Bill Would Require Private Insurance for Peace Officers

March 29, 2021

A bill that would require peace officers to carry professional liability insurance was scheduled for a hearing March 25 but was not heard.

A bill scheduled for a March 25 hearing in the House Public Safety and Criminal Justice Reform Finance and Policy Committee would require peace officers to carry professional liability insurance.

The measure, HF 440 (Rep. Athena Hollins, DFL-St. Paul), was not taken up during the hearing.  The League opposes the bill.

Requirements of the bill

The bill would require every licensed peace officer in Minnesota to obtain a policy of professional liability insurance coverage in an amount no less than current limits for municipalities as provided in Minnesota Statutes, section 466.04.

Each licensed peace officer would be required to provide proof of insurance and maintain continuous coverage throughout the course of employment as a peace officer. The insurance would cover claims against the officer for acts or omissions during paid on-duty time or paid off-duty work approved by the employing agency.

League raises concerns

The League submitted a letter of opposition to the bill for the record. The letter raises concerns about the challenges officers would have finding the required coverage in the private market and notes that the bill would exacerbate existing recruitment and retention challenges.

Read the League’s letter (pdf)

Amendment posted

There was a delete-everything amendment to the bill posted with the March 25 meeting materials that would have eliminated the insurance mandate and converted the bill into a study of the issue. Since the bill was not discussed, the amendment was not offered.

The Senate version of the bill, SF 815 (Sen. Foung Hawj, DFL-St. Paul), has not been scheduled for a hearing.

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