HSB Unveils Portfolio EPL

The Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance Company (HSB) is now offering Employment Practices Liability (EPL) coverage through selected insurance company partners serving small and medium-size businesses. The program makes broad EPL coverage and related risk management services available to small businesses.

HSB’s Portfolio EPL coverage is a turnkey, outsourced reinsurance program branded for the issuing company, following the model of HSB’s Equipment Breakdown reinsurance. It is designed to be integrated within commercial package policies written for businesses with 50 or fewer employees.

“We integrate broad employment practices liability coverage within insurers’ commercial package policies,” said Jeffrey O’Shaughnessy, assistant vice president for HSB. “By underwriting an entire portfolio of business, we minimize transaction and handling costs and reduce the premium for small business owners. At the same time, our portfolio EPL coverage provides a full service complement of an online EPL loss prevention program, dedicated EPL claim specialists, and EPL attorneys for complex cases.”

Between 1999 and 2003 more than 400,000 charges were filed under all statutes enforced by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. During that time, claimants were awarded more than $1 billion. Although 75 percent of all claims are reportedly found to be groundless, they still require significant expenditures to defend. And more than 50 percent of EPL charges are now reportedly brought against smaller firms.

Previously, EPL coverage was available as stand-alone policies that only larger companies could reportedly typically afford. More recently, some insurers have been adding EPL insurance to their commercial products but with narrow coverage, low sub-limits and without risk management services.

“Our strategy makes obtaining EPL insurance easy for everyone as well as less expensive then individually underwritten policies,” said O’Shaughnessy. “It’s easy for the insured and the agent because the coverage is built-in and a separate underwriting process is not required. And, it’s simple and inexpensive for the insurer to administer because HSB provides the back office service support.”

The program has three main benefits:

1. Provides broad EPL coverage and meaningful limits at reduced premiums.

2. Eliminates the transactional underwriting process and the handling cost of issuing separate EPL policies.

3. Helps educate employers on how to prevent or correct unlawful employment practices through an online loss prevention program. The program also includes specialized claim services with access to high-quality legal representation to respond to employers in the event of an EPL claim.

For more information about Hartford Steam Boiler visit its Web site at www.hsb.com.