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HSB, Munich Re America Launch Joint Employment Practices Liability Product

Makes broader EPL coverage, additional risk management services available to small businesses

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) and Munich Reinsurance America, have introduced a jointly developed Employment Practices Liability (EPL) insurance program that makes broader EPL coverage and additional risk management services available to small businesses at affordable premiums.

The new EPL insurance program from HSB and Munich Re America is intended for businesses with 50 or fewer employees and includes advanced EPL coverages that until recently were available only to large employers. These include coverage for prior acts that occur before the policy’s inception date, punitive damages coverage, a broadened definition of employees to include independent contractors and optional third-party coverage for discrimination and harassment claims made by business customers or vendors.

Jeffrey O’Shaughnessy, vice president of HSB, said: “The danger to small businesses of employment-related charges and claims continues to grow. Combine the current business climate that has forced many employers to trim their staff with evolving employment laws and an aging and more diverse workforce, and the trend is more risk for employers.

A legal helpline is included to help business owners avoid employment practices claims and obtain general employment guidance. This service gives business owners access to best practices advice about a broad range of subjects including factors to consider when making specific employment decisions.

David Richardson, vice president, Munich Re America, said: “More than 50 percent of EPL charges are brought against smaller firms, yet only 1.2 percent of small businesses purchase EPL insurance protection. By combining the best of HSB’s and Munich Re America’s EPL products we can offer broader coverages, better risk management and full claim services at premiums that small businesses can afford.”

The program also includes a loss prevention website that provides ready-made employment policies and procedures to help employers prevent claims and more effectively defend themselves in the event of a charge.