Broker Check

Employment Practices Liability Insurance and COVID

January 13, 2021

An article by Andrea Wells in Insurance Journal discusses how the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting employment practices liability insurance.

The pandemic has resulted in layoffs and furloughs, plus the change to remote work. Now that vaccines are available, there are questions about employer policies. Should vaccination be required or encouraged? If employees will not get vaccinated because of religious or disability issues, what reasonable accomodations can or should be offered? The EEOC has guidance but other federal laws or rules may complicate individual cases.

Another issue is OSHA-related claims for failure to provide a safe and healthy workplace.

These conditions have created an "underwriter's nightmare" according to some observers. The market is continuing to harden, with 10-50% rate increases especially in healthcare and hospitality industries. If EPLI is packaged with Directors & Officers Liability and Crime insurance, those rates will also increase.

The best practice for employers is to have good accommodation policies and consult an attorney when questions arise.