Security guard insurance covers security companies and sole proprietors for general liability, professional liability, business property, and workers’ compensation. While a security guard company can get all policies at one carrier, there are multiple policies that make up security guard insurance. The total minimum premium for all required policies starts around $6,000 annually.
Security Guard Insurance Providers
You can find security guard insurance through national carriers or through specialty brokers who focus on the risks of the industry. Major carriers are better suited for lower-risk security companies where little bystander contact occurs. Specialty providers better serve companies that serve densely-populated areas or events such as clubs, concerts, and fairs.
Top Security Guard Insurance Providers
|Security Guard Insurance Provider||Best for...|
|The Hartford||Security companies with unarmed security guards and monitoring companies.|
|GuardPro||Security and investigative firms working with clients one-on-one.|
|AMIS / Alliance Marketing & Insurance||Security guard companies of all sizes with armed guard services.|
|Trusted Choice||Companies concerned about data breaches of client personal data.|
|AP Intego||Busy security companies needing to shop rates and solutions among carriers.|
The carriers listed have what is called an “appetite” for this type of risk. That means they understand it is a higher risk class and have taken the time to fully develop a program that meets the needs of security companies for the best possible rates. Not every carrier wants this type of risk on the books.
Five companies to seek security guard insurance quotes from are:
The Hartford is a premier commercial insurance carrier that offers the combination of policies companies need. It is best known for its Business Owners Policy that combines liability and business property with more bells and whistles in coverage than competitors. In most cases, The Hartford offers business owners more for less.
The security guard insurance program at The Hartford is perfectly tailored for private security guards, private investigators, and background screening companies. All size security guard operations are covered with this carrier: small, midsize, and large for liability, workers’ comp, auto, and more.
The leading company for security guard businesses in the U.S., GuardPro is the only brokerage with policies that cover security companies in all 50 states and extended territories. Backed by Venture Pacific Insurance Company, this specialty insurer has credibility, understanding, and experience in the security industry.
While GuardPro works with some of the most seasoned security providers in the country protecting concerts, airports and public gatherings, they specialize in helping new security companies get started. GuardPro works hard to simplify insurance for security companies and shop for better rates with company milestones.
AMIS / Alliance Marketing & Insurance Services
AMIS / Alliance Marketing & Insurance is a specialty insurance broker that has been serving the high-risk industry of security for more than 50 years. They cover all lines of insurance for security company consultants, guards, private patrols, armored car operations, and private investigators.
A security guard company that wants to work with an insurer with internal working knowledge of the security industry should choose AMIS. This is an insurance company founded by someone running his own investigation company. Customized packages help small and large security companies find the right coverage in the various scenarios security guards may find themselves in.
Trusted Choice is a major commercial insurance carrier that works with many industries and companies, both large and small. They understand the risk involved in security companies placing specific importance on cyber security and employee practices. Trusted Choice offers all lines of insurance, including workers’ comp and professional liability.
Trusted Choice is a good carrier for a security company with added exposure with well-known clients. A security company that has a wide range of clients, including firms that patrol low-income housing or celebrity clients, is able to adjust policies to cover the fluid changes of risk within the security company.
AP Intego is an online insurance broker that serves main street businesses across the country. They insure small businesses with top providers such as Travelers and AmTrust to offer the highest quality commercial policies. With one online application, AP Intego shops the rates for you, saving you time and frustration.
A growing security guard company will like the ease of shopping for insurance and the quick ability to customize policies for new security guards, administrators, and vehicles. Not being married to one insurance carrier allows AP Intego to find the best solution for clients, even if it has to use multiple carriers in the process.
How Security Guard Insurance Works
Security guard insurance covers the myriad of potential liabilities a security company faces protecting people and property. The security guard’s job is to protect against theft, vandalism, fire, and other illegal activities. Security guard companies can be structured for neighborhood patrol, static positions, or key person (personal bodyguard) assignment.
Expectations are high for security companies to protect clients and if something goes wrong, it often results in significant property damage or injuries to bystanders or security guards. Liability and workers’ compensation insurance cover these losses. This coverage is different than security companies exclusively installing systems.
Who Security Guard Insurance Protects
Security companies must protect their clients and their employees along with their own business interests. Security and safety is a complicated matrix of preventing loss to clients while making sure their people are safe in the process. A security guard on patrol can be a target to those trying to do illegal activities. This means security guards are often in harm’s way.
The insurance for security company priorities include protecting:
- Clients’ Interests: Protected parties can sue for failure to perform or request damages paid for security guard actions that lead to property damage or bodily injury.
- Security Guard Health and Safety: Guards are at risk of physical and mental injury from confrontations with bad guys. Gunshots, knife wounds, and post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms are not outside the realm of serious potential injury.
- Company Solvency: Claims against a security company and the cost to defend those claims can cost millions of dollars. Security companies must protect their interests with enough insurance to deal with all sorts of issues.
Security companies are in the business of protection. The companies that protect security companies are insurance carriers with security guard insurance. If any two industries are aligned, it is the security industry and the insurance industry working together to mitigate loss and protect against claims.
Types of Security Guard Insurance
A security guard company needs several different types of policies to protect against different types of risk. Coverage options will vary depending on the type of protection offered, the overall risk of the detail, and the number of employees and clients the company serves. Any incident with a security company could result in multiple policy claims.
General Liability Security Guard Insurance
Security guard general liability insurance covers accidents and injuries to clients or the broad public. Most industries refer to this as slip and fall coverage. This doesn’t cover the security guard himself, but instead covers bystanders in the area or those directly interacting with him from accidental injury or property damage.
This need isn’t as apparent with a security guard company that doesn’t have a location and is constantly mobile, but the risk does exist. For example, a security guard coming around a corner quickly in response to a situation might run into an innocent bystander, accidentally knocking them down and injuring them.
Professional Liability Security Guard Insurance
Many professional liability policies (errors and omissions) are included in security guard general liability insurance. These cover claims stating the guard didn’t execute job functions professionally, leading to potential injury or death. Common examples are when the security guard company and its personnel didn’t follow protocol. Claims may be millions in damages and legal expenses, which can bankrupt a small business quickly.
While there are many things that can go wrong, the worst-case scenario for any security guard and security company is an accidental death of an innocent person. For example, a security guard doesn’t follow protocol when responding to a house alarm. As a result, he shoots and kills an unarmed guest of the owners who forgot the alarm code.
Workers’ Compensation Security Guard Insurance
Workers’ compensation for security guards covers the people who work for the company. If an employee is hurt while working, workers’ compensation pays the medical costs. Injuries can be directly related to job duties or incidental to being on the job, such as breaking a finger by accidentally closing the car trunk on it.
Employees who work at call centers or in administrative roles are priced differently than those who face dangerous scenarios. An office employee isn’t at high risk of being shot, hit with an object, or otherwise hurt via confrontation. Security guards armed with guns and Tasers are also at risk of accidental discharge injuries. A self-employed celebrity bodyguard should still have his own sole proprietor workers’ compensation policy.
Commercial Auto Insurance for Security Company Vehicles
Commercial auto insurance for security company vehicles covers both the liability incurred if a company car causes an accident and the damage to the car itself. It also repairs or replaces the vehicle if lost, damaged, or stolen. Items in the vehicle are covered by business property and not the commercial vehicle insurance.
Many security companies have vehicles used to patrol or transport people or valuables. Many vehicles are customized with branded wraps, sirens, lights, and safety features. Safety features might include bulletproof glass, backseat partitions, and installed computer systems for monitoring. These add-ons make insurance security vehicles more expensive.
Cyber Liability Insurance for Security Company Insurance
Cyber liability insurance provides financial protection and data restoration for companies that experience some sort of data breach within their technology programs. Every small business, including security guard companies, is susceptible to cyber hacking and data breach. This coverage pays for financial loss because of the breach, notification and monitoring to clients, and data and website restoration.
A security guard company will often have a database of client information that includes billing details, home addresses, security codes, and bank information. In the wrong hands, this could lead to huge financial loss of clients and liability to the security guard company. Cyber liability insurance covers this risk.
Business Property Insurance for Security Companies
Office equipment, furniture, computers, monitoring equipment, and all items owned by the security company are part of a business’ property. If a fire wiped out the entire office monitoring system, the company can’t get back to work until it replaces the systems. Business property coverage does this.
The security company pays the deductible, but is able to replace equipment quickly. If the building itself is covered, there is also loss of use coverage allowing the business to get a temporary location for no additional out-of-pocket expenses. Client items maintained by the security company are covered by an endorsement referred to as Care, Custody, and Control Coverage.
The property needed to run a security company is business property. Business property insurance can be a stand-alone insurance policy or combined in a business owner’s policy with general liability. Business property insurance protects against items lost, stolen, or damaged. Claims may involve theft, vandalism, fire, or water damage.
Surety Bonds for Security Guard Companies
Most states require a security guard company to obtain a surety bond when getting licensed. Surety bonds cover a designated amount in a claim and are paid by the insurance company to the claimant; bondholders must repay the insurance company. Bonds amounts vary by state and are subject to credit checks. For example, New York requires a $10,000 surety bond that costs between $100 and $1,000, contingent on credit.
Other Recommended Security Guard Insurance Policies
Security guard companies and monitoring services have two other significant issues to consider when reviewing insurance policies: sensitive data storage and employee turnover. The company is susceptible to cyber attacks in which the company could be liable for thousands, if not millions, in damages. High employee turnover increases discriminatory employer practices lawsuits.
Some other types of security guard insurance include:
- Cyber Liability Security Guard Insurance: Covers the security company if databases are breached and personal or private data is released into public domains or otherwise used nefariously.
- Commercial Umbrella Insurance for Security Company: Gives added liability protection for all liability policies in force should damages exceed the coverage limits of any one policy.
- Employment Practices Liability Insurance: Covers the security guard company against lawsuits for discriminatory employment practices.
Every security guard company and monitoring company should review the risks and obtain the coverage that most adequately covers risks pertinent to business.
Security Guard Insurance Costs
Security guard insurance pricing is expensive because of the risks inherent in the work. While many policies for existing businesses are based on logged guard hours and payroll, companies are also evaluated based on the types of contracts they get. General liability alone starts around $2,500 for most security guard companies.
It is industry standard for security guard insurance policies to be paid with 25% down and financed over 10 months for the policy year. Different carriers may offer different terms for payment options.
Typical Security Guard Insurance Costs
|Insurance Type||Coverage||Deductible||Low-Risk Premium|
Security guard insurance looks at the contract risk the company takes. While being an armed or unarmed guard is important to evaluating risk and company standards, it isn’t as important as the locations guarded.
There are two ways security guard contracts are evaluated for insurance purposes:
- Low-Risk Contracts: Standard roving patrol (armed or unarmed) that isn’t in constant contact with the public. Includes security companies for parking lots, construction sites, and industrial areas. Guards have no arrest authority.
- High-Risk Contracts: Interacting with the public, often in settings where crowd control, alcohol, and targeted attacks may exist. It includes executive and celebrity security, events, concerts, and bars. Also includes contracts where guards have arrest authority.
Insurance for New Security Companies
New companies will be evaluated based on the contract types as well as the experience and demonstrated professionalism of the company owner. Business plans and proper business etiquette go a long way when security company owners are trying to obtain insurance.
While it may seem as if the costs are high for security guard insurance, think about the costs associated with even minor liability or workers’ compensation claims. Being in the security industry means protecting against risk, and your insurance policies are your best partner to adequately have your back financially.
Bars, Nightclubs, & High Risk Security Guard Insurance
The high volume of people, alcohol, and a variety of other drunken actions increase risk with bars and nightclubs. As a result, minimum premiums are much higher. Expect to pay at least $20,000 in annual premium if you maintain security contracts with these types of locations.
Security guards may also need to undergo special training to prevent public disorder and injury resulting from intoxicated, belligerent behavior. Clubs tend to be targeted for terrorist and shooter incidents, making these higher-risk scenarios than other contracts.
“The security guard market charges separate rates for armed and unarmed security guard services. The armed obviously has a higher premium. When it comes personal bodyguards, the market is even more limited, and more questions will be asked. Underwriters will want to know who the person being guarded is, the nature of their celebrity, the travel schedule and areas, and such. Bodyguard coverage is typically going to be expensive and coverage is found in markets such as Lloyds. These exposures won’t fit in a normal security guard underwriting market. The underwriters would be more interested in a year-round exposure versus a single event.”
– Andy R. Gastley, President, A.G. Roth
Tips on How to Buy Security Guard Insurance
Navigating what your security guard company needs and fitting that with the right insurance policies can take time. Not only do you need to shop carriers and pricing, but you also need to understand the policies you must have as a security company. Coming to an insurance agent or broker with complete and accurate information about your security business will ensure you’re able to review your best coverage options as quickly as possible.
Here are some ways to save time and money when you buy security guard insurance:
Prepare Payroll Data for Security Guard Insurance
The security guard insurance application requires detailed information about how many guards you have, whether they are armed or not, and the average hours they work. You will be asked what types of locations are guarded, from airport contracts to low-income communities. Payroll information is used to determine overall liability exposure and workers’ comp risk.
Obtain Loss Run History for Previous Security Guard Insurance Policy
If you have been in business and had security guard insurance, and are seeking to change providers, the new carrier will require a three-year loss history run. This is obtained from your existing carrier, and the new carrier reviews the entire loss history for your company during the time with the previous carrier. This gives a new carrier an idea about your business risk.
Provide a Copy of Written Client Contracts
A security guard insurance policy requires that security companies clearly state what their roles and responsibilities are. A contract between the company and the client must explain what services are rendered, the costs, and the exclusions of the contract. Insurance providers will request this before finalizing quotes.
Security Guard Insurance Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Because security guard insurance is so complex, you may still have some questions about your specific business needs. Visit our forum with additional questions. We love helping small business owners find the right solutions for their business needs.
Can You Get Security Guard Insurance for Low-Income Housing?
Not every insurance carrier offers security guard insurance policies for companies that serve communities with low-income and subsidized housing. These tend to be higher crime areas, thus the risk is increased. Those companies that do cover this type of risk area will charge higher premiums to the security company.
Does Insurance for Security Companies Cover Guard Dog Insurance?
The use of guard dogs and sniffing dogs is becoming more popular. Security dogs are considered property and not covered by workers’ compensation for injuries on the job. Security guard companies should purchase pet “work dog” insurance from a carrier such as Trupanion to cover injuries to animals at work.
Should Armed Security Guards Get Their Own Insurance?
A security guard with equipment not provided by the security company or employer should obtain a floater policy that covers his employment use. The liability of use is covered by the employer’s policy during work, but if the firearm is lost, the floater policy covers that. Some carriers offer optional riders for business owners.
Is a Security Company Liable for Injuries in a Citizen’s Arrest?
A security company and its guards are liable for injuries occurring during a citizen’s or false arrest. Many general liability policies exclude coverage for this liability, so security companies must have a protocol in place to reduce the chances of incurring financial or legal action from a citizen’s or false arrest. Check with your provider.
Insurance for security company needs means protecting your clients, your people, and your hard work. Injuries, property damage, and financial loss are covered by insurance, keeping the security guard company financially stable. Baseline coverage for a company starts around $6,000 annually, but will go up depending on company size and specific risks.