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Museums face tremendous pressure today. Costs are rising as sources of funding dwindle. The need to expand programming keeps growing while staff and budgets are shrinking. As museums evolve to meet the changing demands of the environment in which they operate, it is more important than ever to have the right liability insurance protection.
Changing Times Are Changing Protection Needs
Increase in Litigation
In light of the economic downturn, litigation has swelled. In tough times, individuals and organizations are most likely to resort to the legal system to recoup real or perceived financial losses. As a result, the number of civil lawsuits filed in state and federal courts are rising across the country.
No Longer Immune from Liability
In all but a handful of states, the doctrine of charitable immunity has been abolished. Not-for-profit organizations are now held liable for the wrongdoings of their volunteers, employees, directors and officers. The reality is that no matter how beloved an institution is, museums can and do get sued by the public and their own employees.
Museums are assuming an increasing set of responsibilities that were previously handled by federal or state government. These entities are taking on new risks as they expand programming, form new partnerships and collaborate with other organizations.
Making Tougher Decisions
Museums are under pressure to do more with less. That means directors and board members are increasingly faced with difficult decisions as they seek to balance their organization’s mission with day-to-day economic realities.
Directors and Board Members are on the Line
As directors and board members make tough financial and people decisions, they are increasingly vulnerable. Almost any day-to-day decision or action in a museum can trigger a lawsuit that could not only hurt the organization financially but also threaten the personal assets of directors and executives.
The most common suits revolve around hiring and firing decisions, employee supervision, harassment, the application of assets and the interpretation of non-profit charters.
Employment related claims represent the biggest risk to museums, comprising 85% of all nonprofit claims filed under directors & officers liability policies.
Highlights of Umbrella Liability for Museums
- Commercial Umbrella Liability Occurrence Form
- Flexible policy limits from $1 million to $50 million
- Excess over directors & officers liability
- Defense coverage in addition to the policy limits
- No abuse/molestation exclusion
Follow Form Coverage, Including:
- Bodily Injury/Property Damage
- Liability Personal Injury/Advertising Injury
- Punitive damages
- Non-employed discrimination for Bodily Injury, Property Damage, Personal Injury & Advertising Liability
- Liquor Liability (including host)
- Products/completed operations coverage
- Contractual Liability (written/oral)
- Excess Foreign Liability
- Employee Benefits Liability (claims-made or occurrence forms)
- Employers Liability
- Not-for-profit Directors & officers Liability
- Employment Practices Liability for D&O related incidents
- Garage Keepers Legal Liability
Additional Coverage Enhancements
- Automobile Liability
- Special events coverage (for qualifying events)
- Silent on mold (NY only)
- No deductible/self-insured retentions
- Terrorism protection
- Flexible underlying Directors & Officers Liability requirements
- Unintentional errors & omissions
- Coverage for multi-location museums
Note: Your umbrella follows your underlying liability insurance policies. Be sure your existing policies include these important coverages.
At a Glance
- Designed for museums by insurance professionals, Distinguished Programs and DeWitt Stern, who understand the risks museums face
- Available to a broad range of nonprofit museums
- Includes excess Directors & Officers and Employment Practices Liability protection – This important protection is excluded by many umbrellas
- Quality protection and competitive pricing
- Underwritten by A.M. Best “A” rated insurers – The peace of mind of working with insurance companies that have the highest ratings for financial security
- Easy-to-complete application
- Discounts for all AAM members and museums accredited by AAM