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Recent alarming news headlines emphasize the vulnerability of educational institutions to potentially deadly weapon-related attacks.

While achieving absolute security may be unrealistic, the importance of preparedness and rapid response was highlighted by an incident at Palm Beach Central High School. This event occurred in the school’s parking lot during a football game, resulting in two adults being shot.

The Palm Beach County School District had the foresight to acquire Beazley’s Deadly Weapons Protection policy. Shortly after the attack, Beazley promptly organized both in-person and telephone-based counseling services for schools that may have had students affected by the incident.

“We of course hoped that we would never have to implement our gun incident response plan,” said Dianne Howard, Director of Risk and Benefits Management, Palm Beach County School District. “However, these shootings showed the importance of being well prepared and able to rapidly draw on the expertise provided by the Beazley Deadly Weapons policy to support our students and the wider school community when they needed us most.”

Misconception 1: I have coverage elsewhere under commercial general liability (CGL) policies

Coverage for deadly weapon attacks is often unclear with many commercial general liability (CGL) policies either not mentioning it or explicitly excluding it. Unlike Beazley Deadly Weapons Protection, CGL policies weren’t originally designed for such events, and insurers may hesitate to provide coverage. Additionally, some CGL carriers might deny claims by categorizing the incident as an act of terrorism or using other policy exclusions.

In contrast, Beazley’s Deadly Weapons Protection policy offers affirmative primary liability coverage regardless of the attacker’s motive, along with prevention and crisis management services. Even if clients believe their CGL provides coverage, they can still purchase this policy to access risk management and crisis response services, effectively treating it as a deductible buyback option.

Misconception 2: It only provides liability coverage

Beazley’s Deadly Weapons Protection program offers comprehensive coverage, going beyond liability insurance, with expertly designed services. Policyholders receive a thorough security assessment, crisis support, and assistance during an attack.

Beazley provides help to the local community, counseling services, media management, and more. Additionally, their first-party coverage includes physical damage, funeral costs, and business interruption options.

Misconception 3: Our policy only covers events involving firearms

Many devices can be weaponized for use in deadly weapon attacks, including vehicles. Recognizing the broad threat our policy provides cover for incidents involving a variety of deadly weapons including:

  • Portable firearm (loaded and unloaded)
  • Knife
  • Explosive device
  • Road vehicle which is used by an assailant to deliberately cause death or bodily injury
  • Syringe
  • Corrosive substance
  • Medical instrument
  • Any other handheld device or instrument which is used to deliberately cause death or bodily injury

Misconception 4: The cover is only triggered when someone is harmed

Deadly weapon incidents, even without fatalities, can severely affect individuals. Our crisis management services respond immediately when a weapon is brandished, irrespective of harm. We offer enhanced coverage, including access to risk services for verified threats. Our service provider aids in investigating and advising on such threats.

Misconception 5: The policy excludes coverage for mental anguish

The impact of a deadly weapon event on the insured organization and the local community can be profound. The policy offers counseling services to all those affected by the event, including employees of the insured and third parties. On contacting our service provider we will immediately start to help the insured reach out to the community and those affected. We will arrange face-to-face or telephone counseling for those who have been impacted to help them through the immediate aftermath of the event.

Misconception 6: The product was designed solely for K-12 schools and higher education

Locations with significant foot traffic and security challenges can become targets for armed individuals. Organizations managing commercial property portfolios, including multi-occupancy office buildings and industrial sites, are interested due to their responsibility for coordinating security for multiple occupants with continuous visitor flow.

Our clients also include hotel chains, casinos, cinemas, theme parks, nightclubs, restaurants, retail establishments, offices, sporting events, conferences, festivals, government buildings, healthcare providers, and religious institutions.

Contact Phillip Smith at Phillip.Smith@INSURICA.com or at 405.292.6413 for more information about how Deadly Weapons Protection can assist your clients.

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