Insight by FEDS Protection

Why federal employees need Professional Liability Insurance

This content is provided by FEDS Protection.

Many federal employees don’t realize the extent of their professional liability exposure until they find themselves at the center of a disciplinary proceeding, adverse administrative action or civil lawsuit. Even if ultimately vindicated, the cost of providing a defense can be devastating. Fortunately, Professional Liability Insurance (PLI) is available to help protect federal employees when the unexpected happens.

What kinds of professional liability risks do federal employees face?

In today’s federal workforce, there is often widespread misunderstanding about what kinds of professional exposures federal employees are vulnerable to and how PLI helps provide protection. Many federal employees underestimate their exposure to a personal capacity lawsuit—every federal employee must understand:

  • Federal employees can be sued.
  • DOJ can deny representation.
  • Individual employees can be held liable for a judgment.

Federal employees also have additional exposures beyond civil liability, including administrative and criminal risks. Federal employees are often the subject of administrative investigations and disciplinary proceedings for actions taken while rendering their professional service. Sometimes, these actions can also result in criminal investigations. Any one of these actions, whether civil, administrative, or criminal, can prove devastating to the career and finances of a federal employee.

How does PLI help federal employees?

Lawsuits against federal employees in their personal capacity can and do occur. Moreover, administrative investigations and disciplinary actions are commonplace throughout the federal government. The cost to defend a decision, action, or inaction can be substantial, even if the defendant is ultimately vindicated. A FEDS PLI policy protects employees by:

  • Providing Legal Defense: A FEDS PLI policy provides a defense attorney for a workplace allegation, complaint, or investigation resulting from actions taken in the scope of employment. FEDS will also provide defense if the DOJ determines it isn’t “in the interest of the United States” to represent a federal employee in a civil suit resulting from actions taken in the scope of their employment.
  • Paying Damages: A FEDS PLI policy provides indemnity protection if an employee is found liable for a monetary judgment in a personal capacity lawsuit resulting from actions taken in the scope of their employment and the agency chooses not to indemnify, even if the DOJ defends the case.

While all employees have some level of exposure, agencies will typically reimburse those with the greatest amount of risk (managers, supervisors, and law enforcement officers) for up to half the annual cost of PLI.

Bottom line

Federal employees who don’t have a professional liability policy in place may find the financial and professional consequences of an adverse administrative action, disciplinary proceeding, or lawsuit to be devastating. Fortunately, FEDS Protection focuses on protecting federal employees through affordable legal representation and indemnity coverage. Enrollment takes just 5 minutes and a PLI policy through FEDS Protection starts at just $290 per year (before any applicable agency reimbursement)–less than the typical cost of 1 hour of an attorney’s time–providing you with peace of mind should an unforeseen event occur.

If you have questions about your specific risks or the kinds of insurance coverage available, contact FEDS Protection at 866-955-FEDS or visit us at Not all policies are created equal, and FEDS Protection’s level of expertise, extensive product knowledge, and world-class customer service have made us an industry standout, trusted by leading federal employee associations across the nation.

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