Armed security and your insurance coverage
Armed security, concealed carry and insurance coverage can be tricky to navigate. Below are some helpful tips to help you decipher what type of security is right for you and what is likely to be covered on your insurance policy.
When you ask or allow individuals to carry a weapon on behalf of your organization or while serving your organization, much of that responsibility and liability for their actions transfers to your organization. Therefore, we strongly recommend that only highly trained individuals be allowed to carry a weapon as part of a formalized security team. Generally, an armed security team of untrained volunteers is the least desirable option because they often lack the training and experience to handle a weapon safely in a high-stress situation.
If I have armed security, will they be covered in the event of an armed intruder?
First and foremost, each situation is evaluated independently. If not specifically excluded, you generally have coverage depending on your situation. However, an armed security team is an additional exposure that must be reviewed by Church Mutual’s underwriting department. There is an additional survey that needs to be completed. The survey, along with your security team policy/procedures, need to be provided to us so underwriting can review them.
Why might CM exclude coverage for armed security?
An armed security team creates an additional exposure that may not be contemplated in your policy. Church Mutual must review your security policies and procedures to determine acceptability. If they do not meet best practices, an exclusion may be added, and recommendations can be provided to help develop an acceptable security team exposure.
What might make a team unacceptable for coverage?
No policies/procedures and written security plan
No training or minimal training
No background checks on security team members
Fully automatic weapons
Security team members under the age of 21.
What about concealed carry holders at my church – are they covered?
When it comes to concealed carry by members or visitors, it is your choice to either allow or prohibit weapons in your facility. It is imperative, however, that those individuals and your organization comply with local or state laws and that you document your decision within policies, procedures and/or signage.
As a best practice, anyone carrying a concealed weapon who is not a part of a formalized armed security team should not be carrying a weapon on behalf of your organization or while serving your organization. If you choose to allow for concealed carry, members and visitors should be carrying on their own behalf and in the interest of self-defense, thus bearing responsibility for their own actions. Be mindful: if you allow a concealed carry holder to serve in a non-security related function (usher, teacher, etc.), you may still be liable.
If there is an armed security team, we recommend that you don’t allow conceal carry on the premise. This could result in confusion of the Armed Security team and members of the organization should an event ever occur.
Looking for help with next steps?
For anyone working through the complexities of armed security who would like to talk to an expert, please utilize the free resources on Church Mutual’s website, www.churchmutual.com/armedintruder. We provide an overview of Armed vs. Unarmed security, 10 Essentials of Security plan, a security assessment and many other helpful documents.
We also have a Risk Consulting department who can answer any questions that you may have. They can be reached at 800.554.2642, ext. 5213 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.