Crime Insurance:
The Ultimate Guide for Business Owners

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In 2001, the “McDonald’s Monopoly Fraud” case garnered media attention when a criminal conspiracy defrauded McDonald’s Corporation’s Monopoly promotional game. A security officer who oversaw the printing of the winning game pieces conspired with a group of acquaintances to steal valuable game pieces and redeem high-value prizes like cars and cash.

The scheme went undetected for several years, netting a total of more than $24 million in cash and prizes. McDonald’s did significant reputational repair work, announcing a special giveaway to make up for its customers’ lost chance to win the fraudulent game.

McDonald’s severed ties with its marketing partner responsible for the logistics of the game, which closed its doors shortly after.

Crime insurance protects your business and your partners from losses resulting from criminal acts like employee fraud. Who needs crime insurance and what does it cover?

In this guide, we’ll explore:

What is crime insurance?

Commercial crime insurance provides financial protection from losses resulting from criminal acts such as theft, fraud, and embezzlement.

What does crime insurance cover?

Crime insurance covers a broad range of crime-related losses, like:

  • Employee theft or theft by a third party
  • Computer fraud and funds transfer fraud
  • Counterfeit currency
  • Forgery
  • Dishonesty by employees or third parties
  • Losses related to extortion, kidnapping, and ransom

What is not covered by crime insurance?

There are a few things typically excluded from a crime insurance policy, including:

  • Losses resulting from normal business risks
  • Employee disputes unrelated to dishonesty, like damaged property from a physical altercation — this would be covered by your property insurance policy
  • Acts of war or terrorism

What is and isn’t covered can vary, so it’s important to be familiar with your specific policy details. At POWERS, we go through a thorough assessment with all clients to ensure the policies they buy fit the risk they face.

Schedule your free assessment. >

Crime insurance vs. cyber insurance

Crime insurance and cyber insurance cover different types of risk. Crime coverage focuses on traditional criminal acts like theft, embezzlement, and fraud. In contrast, cyber insurance specifically addresses cyber incidents like data breaches and cyberattacks.

Crime insurance vs. fidelity bonds

Crime insurance and fidelity bonds both protect against employee dishonesty and fraud, but there are key differences between the two. A crime policy provides broad protection against criminal acts committed by employees or third parties.

Fidelity bonds, also called honesty bonds, are insurance policies that specifically cover losses from employee dishonesty or fraud. They’re often required in industries like finance and healthcare and are designated as either first-party (covering acts committed by employees) or third-party (covering acts committed by contractors).

Who needs crime insurance?

 Businesses of all sizes and industries can be financially impacted by crime. Any organization that handles cash, valuable assets, or sensitive information — or relies on the trustworthiness of its employees — can benefit from a commercial crime policy.

We recommend crime policies for our clients in:

How much does crime insurance cost?

Your crime insurance premiums are based on several factors, such as:

  • Business size and industry
  • Nature of your operations
  • Physical location
  • Policy limits and deductibles

Because insurance rates can vary, it’s important to work with a risk manager to find the best solution. Businesses with complex risk profiles will find the most value from partnering with an independent insurance agent that will help them proactively manage risk for long-term success.

More on the benefits of integrated risk management. >

How security measures impact your crime insurance

Safety and security measures can show your insurance carrier that you’re committed to reducing your risk. Robust security protocols like surveillance systems, access controls, employee background checks, and regular audits can reduce your risk of incidents and help reduce your premiums over time.

How to get crime insurance coverage

An experienced agent should recommend insurance policies for you based on your business’s unique exposures and risk profile. If your agent hasn’t recommended crime insurance but you think it could be a good fit, ask about it.

Your agent will find the best options based on your risk assessment and present them to you. At POWERS, we cover the following questions when presenting clients with coverage options:

  • Does the pricing match the client’s expectations?
  • Does the policy have the appropriate limits, deductibles, and coverage enhancement endorsements?
  • What are the carrier’s financial stability, reputation, and claims process like?
  • What added value can the carrier offer the client – e.g. fraud prevention resources and risk assessment services?

At POWERS, we work with some of the best business insurance carriers in the U.S. There’s no need to spend hours researching providers – we’ll make recommendations tailored to your business.

I truly believe these guys are looking out for your best interest and have complete faith and trust in the care they put into what they do for you, researching rates, getting the best coverage for you.

Kraig H. (current client)

The crime insurance claim process: What to expect

If you need to file a crime insurance claim, don’t panic. Thousands of claims are filed every day.

The claim process is different for every carrier and agency, so we recommend learning your insurance agent’s process before you need to file a claim. That way, you’re prepared when the time comes.

Here’s the claim process for POWERS clients:

  1. Contact your POWERS account manager or claims handler before you call the insurance carrier.
  2. A POWERS expert will provide a claim consultation to help you evaluate the severity of the claim, your deductible level, contractor referrals, and what to expect going forward.
  3. With your approval, your account manager will submit the claim to the carrier on your behalf. In some cases, you might choose not to file a claim.
  4. We’ll pass along your claim number and your adjuster’s contact info.
  5. You’ll work directly with your adjuster to provide relevant evidence, like police reports, surveillance footage, witness statements, financial records, and photos of damage if applicable.
  6. If the loss is covered, the carrier will offer a settlement amount based on its evaluation of the damage.
  7. Once a settlement is reached, the carrier will provide payment.

During this process, your POWERS claims consultant will be with you every step of the way.

Get the crime coverage you need from a partner you trust

Most businesses need commercial crime coverage, but how can you make sure you get the right coverage and the most value from your policy? Who will guide you through the claims process when an incident happens?

Any agent can write you a policy. But you don’t need any agent – you need a business partner with proven risk control expertise.

At POWERS, we spent more than 30 years developing what we call “the POWERS Process.” We use this five-step framework to get a deep understanding of your business and make recommendations that not only give you the right insurance coverage but also help you make smart decisions to grow your business.

[POWERS Process graphic]

We know from decades of experience that a one-size-fits-all approach to risk management simply doesn’t work. We’ll take you through a series of discussion points to drill down and uncover exposures you’ve never considered. Then, we’ll build a plan to safeguard your business and look toward the future.

Schedule your 30-minute consultation today. >

Anonymous AgencyPOWERS
Insurance as a stand-alone productInsurance integrated into your customized risk management plan
Multiple, run-of-the-mill applications to assess your riskCustomized, proprietary assessment for a deep understanding of your risk
Focused on up-front cost savingsFocused on long-term cost control
Salespeople who write your policy and ghost you until renewalPartners who help you make smart, growth-focused business decisions
Say they care about your business’s successShow you we care by setting your risk management plan in motion

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