Analysis: US mass shooting insurance rates rise as incidents rise

June 29 (Reuters) – The cost of buying insurance protection against mass shootings has risen more than 10% in the United States this year after a spate of deadly events, insurers said.

The United States has seen 293 mass shootings so far this year, according to a report from the Gun Violence Archive, which defines them as any event that involves the shooting of four or more people other than the shooter. This compares with 309 the same period last year, but is up significantly from 240 in 2020.

Demand for such insurance has increased after recent shootings, including the killing of 19 children and two teachers at a Texas elementary school last month, the worst school shooting in the United States in nearly a decade. Read more

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

“The number of inquiries we’ve received over the last few weeks has definitely increased … we’ve never been as busy,” said Chris Parker, Head of Political Violence and Lethal Weapons Defense at Lloyd’s of London. insurer Beazley (BEZG.L).

Parker said the insurer had seen a 25% increase in revenue so far this year for its lethal weapons policy, with a 30-35% increase in inquiries and a 10%-15% increase in premiums, e driven by the increasing number and severity of gun attacks.

He said customers were now buying insurance to cover themselves for $5 million to $10 million in losses, compared to $1 million to $3 million four years ago.

Policyholders can typically pay tens of thousands of dollars for $1 million in coverage. Beazley’s clients include schools, councils, houses of worship, bars and restaurants.

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

There has been an increase in violent attacks on hospitals and healthcare facilities as families of people who lost their lives to the pandemic look for someone to blame, 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 usually rises after major attacks.

“That was the case after 9/11, and it was the same after the riots and violent civil unrest that have occurred over the past few years in the US, and we’re seeing the same increase in demand after the latest wave of mass shootings. .”

Church Mutual, a leading insurer of religious organizations in the United States, said it had seen a 10-15% increase in inquiries about armed intruders and mass shootings and an increase in requests for services.

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.

The Church’s mutual clients also include food banks and child care centers.

‘MORE REWARDED’

The price of an active shooter insurance policy varies by location, safety protocols and the gun laws of the state of residence, insurers say.

Insurers are already charging schools, healthcare facilities and retail establishments more for cover and prices are generally 5% to 10% higher than last year, said Tarique Nageer, managing director, terrorism and violence policy at insurance broker Marsh.

However, most organizations do not have insurance against such attacks.

“The increase could become more excessive if any of the institutions that may have experienced losses or active claims from shooters had insurance,” Nageer said.

Insurance buyers said they have to argue hard to keep a cap on rates.

“You can generally aim to minimize rate rises through thorough and astute negotiations, and by reminding insurers that this is a competitive market,” said Scott Feltham, group insurance manager for hospitality group Compass ( CPG.L ) .

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Reporting by Noor Zainab Hussain in Bengaluru; editing by Megan Davies

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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