The What and Why of PLI Need an overview? Watch our short video explaining Professional Liability Insurance and how it pertains to the unique exposures of Federal Employees. Still have questions? Call us at 866.955.FEDS or Contact Us Online. APPLY NOW Share this with people that need it. Check out this quiz about professional liability insurance – it only took a few minutes and quite frankly, I was schooled. Agencies reimburse up to half the cost of this insurance for all LEOs, so a $1,000,000 policy is only $145 out of pocket annually. Defense and Indemnification for Civil Suits Federal employees in all types of jobs and performing all kinds of federal functions can be sued personally by private persons or other entities for alleged violations of an individual's constitutional and common law rights. These types of suits are more likely, however, to be brought against law enforcement officials given their respective law enforcement responsibilities and powers. These suits usually involve a claim of an alleged violation under the Fourth Amendment claiming an unlawful search or seizure - commonly referred to as a Bivens action - 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 the named federal employee in most of these and other civil suits (and the employee will have some level of immunity to avoid personal liability), this is not always the case. There are lawsuits filed against federal law enforcement officers in which DOJ will not provide a defense-even when the employee is acting within his or her scope of employment-and for which the agent can be held personally liable. While this is the case in only a small percentage of suits filed against federal officers, if it happens to you the losses could be substantial. Law enforcement officers' exposure to civil lawsuits is the very reason that the DOJ and several federal employee associations collaborated over 25 years ago to create the concept of PLI for federal employees. They wanted to protect federal employees and allow affordable legal representation and indemnity protection for those circumstances in which federal employees were held personally liable and had to provide their own defense - even though they were within their scope of employment or rendering a professional federal service. This is also the very reason that Congress enacted special legislation requiring agencies to reimburse all law enforcement officers up to 1/2 of the cost of professional liability insurance. This congressional action clearly demonstrates Congress' official support and belief that law enforcement officers have a sense of security while making the tough [or split-second] decisions that are part of the job. With annual costs as low as $290 and a net cost of only $145 a year after reimbursement, there is no reason for federal law enforcement officers not to have career and financial security protections in place. The relevant legal concepts and doctrines in the area of federal employee liability are complicated; we do not attempt to provide a complete analysis of them here-what we want you to know is when and how the FEDS liability policy protects you from potential civil liabilities. The FEDS policy basically protects you from civil exposure in two major ways: Legal Defense: The FEDS policy will provide you with an attorney to defend in the event that that the DOJ makes a determination that it is not "in the interest of the United States" to represent the employee (a discretionary DOJ decision). This can occur notwithstanding that the employee was clearly acting within the scope of his/her employment. DOJ has taken the position that it is not in the interest of the U.S. to defend an employee where the suit involves unauthorized physical contact, use of inappropriate language, and other similar inappropriate or unauthorized conduct. Should you find yourself facing a civil suit (or Bivens action) or criminal charge without DOJ representation, defending yourself can run $25,000 to well over $100,000 in legal fees; and Pays Damages: The FEDS policy provides indemnity protection at either the one or two million dollar limit should an employee be found liable for which the agency will not indemnify. An employee can be held liable and be forced to pay the judgment even when the DOJ is defending the case. In other words, if DOJ defends and loses, the employee can still be liable. For a more detailed discussion on how our liability coverage interacts with such laws and concepts as the Federal Torts Claims Act, Absolute and Qualified Immunity Doctrines, common law and constitutional torts and how these concepts affect your exposures and potential liability as a federal officer, please contact us at email@example.com. Defense Against Claims & Allegations Alleged abuse of investigative authority; Alleged abuse of position; Lost service weapon or alleged failure to properly safeguard weapon; Alleged 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 false or inaccurate information in an investigative document or in court testimony; Whistleblower retaliation; or Ethical allegations. Access to an attorney experienced in federal personnel and employment law through the FEDS PLI policy would: defend against allegations; prepare you for the agency administration or investigation process; attend the investigative interview with you; and defend you in any resulting disciplinary action (both at the agency level and at the MSPB). Obtaining personal counsel for administrative matters can be costly. For instance, it can easily cost $10,000 to $25,000 to defend yourself in an OPR, IG, IA, OSC, EEO or Congressional investigation. To take your case through the MSPB or if you are the subject of a disciplinary action, representation can cost at least $30,000 to $70,000. The FEDS policy also pays for legal defense up to $100,000 for any criminal proceeding or investigation into any act, error, or omission arising out of federal employee's job duties. There is very little a federal law enforcement officer can do wrong in the federal arena and not also have it be a potential violation of Title 18 (the federal criminal code). Some of the most common criminal investigations involving a federal law enforcement officer usually involve an allegation of providing false or inaccurate information in an investigative document or in court testimony.