Professional Liability Insurance for
Federal Law Enforcement Officers
"WIFLE believes that no federal law enforcement officer should be without liability insurance. The FEDS policy gives those in law enforcement the protection they need to do their jobs.”
- Margie Moore, Women in Federal Law Enforcement (WIFLE)
Liability insurance often becomes necessary for federal law enforcement officers when there is a major event, operational event, or an incident that results (or is alleged to result) in safety concerns, public alarm, injury, death, oversight or a security vulnerability or breach. The cost to defend a decision, action or inaction could be cost prohibitive without liability insurance in place – even if you are ultimately vindicated.
This is why WIFLE recommends FEDS Protection to all Federal Law Enforcement Officers.
FEDS Protection is Affordable:
$280 Annual Premium or
$140 after reimbursement**
*Use Discount Code "WIFLE" for $280 pricing
**All law enforcement officers are eligible for up to
50% agency reimbursement on this premium.
Regardless of how well you think you do your job every day, you are not immune to allegations of wrongdoing. Allegations can be made by anyone - including an offender or subject, a member of their family or other member of the public, a politically motivated elected official, a subordinate or co-worker, a special interest group, or a member of Congress or your agency - resulting in an OIG, OPR, OSC, EEO, agency or Congressional investigation, or a judicial sanction proceeding.
Lawsuits usually involve an alleged 1st, 4th, 5th or 8th Amendment violation - commonly referred to as a Bivens action - or some other constitutional tort arising out of a job action.
Unfortunately, good conduct does not prevent federal officers from being accused of wrongdoing. FEDS Professional Liability Insurance specifically protects federal officers and allows for affordable legal representation and indemnity protection for those circumstances in which federal employees may be held personally liable and have to provide for their own defense - even though they were within their scope of employment or rendering a professional service.
Civil, or Bivens actions, lawsuits are most likely to be brought against law enforcement officials given your respective responsibilities and powers. These suits usually involve an alleged violation under the Fourth Amendment claiming an unlawful search or seizure or some other constitutional tort (i.e., 1st, 5th or 8th Amendment violations) arising out of an enforcement action. While the Department of Justice (DOJ) will represent you in most of these and other civil suits (and you will have some level of immunity to avoid personal liability), this is not always the case.
The FEDS policy will provide you with an attorney to defend you in the event that DOJ makes a determination that it is not "in the interest of the United States" to represent you. This most often happens if you are being investigated for the very same reason that you are being sued - even if you are clearly acting within the scope of your employment. The policy will also provide indemnification if you are held liable and forced to pay a judgement- even when DOJ is defending the case. Defense and indemnification limits are either $1,000,000 or $2,000,000 depending on the policy you choose.
For administrative matters, your FEDS policy will pay for legal defense (up to $200,000) to defend against allegations, prepare you for the agency administrative or investigation process, attend the investigative interview with you, and defend you in any resulting disciplinary action or judicial sanction proceeding at both the agency level and at the MSPB.
This includes any OIG, OPR, OSC, Internal Affairs, Congressional or any management directed investigation that could result in an action against you. The most common allegations resulting in these investigations include:
- Alleged abuse of investigative authority;
- Alleged abuse of position;
- Lost service weapon or alleged failure to properly safeguard weapon;
- Failure to follow SOP or other supervisory instructions;
- Negligent performance of duties resulting in escape of illegal alien, fugitive or subject, or other operational error(s);
- Allegedly providing inaccurate or false information in an investigative document or in court testimony;
- Whistleblower retaliation; and
- Ethical allegations.
If you are the subject of a criminal investigation, FEDS will pay for legal defense up to $100,000. Some of the most common criminal investigations involving federal LEOs are due to inaccurate information in an investigative document or court testimony, conflict of interest statutes, release of privacy act or other statutorily protected information, or an alleged misuse of position or authority. There is very little you can do wrong in the federal government and not have it also be a violation of Title 18.
OPTIONAL LEOSA COVERAGE
Civil liability becomes a concern if you choose to respond in an off-duty situation and the agency finds you acting outside of scope, outside of interest of the U.S. to defend, and/or outside of agency LEOSA authority for off-duty incidents. FEDS LEOSA coverage provides civil coverage for any "legal and justified” act, error or omission while protecting yourself, your family, or others from criminals and terrorists under the Law Enforcement Officer Safety Act of 2004 and the LEOSA Improvement Act of 2010. While these Acts allow you to protect yourself and others, they do not shield you from civil or criminal liability exposure.