Protecting Your Private Security Business
We highlight the main reasons your private security firm needs insurance to protect you from being held liable in an unfortunate event.
Small businesses in the United States spend about $35.6 billion each year defending their companies against liability lawsuits. Without comprehensive business insurance, this money has to come out of your company’s coffers.
Private security businesses may be particularly open to these lawsuits since the nature of the industry is to insert your company into dangerous situations. Read on to learn how an excellent private security insurance policy can help your firm.
When Clients Get Hurt
What happens to your client if one of your employees is negligent on the job at just the wrong time? What if a criminal steals from your client, hurt them, or worse?
While it may be easier to believe that this would never happen under your watch, you can never guarantee that. However, you can insure against this possibility.
The right general liability insurance can help you keep your business up and running, even in the worst-case scenarios. These insurance policies can pay for:
- Legal Fees
- Advertising and Public Relations
The Fees Add Up
If you find yourself facing a lawsuit against your business, the first thing you will want to do is contact a lawyer. Forbes reported that the average rate for the type of lawyers small companies use in these cases cost between $350 and $800 per hour.
If you have a particularly tricky case or want to work with the best-of-the-best, your attorney’s rate could exceed $1,000. Lawyers don’t just charge or the hours spent in court. They can charge for the time they spend researching, sending letters, and preparing for the lawsuit.
The cost to hire a law firm is just the minimum price of a lawsuit. In the security industry, 21 percent of trials end with the plaintiff (the person who brought the suit) winning.
19 percent of such cases get sent back for a re-trial, which means more lawyers’ fees. Then, the plaintiff and defendant (the security company) settle out of court.
If the court finds that your private security firm is at fault, you could end up owing the plaintiff anywhere from $250,000 to millions of dollars.
In some cases, a company’s attorney may advise settling outside of court. If this happens, you and the plaintiff will agree. Since these settlements are often sealed, there is little data about how much they cost.
When the dust has settled from the lawsuit, you may still have to deal with negative publicity. Internet searches for your private security firm may bring up news stories about the trial.
Savvy advertising and public relations can restore your business’ reputation. However, this service can cost $3,000 to $10,000 each month.
Since a liability policy can cover all these expenses for you, it can protect your company against financial ruin.
Private Security Employee Lawsuits
In the same way that angry clients can bring a financial avalanche, a disgruntled employee can bring lawsuits.
In fact, the chances that a small or medium-sized business will face an employee lawsuit are about 12 percent each year. Illinois employers are 34 percent more likely than the national average.
These lawsuits cost an average of $125,000. Businesses that have adequate insurance policies only pay out an average $30,000.
What Causes Employee Lawsuits
If you think you’re immune to these legal troubles because your heart is in the right place, think again. Even the most well-intentioned employers can slip up and violate the law.
While it’s essential to have insurance just in case, it’s even better to avoid giving employees cause for a suit. Be sure you understand the employment laws in your area and the main reasons people sue employers.
First, beware of how and why you fire employees. Firing an employee without giving them a cause or for a reason that doesn’t make sense can bring about severe financial trouble.
Similarly, if you let someone go right after they file a complaint about you, this can be suspicious. Even if the firing had nothing t do with the complaint, the court might not see it that way.
Speaking of complaints, if someone says that another person in your organization discriminated against them, you should always take it seriously. The investigation needs to be swift if you want to avoid a lawsuit.
You could also find yourself in the middle of a costly lawsuit if you settle for handshakes instead of contracts or trust that employees see things your way.
What If You’re Innocent?
Even if you have done nothing wrong, you can find yourself in a courtroom facing a lot of legal fees. Hopefully, the judge will see that you are not at fault and dismiss the charges.
Even if the judge sides with you, you may need to pay lawyers and public relations experts to get you off the hook. Could your business afford such an enormous cost?
If not, make sure to beef up your insurance portfolio. Liability policies cover your business whether you are at fault or not.
Running a business is stressful enough without worrying about a lawsuit. In fact, 57 percent of small business owners said they regularly give up free time to work on their businesses.
What’s the number one cause of business-owner stress? The lack of control.
Not only will your policies protect you in the face of a lawsuit, but they can also allow you to sleep more soundly at night. You can know that you’re in control of what happens to your business, not some plaintiff.
This, in turn, can help you run a better business. Without the fear of upsetting someone and getting into an expensive legal battle, you can make the right decisions.
Do You Have Enough Coverage?
In 2017, private security businesses faced 16,208 lawsuits. Some paid out millions, other settled for thousands, and some only had to pay lawyers. The smartest of these businesses had insurance pay for most of it.
If you’re part of the 75 percent of businesses that are underinsured, it’s time to get your private security firm covered.
It’s your business to protect others. It’s our business to protect you. Get a quote today and see how we can help.