Article February 25, 2021

What is active assailant insurance?

Active assailant attacks are on the rise, and the effects of these incidents can be truly devastating. Lone wolf gunmen and active assailants pose a very real threat to any public place.

In the current climate, institutions must be aware of and prepared for the risk that active assailant attacks pose. The frequency and severity of these attacks has been rising rapidly in recent years, making active assailant attacks a very real threat to the general public and organisations all over the world.

Active assailant insurance is an insurance policy designed to address the impact of these events on the victims and the organization effected. Policies will offer cover for a variety costs resulting from an incident, in particular victim support services, as well as crisis response services.

Active assailant insurance policies are written in accordance with specific business needs, and therefore provide comprehensive cover for the wide range of effects that an attack could have. Policies are designed to provide a clear plan of action in the event of an attack, removing some of the panic and uncertainty that an attack causes.

What does active assailant insurance cover?

Active assailant insurance policies include victim compensation and support, as well as incident response and crisis management services. Policies also cover legal liabilities, damage to property and business interruption.

Victim compensation and support

The victims of an attack are the primary focus of most active assailant insurance policies, and policies therefore offer comprehensive cover for the victims themselves.

Policies provide compensation for employees or third parties injured in the incident, and cover any required medical or psychiatric treatment. Policies also cover the funeral costs of casualties, and include provision for victims who need to retrain due to injury, or relocate as a result of the incident.

Following an attack, organisations may require additional security, or the support of public relations consultants. This should also be covered by a good active assailant insurance policy.

Crisis Response

The trauma of an active assailant attack leaves a lasting impact, and this can make it incredibly difficult for businesses to deal with its effects. Insurance policies therefore provide full crisis management, with the support of an expert crisis consultant and incident response team. Incident response advice is generally available 24/7, with experienced professionals on hand to answer urgent queries and provide advice to businesses impacted by an active assailant attack.

Legal liabilities

Policies cover the legal liability of bodily injury and property damage resulting from an attack. This is a vital component of any good active assailant insurance policy, and often proves invaluable to companies in the days and weeks following an incident. Policies should also always cover compensation claims made by third parties and associated legal costs.

Damage to property

The importance of damage to property pales in comparison to the impact that active assailant attacks have on victims, but it should still be considered when evaluating the risks that attacks pose. Active assailant insurance policies must provide full coverage for the financial impact of property damage, enabling businesses to repair and replace property assets and contents.

Business interruption

An active assailant attack can cause a lengthy business interruption, leading to a significant loss of income. Policies therefore indemnify organisations for a potential loss of income, including rent as well as property damage.

Policies cover companies denied access to their premises by a government body or law enforcement official, even if there has been no damage to the building itself. Loss of attraction due to a nearby incident is also covered by active assailant insurance policies, as is any interruption to business caused by the threat of an attack.

Scrutiny in the event of an attack

One of the key issues facing business owners and management in the event of an attack is the increased pressure and scrutiny that key members of staff will inevitably come under.

As details of an attack emerge, attention invariably turns to the business’s response, and judgement can quickly be cast on whether or not the situation was managed as quickly and effectively as it could have been. In a world of 24-hour news and social media, attack responses tend to be judged in real time, and criticism can quickly mount.

Organisations must have a clear, concise plan of action which can be quickly put into place in the event of an attack. Specialist policies provide guidance on attack responses, and include the support of crisis management teams experienced in dealing with active assailant attacks. This support can prove invaluable in the days and weeks following an attack, enabling businesses to react quickly, in a professional and supportive manner.

Active shooter insurance for schools, churches and other public places

Sadly, in recent years, schools, churches, places of worship and tourist attractions have become a primary target for active shooters, and lone wolf gunmen. Organisations governing these public places and educational institutions therefore require comprehensive cover to ensure that they are fully equipped to manage the impact of an attack.

Specialist insurance policies have been designed to manage the risks that active assailant attacks pose to these institutions, and include full crisis management as well as victim compensation and support, and cover for any damage to property and contents. Many policies also provide public relations consultants and enhanced security, and can assist with the management of media in the immediate aftermath of an attack.


CFC offers a full range of terrorism policies, including active assailant insurance. Our policy covers incident response and crisis management services, provides victim compensation and support and covers legal liabilities, property damage and business interruption.

Take a look at the CFC active assailant insurance policy brochure, or get in touch to find out more about active assailant insurance policies for your clients.