Active Shooter Coverage: What is it and Who Should Consider

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Drew Taylor

Active Shooter Coverage (also known as Active Assailant Coverage) 

Per the OSH Act of 1970, Employers have the duty of providing a safe workplace to its employees. Unfortunately, Active Shooter events continue to rise and providing a safe workplace has become more difficult to guarantee. Active Shooter Insurance can help protect entities in the event of the aforementioned scenario. It’s intended to close gaps in the General Liability and Property policies which often exclude these events.  

The FBI has defined an Active Shooter as “an individual actively engaged in killing or attempting to kill people in a populated area”.  According to A.M. Best, citing FBI data, “From 2000 to 2006, shooting incidents averaged 6.7 a year, jumping to 16.4 a year from 2007 to 2013, and then averaging 22 a year between 2014 and 2017.”  This staggering and unfortunate growth of active shooter events has led to a greater demand for this insurance protection. 

Standard Coverage Grants

3rd Party Coverages: 

Legal LiabilityIn the event of an active shooter, insureds are required to pay for certain damages and expenses.  Entities are required to provide a safe place for any guests / customers. As such, they can become legally liable to pay for damages caused to 3rd party individuals in the event of an active shooter.  Just recently, MGM International settled for $800 Million with thousands of families following the 2017 shooting at Mandalay Bay.  

Medical Expenses / Funeral Expenses / Death Benefit Coverage is intended to respond to allow the insured to assist families affected by the event.  

1st Party Coverages: 

Physical Damage – If there is a physical loss and property is damaged in the active shooter event, this coverage will respond to help repair the owned property.  This repair may include physical security upgrades at the building.

According to Risk & Insurance, in 2007, following the shooting at Virginia Tech, the school decided to tear out the interior of the buildings affected and re-design to respond better in instances of an active shooter.

Similarly, in 2012, following the tragedy at Sandy Hook, the school district decided to completely tear down the existing building and start from scratch as the previous structure was linked to so much emotional duress. Roughly $50 million was spent to design and built a school better equipped to handle possible events. 

Business Interruption / Loss of Attraction – Insureds can be indemnified for the loss of income following an active shooter event resulting from physical damage to their own property or if access to their property is denied (blocked). 

Crisis Management – coverage will respond to indemnify the entity if specialist crisis response or consultants were used as it relates to the active shooter event. 

Who should consider it

While Churches and Schools appear to be the main target of these attacks, given the rate that these terrible events occur, we recommend that anyone with an office location carry an Active Shooter insurance policy.  Unfortunately, this product tends to be a reactionary purchase after something horrible has shocked either themselves or other companies closely related to them. 

Paul Marshall, the Active Shooter/Workplace Violence Insurance Program Director at McGowan Program Administrators, said in an interview with Insurance Business that following a church shooting in Texas that they [McGowan] saw a major uptick in other churches in Texas exploring Active Shooter coverage.  

At the very least, you should implement an Active Shooter response plan to protect your employees as this is the very standard set forth by OSHA’s General Duty Clause. There are a number of resources available through the Homeland Security site to begin to formulate an Active Shooter response plan. 

Want to know more about protecting your company with Active Shooter coverage? Talk to us. You can contact us at ​​ or create an account ​here​ to get started.

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