The Federal government is the nation’s largest employer. Federal employees include anyone from law enforcement to working for the forest service. Federal Employees have the same risk of being accused of misconduct or mistakes as their peers in the private sector do. There is a special kind of professional liability insurance, or sometimes called malpractice insurance, for federal employees, though, called Federal Employee Professional Liability Insurance, or FEPLI. As a qualified federal employee, you can be reimbursed for up to 50% of the cost. Here are the top five providers of FEPLI.
- Top 5 Providers of Professional Liability Insurance (or Malpractice Insurance) for Federal Employees
- What does Federal Employee Professional Liability Insurance (FEPLI) Cover?
- What doesn’t FEPLI Cover?
- Doesn’t the Government Protect Me if I Am Sued?
- Who Qualifies for FEPLI?
- How to Save Money on Professional Liability Insurance?
Top 5 Providers of Professional Liability Insurance (or Malpractice Insurance) for Federal Employees
Our research covered more than 10 insurance companies providing professional liability insurance for federal employees on several aspects. Here are the top 5 providers that we recommend:
Starr Wright USA
Star Wright USA actually invented FEPLI, and they’ve been providing this insurance for fifty years. They offer global protection, just in case your job requires you to move somewhere else in the world. They provide up to $2,000,000 in civil court judgements and up to $200,000 in defense costs for criminal investigations.
You can buy insurance online within minutes, or you can apply by mail or by fax if you prefer. Rates start at $277 a year for a $1,000,000 liability limit. If you’re a new federal employee who has never purchased professional liability insurance before and have no losses, you can get an annual policy for just $85.
FEDS has spent twenty years defending federal employees, with rates starting at less than $1 a day. You can pay directly through a payroll deduction. If the worst should happen and you are sued, they will provide legal representation and protection for any acts or errors you commit while on the job. They are veterans-owned as well. Rates start at $290 a year for $1,000,000 in coverage.
Government Employees Benefit Association Professional Liability Insurance or GEBA PLI
Government Employees Benefit Association can provide worldwide coverage and up to $1 million in protection if the DOJ denies you representation. You pay in one annual payment of $290, half of which is reimbursed to you if you’re a manager, supervisor, or law enforcement employee. Coverage lasts up to 36 months after you leave federal service. You can request information online, but you can’t buy the insurance online.
CareerGuard provides up to $2 million in liability coverage for federal employees, with up to $200,000 in legal defense costs. You’ll be covered anywhere you go in the world, and this is the only plan that covers reduction of Security Clearance under Administrative Defense coverage. Coverage extends 36 months after you retire. They also provide protection for federal law enforcement employees accused of using a firearm while off duty. You’re also covered if you work with canines and you’re sued for something the dog does.
American Federation of Federal Employees (AFGE)
AFGE is a federal employee union. You have to be a member of AFGE to be eligible for professional liability insurance, and there’s other benefits as well. The cost for professional liability insurance is about $288 a year for $1 million of coverage with $100,000 for defense costs, but you can choose a $2 million dollar limit if you want. Policies are underwritten by the Evanston Insurance Company, which has an A.M. Best rating of A+.
What does Federal Employee Professional Liability Insurance (FEPLI) Cover?
Professional liability insurance or malpractice insurance for federal employees is much the same as professional liability insurance for anyone else. A good policy should provide:
- Protection for any mistakes or errors you make in your professional capacity
- Legal defense costs
- Proposed discipline
- Civil litigation
What doesn’t FEPLI Cover?
Anything you do that is willful, malicious, and illegal will not be covered by professional liability insurance.
Doesn’t the Government Protect Me if I Am Sued?
Federal employees are covered for any action that occurs within the scope of their employment as long as the action is supported by their training and the rules of the job. However, you can be personally sued, even as a federal employee. The federal government could elect not to defend you in any lawsuit filed against you.
If there’s one thing the federal government is good at, it’s creating lots of rules. You could be violating a rule that you didn’t even know existed, and that could be enough reason for the government to decide not to defend you. And of course, many claims are baseless—you could be following every rule, but someone you’re supervising insists that you didn’t. What then?
Since professional liability insurance is inexpensive, and you might get reimbursed for half the cost if you’re a supervisor or a manager, it’s worth considering. You probably won’t need it, but it’s nice to know it’s there if you do.
Who Qualifies for FEPLI?
Any former or current federal employee qualifies, including:
- Law enforcement officers
- Executive, judicial and legislative branch employees
- Federal contractors
- Intelligence and Defense Agency Employees
- Military federal civilian employees
- Union employees
Postal workers can receive federal benefits, but since the postal service doesn’t get any federal funds, they aren’t considered federal employees by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
How to Save Money on Professional Liability Insurance?
- look for special promotions
- check for discounts if you belong to a federal employee association.
- Don’t forget to collect your 50% reimbursement if you’re a manager or a supervisor
When all is said and done, professional liability insurance could cost you as little as $140 a year.
Federal employees can be sued just like anyone else. In most cases, the federal government will defend you, but not in every case. For the minimal amount that it costs, professional liability insurance for federal employees is worth it for the peace of mind it provides.