. Like any insurance, more can be purchased which widens the areas of protection.
Physical harm to people is the worst of an attack but still only part of the damage. The cost of damage to property can be significant when an active shooter strikes. Structural repairs to walls, doors, and windows will likely need to be paid for. Beyond the physical, traumatized survivors and witnesses may require expensive mental and emotional counseling before being able to return to work.
Active shooter insurance (like any kind) may have limitations on what it pays out for. If you choose to take out a policy for your business, make sure to spend time with your insurer to see how specific your policy is.
Business owners must consider the bottom line and employee respect
The impact of an active shooter could close you down for an unspecified time; maybe permanently. Either one can cost a business unacceptable financial loss. With profits frozen, deals being lost and bills mounting for medical and structural fees, coverage against active shootings become increasingly prudent.
While such disasters can be random, here’s another difficult thought: what if you’re creating an active shooter? Grievances with employers/coworkers are a common reason for employees to be fired on Monday and return with a vengeance on Tuesday. Make it a priority to treat every member of staff with respect and to deal with any potential trouble quickly and fairly.
Vigilance in your own business could prevent a tragedy. Refer to this resource for some of the key areas to monitor for ensuring a safer and more responsible workplace.
Some further ways to be safe
If you’re currently without active shooter insurance, there are still ways to take positive steps. The Department of Homeland Security offers this resource to educate the public on how to handle an active shooter event. It offers a step-by-step guide to informed action as well as a printable page to log important emergency numbers.
The DHS also offer this website with more resources. Insurance is there to keep you safe, and that’s never truer than when protecting against individuals set on harming others.
Avante Insurance is a South Florida family-owned and operated agency providing an array of services to meet customer’s individual needs. If you need insurance advice, you can call us at 305-648-7070 to request an insurance quote or contact us with questions or comments.