You want to run a business staffed by trustworthy employees. Still, you cannot prevent every mistake. Should an employee harm one of your clients, your liability insurance might help cover the client’s losses. However, it won’t cover everything. More specifically, it often won’t cover intentional acts. What’s an intentional act, though? Let’s take some time to explore this topic in a little more detail.
Insurance exists to protect businesses against unexpected or unpreventable events. So, if a covered party could have prevented the accident, coverage might not apply. With intentional damage, you might find your business doesn’t have protection.
What are intentional acts?
Doing something intentionally means doing it with a purpose. Purposeful acts mean you likely know, or can anticipate, that some sort of result will occur. Even if the outcome is negative, you might have known you were taking a risk by doing what you did. How does this apply to liability insurance?
If you or one of your employees injures someone else, that person might sue you. They may want compensation for their medical bills or other costs. If your liability insurance covers injuries, you can likely use it to repay the harmed party. That could help the business avoid financial challenges.
But, what if the employee harmed a client intentionally. For example, a customer and worker might get in a fight. In the process, the employee punches the client in the face. Because the employee knew they could inflict harm, this was likely an intentional act. Therefore, many liability insurance policies will not cover actions like these. It’s a risk you and your employees cannot afford.
Preventing intentional acts
Obviously, an employee who punches a customer commits a huge ethical breach. You don’t want that to happen. However, other problems could qualify as an intentional acts under your liability limits. Do all you can to keep workplace behavior within professional boundaries.
- During the hiring process, vet prospective hires to the highest degree.
- Explain ethical practices to new hires during their onboarding training.
- Review employees on their performance often.
- Post and maintain updated company bylaws on employee practices. Make sure employees follow any local, state or federal laws that govern their conduct.
- If customers complain about employees’ practices, investigate take the claims. Conduct the in the allegations in a transparent way.
- Have a zero-tolerance policy for intentional actions by employees. Those who commit theft, property damage, bodily harm or more should face discipline.
Hold yourself to the same standards as your employees. And always ask an insurance provider at 804.559.1200 about how your policy covers intentional acts. If they can tell you about incidents that don’t have coverage, you might be able to take additional safety steps.
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