Mass shooting insurance rates increase as incidents increase

(Reuters) – The cost of buying insurance protection against mass shootings has soared more than 10% in the United States this year following a series of deadly events, insurers said .

The country has witnessed 293 mass shootings so far this year, according to a Gun Violence Archive report, which defines them as any event involving the death of four or more people other than the attacker. This compares to 309 during the same period last year, but is up sharply from 240 in 2020.

Demand for such insurance has increased following recent shootings, including the killing of 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas, last month, the worst school shooting in the United States since. almost a decade.

Active shooter insurance typically covers victim lawsuits, building repairs, legal fees, medical expenses, and trauma counseling.

“The number of requests we’ve received over the past few weeks has definitely increased. … We’ve never been busier than this before,” said Chris Parker, Political Violence and Lethal Weapons Protection Manager at Lloyd’s of London insurer Beazley.

Mr Parker said the insurer had seen a 25% increase in revenue so far this year for its lethal weapons insurance policy, with a 30% to 35% increase in inquiries and a 10% to 15% increase in rates, due to the increasing number and severity of gun attacks.

He said customers now buy insurance to cover $5 million to $10 million in losses, up from $1 million to $3 million four years ago.

Policyholders can typically pay tens of thousands of dollars for $1 million of coverage. Beazley’s customers include schools, municipalities, places of worship, bars and restaurants.

Other buyers include organizers of events such as marathons, rodeos, livestock shows, concerts, 4th of July parties and pride marches. Beazley is one of the biggest players in the space along with other Lloyd’s of London insurers, sources have said.

There has been an increase in violent attacks at hospitals and healthcare facilities as families of people who have lost their lives to the pandemic search for a culprit, insurers said.

Inflation is also seen as a driver of violent acts as the cost of living rises.

Chris Kirby, head of political violence coverage at insurer Optio, said demand for insurance typically increases after major attacks.

“It was the case after 9/11 and it was the same after the riots and violent civil unrest that have taken place in the last few years in the United States, and we are seeing the same increase in demand following the recent wave of mass shootings,” he said.

Church Mutual, one of the largest insurers of religious organizations in the United States, said it has seen a 10-15% increase in investigations of armed intruders and mass shootings and an increase in service requests.

Church Mutual has seen more demand for its “Pull for police device”, which allows a customer to pull a tab, triggering a signal to law enforcement that there is an armed intruder event.

Church Mutual’s customers also include food banks and daycares.

The price of an active shooter insurance policy varies depending on location, safety protocols and state gun laws, according to insurers.

Insurers are already charging schools, healthcare facilities and retail establishments more for coverage, and prices in general are 5% to 10% higher than last year, said Tarique Nageer, chief executive. , terrorism and political violence, at the insurance broker Marsh.

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