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Due to the increasing number and cost of employee discrimination and wage and hour claims many insurers are planning changes to their employment practice liability policies for 2013. The EEOC received 99,947 complaints of workplace discrimination in 2011, the highest number ever reported. Religious discrimination claims increased 5% over 2010 levels and national-origin discrimination claims rose 10%. In 2010 the EEOC also brought more lawsuits than ever before against employers in its own name, particularly against employers accused of discrimination against large groups of employees. A 2012 study also found that in 2011 the number of court decisions on wage and hour issues was more than triple that of discrimination and ERISA actions combined. These increasing costs are forcing insurers to raise their premiums as well as implementing higher deductibles and tougher underwriting criteria. Cooper’s Insurance has access to all major insurance companies for employment practice liability coverage and we thoroughly scour the market to find the best premiums and coverage terms for all our clients. While it may be tempting in these conditions to go without this coverage, we strongly encourage our customers to keep this valuable protection in force. An accusation of discrimination, harassment, or violation of wage and hour laws can be devastating to a business even if the accusation is groundless.
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