September 29 2021
When it comes to working off-duty, insurance isn’t typically the first thing that comes to mind. And it shouldn’t have to be. However, it’s imperative to make sure that officers, agencies and the businesses they serve are protected in the off-duty environment in case an incident occurs.
Do you know if your officers are covered, and to what extent? This is how RollKall ensures agencies, officers and businesses can be properly protected.
Insurance as it pertains to off-duty
The officer or LEA isn’t necessarily covered by their on-duty insurance policy during off-duty details, not to mention that the hiring business isn’t covered. While it may not be the first thing that comes to mind, insurance for off-duty is like insurance for anything: you don’t need it until you do.
While there are a number of scenarios that can go wrong on an off-duty detail, the insurance to make sure everyone is covered doesn’t have to be complicated.
The three main types of off-duty insurance
There are three commonly used types of insurance for off-duty: General liability, workers’ compensation and occupational accident insurance. Each provides a different level of protection to different stakeholders.
General liability, sometimes called business liability, helps protect a business from any claims should an incident occur on their premises, including but not limited to property damage or injury to a person or persons on-site at the time of the incident.
Workers’ compensation, or “workers’ comp”, covers medical expenses, any legal fees incurred and extends coverage to lost wages should an employee (in this case, the officer) have to take leave due to on-the-job injury.
Occupational Accident Insurance
Occupational accident insurance is another level of coverage that provides medical, death and dismemberment in case the officer gets into a job-related accident while working off-duty.
Workers’ comp vs occupational accident insurance: what’s the difference?
There are two types of insurance that protect an officer while working off-duty: workers’ compensation and occupational accident insurance. There are a few main differences between the two.
Both insurance options cover medical expenses, death and dismemberment. Workers’ comp additionally covers any legal fees that may be incurred due to an off-duty incident and lost wages. If an officer is injured and must, as a result, take a leave of absence, workers’ comp will cover those lost wages.
Another difference is who chooses the coverage for the officer. Workers’ compensation is always covered by the employer while occupational accident insurance is chosen by the officer to cover him or herself. OAI covers the officer if workers’ compensation isn’t provided by the agency or hiring business or for higher-risk off-duty details where they want to ensure adequate medical coverage.
Many businesses already have a general liability policy in place and are usually required by the state to have workers’ compensation. However, when hiring someone for a service from an outside entity, what happens if an incident occurs? Identifying the responsible party can get a bit tricky.
Using an off-duty solution with access to general liability coverage takes out all the guesswork: it hits the off-duty general liability policy first - not the business’ GLI. The benefits are twofold: not only does it clear any questions of responsibility, it prevents a claim from hitting either the business’ policy or the LEA’s.
Benefits to the LEA
First and foremost, everyone wants to ensure officers are protected. If an LEA’s insurance policy doesn’t extend to off-duty work, it’s in the officer’s best interest to find an off-duty solution that offers either workers’ compensation or occupational accident insurance to cover them in case of injury.
The benefit to LEAs is further extended by preventing any claims from hitting their agency insurance policy and also making sure officers have the proper amount of coverage.
In the event of an incident while working off-duty, workers’ compensation not only covers medical expenses, but also includes lost wages in case they are unable to work due to injury. The option for occupational accident insurance also gives the officer access to extra protection for those higher-risk details. General liability further protects the officer and/or the agency from incurring any expenses should damages occur in the line of duty.
What off-duty insurance means for government stakeholders
For government legal departments, making sure that off-duty officers have insurance is equally important.
Additionally, insurance policies and (the payment of said policies) ultimately fall back on its constituents. Supplemental insurance for the off-duty environment means that the community won’t receive the bill for an off-duty incident.
Insurance is tied to payment. What does that mean for agencies?
Whether or not off-duty is covered under an agency’s policy is largely tied to how off-duty payments are set up. If an officer is on the clock, the business is responsible. The real question is, “Whose clock?”
That boils down to payment. Officers that get paid directly by the business are technically private contractors, paid in a 1099 capacity, and thus agency insurance doesn’t typically extend to off duty. For officers paid through the agency’s payroll (where the business pays the agency), the agency’s policy does cover off-duty activities. Either way, supplemental insurance for off-duty
Gain access to off-duty insurance with RollKall
When jobs are scheduled and paid through the RollKall platform, agencies gain access to both general liability and workers’ compensation, protecting the business, the LEA and the officer during off-duty jobs. Additionally, officers have the choice to opt-in for occupational accident insurance.
Looking for details? Learn more about RollKall’s insurance options on our FAQ page.