Everyone should feel comfortable to be their authentic self at work, whether it’s your employees, policyholders, vendors, or other visitors. But diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices do more than create a positive work environment. A sound DEI program can help reduce Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI) claims at your agency while also helping employees thrive and building revenue at the same time.
Studies show diverse teams are better decision-makers and companies with diversity in their leadership often perform better than those without. Customers often want to do business with companies that reflect them. Having a diverse workforce makes your agency stronger and more competitive.
If your agency DEI program could use an overhaul, read on to learn more about how adding diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices can help you reduce EPLI claims.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Best Practices Help Reduce EPLI Claims
Common EPLI claims include discrimination, wrongful termination, failure to promote, improper hiring practices, and harassment. Following agency DEI best practices can help reduce the likelihood of an EPLI claim against your agency. And if a claim is filed, you’ll have the right evidence to support your defense.
Document your policies and procedures.
Many smaller agencies don’t have the resources for a dedicated HR department. But that doesn’t mean you can’t document your standard operating procedures and policies thoroughly. You should clearly document your agency practices for hiring, evaluating, and terminating employees. And make sure to follow your own policies at all times. If you say you’ll meet with your employees quarterly, make sure you do meet with them. Follow it up with signed documentation reviewing the evaluation and agreeing to the next steps.
Follow your procedures consistently.
Don’t make exceptions or forget to follow your own procedures and policies. Meet with your employees promptly and keep records of your meetings. Check with your employees to make sure they understand their evaluations and any action plans. Document corrective actions and keep signed copies in your file.
Hold frequent employee training.
Offer training and workshops to your employees often. Diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices could include topics about sensitivity training, unconscious bias, reducing prejudice, or handling microaggressions. Keep copies of the attendance list and training documents. Talk with employees to check their understanding.
Hire an expert.
If you aren’t comfortable hosting DEI training yourself, consider hiring a specialist to collaborate with you. You outsource all kinds of tasks when you need an expert, from accounting to landscaping. Your DEI program is no different. An individual or company specializing in diversity, equity, and inclusion best practices can help your agency build a stronger DEI program. This helps to create a better working environment for everyone.
Have the right insurance coverage.
As an insurance agent, you know the importance of the right insurance coverage. Having the proper EPLI policy in force will protect you should a claim be filed—and often it’s a matter of when a claim is filed, not if. Your EPLI coverage can help protect you from claims. Your policy also likely provides defense coverage and risk management services.
Evolving laws and shifts in trends mean changes to EPLI issues.
As more states decriminalize marijuana use, employers have to update their policies to match. Disability laws may make it more complicated to manage an employee who uses medical marijuana. State laws are dynamic and employer policies need to keep up. EPLI and WC could be two of the first lines of coverage affected by changing marijuana laws.
Following the pandemic, working conditions have changed for many people. And these changes to a remote or hybrid work environment force changes to your policies and procedures. Have you updated your guidelines about employee evaluations and remote supervision to match your current conditions? How about updating your policies on workplace safety, work times, or camera use? Make sure your agency updates its processes to account for employees working both from home and in the office.
Review Your EPLI Coverage Today
If you haven’t updated your agency insurance coverage in a while, now is the time. Review your EPLI policy, along with your E&O coverage and CGL policy. If you’ve made substantial changes to your policies or workflows since the pandemic, your insurance coverage may also need an update.
Get a free quote for E&O coverage and become a member of the American Agents Alliance today. We have numerous member benefits to help you make the most of your membership and thrive as an agent or broker.