Services and Information:
Liability Insurance; Including General, Professional, Directors and Officers.
It is no secret that we live in a litigious society. The court system
is kept very busy handling lawsuits (sometimes valid, sometimes
not) that are initiated by individuals or entities against other
individuals or entities. There are various types of liability claims.
Some claims are for bodily injury, some are for property damage
and others are for pain and suffering, economic or other damages.
Some claims are related to employment laws or allege violations
of civil rights statutes. Even if a claim does not make it to the
lawsuit stage, each claim should be investigated and it can take
a lot of time, expertise and money to do so.
Who Buys Liability Insurance?
Most individuals and entities purchase liability insurance policies
to protect themselves against some or all of these kinds of claims
and State government is no exception. Through Risk Management, liability
self insurance is made available to State agencies. This insurance
provides financial protection against three major types of claims
– torts, civil rights violations and employment rights violations.
The limit of liability is $400,000 per occurrence and there is a
$1,000 per occurrence deductible. There is a premium charged to
each insured entity and it is based on the number of employees that
work for the entity.
What does it cover?
There is a statute called “The Maine Tort Claims Act”
that declares which torts the State and its employees can and cannot
be sued for, in what amounts they can be sued along with other legal
requirements that must be followed in order to maintain a suit or
cause of action. The Act can be found in Maine Statutes under Title
14, Chapter 741, §8101 – 8118. This statute provides
some important sovereign immunities. The insurance provided by Risk
Management for tort liability retains all the immunity that exists
therein to defend claims. Risk Management utilizes the services
of the Office of the Attorney General for legal counsel when addressing
many of these claims. Included in this tort liability insurance
is insurance for certain violations of portions of the Federal Civil
Rights law and for most violations of State Civil Rights laws as
described in Title
5 §4551 et. seq. Please note that this policy does not
insure all types of civil rights violations or employment practices
liabilities. It is also important to note that damages greater than
$400,000 may be assessed in federal claims, but the amount of insurance
is, in most cases, limited to $400,000 per occurrence. For these
reasons, organizations would be wise to offer and document training
for new employees and refresher training for all employees on an
annual basis. In fact, Risk Management is funding certain training
in these areas. If you are a state governmental organization, please
visit the State's Human Resources Training web page for more information.
People and organizations Risk Management insured who are not state
governmental organizations can call the Risk
Management office to inquire about other training options.
Any of the above claims can be very upsetting to an employee or
an organization and can wreak havoc with an agency’s budget.
Unlike cheese, these claims do not improve with age! Involve Risk
Management as early in the process as possible - preferably as soon
as a claim is received or there is knowledge that a claim might
be made. Let Risk Management's professional staff help guide you
through the complex process.