When discussing NY not-for-profit insurance, a coverage that many people are uncomfortable with is Sexual Abuse and Molestation Liability.
I know this is a dirty, dark topic that you don’t want to think about and I don’t blame you. The thought that these types of abuses happen every day across our country makes my blood boil…
But the fact remains whether you want to think about it or not any time an organization or its volunteers work with children or any other vulnerable population, its imperative to consider sexual abuse and molestation liability coverage.
Danger Will Robinson
Consider this quote from Pamela Davis, president and CEO of the Nonprofits’ Insurance Alliance of California and Alliance of Nonprofits for Insurance, Risk Retention Group (found at a wonderful resource NonProfitRisk.org):
“While claims for sexual abuse and molestation liability in the nonprofit sector are not frequent, when they occur, they typically result in relatively large settlements. Even defending one of these cases when the allegations are baseless can be extremely expensive. And because of the emotional nature of these cases, plaintiffs’ attorneys will attempt to garner large settlements, because they know that juries have a tendency to identify with the plaintiff, whether or not the nonprofit could have done anything at all to prevent the abuse.”
Ms. Davis’s comments really hit the nail on the head when it comes to Sexual Abuse and Molestation Liability claims, “whether or not the nonprofit could have done anything at all to prevent the abuse.”
You can screen every nook and cranny of your volunteer’s life and personality, but you never truly know what they are going to do. If you read the entire article Ms. Davis later states that in a study performed by her organization, “virtually none of the abusers have prior records.”
Its Not Only About You
If a sexual abuse and molestation liability incident happens its not just the organization that suffers, but the constituents of your organization, not to mention disservice you are doing to the abused by not carrying coverage.
In the case of Sexual Abuse and Molestation claim the abused is going to want to be compensated for the torture emotionally, physically, and financially caused by a member of your organization. If proper coverage is not in place there will not be insurance funds available to provide a settlement.
Where do you think those funds are going to come from?
That’s right, the working assets of your organization. Meaning property may have to be sold, programs shut down, or worse case scenario the organization may have to be liquidated. Think of all the people who are harmed beyond the abused… employees, clients, volunteers.
Unfortunately ignorance and naivety are NOT good defense in the event of a sexual abuse and molestation liability claim.
If you would like to discuss your NY not-for-profit insurance program and/or specifically sexual abuse and molestation liability please call us at (518) 456-6688 or click here to contact us via email.
Sensitivity to this matter is always considered…