"Not all EPLI policies are created equal," says independent agent Christopher Paradiso. "It is so very important that we can educate our clients to make sure we are helping them make the best decision with the right carrier."
Stafford Springs, Connecticut
How did you get started at your agency?
I started on the life-health side of insurance in 1998 and four years into my career I moved into the property-casualty side. It wasn't long after that I fell in love with the p-c side. I opened Paradiso Insurance in 2006 and today we write in 43 states.
In my opinion, employment practices liability insurance is one of the most important policies a business owner can purchase because we live in such a litigious society—we're currently seeing a massive uptick in EPLI claims. It is the most used insurance I've seen in the last 24 months, and I believe it's vitally important to protect our clients.
Challenges in the EPLI insurance market?
Understanding the differences in the coverages provided by carriers. Not all EPLI policies are created equal. It is so very important that we can educate our clients to make sure we are helping them make the best decision with the right carrier.
It is important to be educated on the different carrier EPLI policies, but it's also important for our clients so that they can make the best decision to protect their business and their future.
There are going to be more policies sold simply because so many people have been sued, they've had no coverage and had to suffer the consequences. Those stories are getting out there as business owners are sharing their experiences with other business owners. With premiums increasing, claims are coming in and, secondly, more and more businesses are going to carry EPLI insurance to help pay for such claims.
Advice for a fellow agent in the EPLI market?
EPLI insurance needs to be offered on every single business policy and every agent needs to be educated before offering the policies from different carriers. Agents also need to ensure they get a sign off from the owner of the company if they choose not to purchase the EPLI coverage. That's the best advice I can give.
Making a difference with EPLI?
A client of mine didn't have EPLI insurance and unfortunately ended up being accused of wrongdoing by an employee. The employer ended up settling and paid out of pocket just to have the claim go away. It was not a large amount—about $5,000—but it was still a cost. The owner then decided to purchase an EPLI policy, something he never thought he would have to purchase. However, less than six months later he ends up being sued again. Thankfully, he had the coverage in place to help him deal with this claim. As a business owner and the mayor of a town, he continues to share the importance of having EPLI coverage.
Olivia Overman is IA content editor.