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Does insurance cover personal property?

Does insurance cover personal property?

Does insurance cover personal property?

I have some co-workers who are buying personal E&O insurance even though they work for our company which has it's own insurance.  They have a lawyer friend who is recommending it because the "new trend" is to not only sue the company, but the individuals employed by that company on an individual basis to go after their personal property.

Even if it's not a valid claim, the cost of defending yourself personally against the suit would be tremendous and it's cheaper to settle out of court.  

Has anyone heard of this?  Will your companies insurance defend you if you're named as an individual in a suit?  What if they skip naming the company and directly sue you because you stamped the drawings?

I know, I know, ask a lawyer.  But I want to see what you all think first.   

RE: Does insurance cover personal property?

Universal answer...it depends!

If your company indemnifies you for actions on its behalf, then yes, the insurance will probably cover you; however, you should check to see if that's the case. Otherwise,sign a contract with your company that has the indemnification in it.

Yes, the trend is to sue the company and the individual (joint and several liability).  In my state, that is allowed by state law.  In some states, it is not allowed.

Should you get insurance if you work for a company that has it? In my opinion, no. It makes you a target and you can always argue that you were acting as an agent for the company, that all decisions made by you were intended for the benefit of the company, and that the company offers an implicit indemnification through employment with no contract.

RE: Does insurance cover personal property?


I work for the company that builds the 747-8 and 787 airplanes, and none of us have personal insurance to cover our actions at work. Many of us stamp drawings (not as a PE, but with our full name), we sign off on test procedures, we sign off on safety evaluations. No individual employee has ever been sued for liability reasons to my knowledge, and no employees frets about it.

I'd say that the lawyers who are drumming up this stupid tactic are trying to find new and inventive ways of increasing their billable hours.

Cedar Bluff Engineering

RE: Does insurance cover personal property?

I work in Florida.  My company indemnifies its employees, as do all the companies I am aware of.
It is common practice here to sue both the inidividual and the company as a matter of course.
I don't know what the lawyers get out of it, because most individuals don't have anything worth taking.  Your primary residence and retirement savings are off limits to any judgements by state law.
An acquaintance recently was sued after changing jobs.
The lawyers sued both the company he had been working for and him individually.  His former company indemnified him as is common practice and he paid no money out of pocket and was eventually dropped from the suit.
They sued three or four engineering firms and every P.E. who signed anything during the job, which made about six P.E.'s.  I am sure that the lawyer's fees were more than the alleged damage.
Ron is right about avoiding individual insurance unless you are independently wealthy.  It only gives you deep pockets to go after.

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