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Berkshire Hathaway to cover risk of cops getting suspended


Berkshire Hathaway has received permission from state regulators to sell insurance to police officers to cover the cost of lost income if they are placed on administrative leave, product filings show.

One reason police officers are taken off duty is when a serious allegation of misconduct is made, with cops suspended pending investigation in several high-profile police brutality cases last year, including the murder of George Floyd in Minneapolis.

According to a prototype policy document viewed by this publication, Berkshire Hathaway is prepared to offer limits of up to $3,600 per month to cover administrative leave, duty limitation or indefinite suspension.

Exclusions include failure to follow protocols and engaging in behavior that threatens the safety of the officers or others. False reporting, off duty misconduct, mental health disorders or pregnancy would also result in a claim being denied, according to filings with the Oklahoma Insurance Department.

Insurance regulators in Texas, Nevada and Oklahoma have all approved the Police Officer Duty Limitation Policy, which is underwritten by Wellfleet Insurance Company, a unit of Medpro, one of the myriad of insurance companies that together make up Warren Buffett-led Berkshire Hathaway.

Police conduct came under extreme scrutiny last year after the death of 46-year-old Floyd, with mass demonstrations taking place across America for much of the summer.

In July, New York State Senator Alessandra Biaggi introduced a bill to force police to take out private liability insurance, to reduce the burden of police misconduct settlements on the public purse.

Biaggi’s Senate Bill 8676 remains in the committee stages, but it is an example of how some legislators are looking to move risks associated with policing onto insurers.

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