System failures, oversights, actions and inactions of EPA employees will lead to scrutiny, criticisms, and demands of accountability from members of the public, environmental groups, co-workers, and special interest groups, IG, GAO, Congress of agency officials. These accountability demands take the form of complaints, allegations, investigations, proposed disciplinary actions, and civil suits.
EPA employees will be covered for investigations and civil actions arising from pollution or other environmental matters as respects to your EPA duties and position. The applicability of Section III – Exclusions in our Master Policy, do not apply if your federal employment professional responsibilities include having to engage in the matter that is listed in the exclusion.
Below are some of the most common questions FEDS Protection receives from EPA employees:
If I’m acting within the scope of my employment, why would I need professional liability insurance (PLI)?
Acting within your scope does not mean you are immune from allegations, investigations, disciplinary actions and civil lawsuits where you could need to provide your own defense and/or be held liable for damages.
I deal with asbestos, silica, lead, fungus(i), mold(s), mildew and yeast as a normal function of my employment. In particular, I clean up, remove, contain and treat these materials. Of these, lead and asbestos are handled in frequency. If I am involved in a case where the cleanup of asbestos is the issue, will I still be covered? Does it matter the state the asbestos is in, such as friable vs. non-friable? Also, anthrax has spores associated with it. Are projects where anthrax is present covered?
Your involvement with these materials are covered by the policy. The state in which you are operating and the manner in which you are working – cleanup, removal, containment, treatment – makes no difference. The policy provides defense and indemnification for acts, errors and omissions arising out of your federal job duties.
I address contaminated lands and property where discharges, migration, releases, etc. have occurred. My job is to clean up the lands and property. If I am involved in a situation where a property owner wants to sue me personally due to the actions that I have taken, am I still covered if it involves a response to the effects of pollutants? If so, what constitutes a pollutant?
Yes, for example, if DOJ denied representation, the policy would provide coverage for a lawsuit involving bodily injury of a property owner due to your responsibilities in clearing up a pollutant. Pollutants, in this case, would be any material that you are involved with in the performance of your duties.
I deal with projects that have radioactive sources and hazardous properties associated with them. This includes radiological disasters that require clean-up by the Agency prior to allowing the general public to access the areas and/or objects again. I am not required to maintain financial protection pursuant to the Atomic Energy Act or any other law. Does the Nuclear Energy Liability exclusion affect me?
If your responsibilities include having to engage in matters involving pollutants, contaminants, radioactive, hazardous and/or any other materials including those listed above, they are not excluded by this policy. These exclusions are part of the master federal employee policy and apply only to those federal employees whose professional responsibilities do not involve these exposures/materials. EPA employees are covered for administrative investigations as well as civil suits arising from pollution and other environment related matters arising out of the course and scope of employment.
Does your policy require that the Government has to first determine if they will represent me and that your policy is only effective if they do not? Even if the government determines to defend, does the policy allow for representation?
Regarding civil suits, FEDS Protection will appoint an attorney to defend in personal capacity lawsuits when DOJ exercises its discretion not to defend you in the lawsuit. FEDS may also appoint coverage counsel to monitor DOJ’s defense of you, or if DOJ is on the fence as to whether it will defend, FEDS may hire coverage counsel to convince DOJ to provide the defense. The policy provides civil suit defense up to $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 depending on the limit you choose. For administrative matters, you are assigned an attorney to defend against the allegation as the government will not provide you with your own personal attorney. FEDS Protection pays for legal defense up to $200,000 for any administration investigation or disciplinary proceeding arising out of any act, error, or omission by a federal employee while rendering a professional service. This is any administrative investigation that could result in a personnel action against you.The FEDS policy provides an attorney throughout the investigation and in the event that there is a disciplinary action imposed against you.
FEDS Protection is Affordable:
$1,000,000 Policy Annual Premium is $290
$2,000,000 Policy Annual Premium is $390
*Premiums are subject to applicable taxes and administrative fees
Payroll deduction is also an available payment option, starting at $12 per pay period.
Enrollment takes less than 5 minutes.
Have questions? Call us at 866.955.FEDS.
Please see the Master Policy for complete policy terms and conditions.