Serving in political office is a sacred civic duty but it is not without risk. If you plan to seek public office, there are some very simple steps that you can take to make sure that your willingness to serve your community doesn’t put you at financial risk.
Verify that your political entity procures a public officials liability policy. If you are a school board member, a school board liability policy is needed.
If you are a current or former public or political official, verify that your entity has the appropriate liability coverage on an annual basis. This confirmation should be performed for 5 years after you have left office. A minimum liability limit of $1 million is recommended. Note that your homeowner’s policy does not cover any type of professional liability loss exposure (including political or public official activities), even on an excess basis.
Ask for a copy of your political/public entity’s charter or bylaws. Verify that there is an indemnity agreement in the bylaws protecting, defending, and reimbursing you for your potential liability arising from your actions on behalf of the entity.
Request and confirm that an outside party or consulting firm periodically evaluates the insurance portfolio of your public organization.