Does Pharmacy Insurance Cover Security Guards?
Caeva O'Callaghan | November 12th, 2021
As with any retail premises, a security guard is needed for a high street pharmacy. But are they covered by your pharmacy insurance?
If your security guard is employed by you, then yes. If they are employed by a third party security company, then the liability falls on their employer.
It depends on who employs the security guard in question. If you employ them, they are a member of your staff and therefore are covered under your retail policy.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- Do I need a security guard at my pharmacy?
- Does my pharmacy insurance cover staff?
- How do I keep my pharmacy safe?
No matter what staff you have at your pharmacy, you should make sure they have adequate protection under your insurance.
Do I need a security guard at my pharmacy?
Yes. The President of the Irish Pharmacy Union stated that pharmacists are seen as easy targets by criminals. A survey by the IPU found that 4 out of 5 pharmacies in Ireland had been targeted within 2018, and more recent reports suggest those figures haven’t improved much.
No matter what you might think, not all robberies target the prescription drugs found in pharmacies. Many are typical, opportunistic retail crimes, such as stealing money from the till or other products. High-end perfumes and electrical personal care appliances also contribute to pharmacies’ status as ideal targets.
So it should go without saying that yes, a security guard is a necessary and prudent investment. Having a physical security presence other than a camera will deter criminals, as well as serve as a point of contact for any members of the public concerned about suspicious looking customers.
Does my pharmacy insurance cover staff?
Yes. Your pharmacy insurance policy will cover staff who injure themselves on site, but it may also extend to staff dishonesty and fraud as well as professional indemnity, depending on your cover.
If any of your pharmacy employees prove to be dishonest whilst working for you, you will need an insurance policy that covers losses caused directly by theft or fraud committed by your employees. Cover may be available from some providers, so if this is something you want make sure you mention it at the quotation stage.
If you or one of your trained staff accidently dispenses the wrong medication or the wrong dose and a customer takes an action against you, you need a professional indemnity policy to fund the defense of the case as well as any compensation awarded to your customer.
Note that professional indemnity insurance only covers you in the event of a professional pharmacist’s mistake, including locums. If another one of your employees, such as your security guard, gives out the wrong medicine or bad advice then your insurance will not cover you.
How do I keep my pharmacy safe?
In order to keep your pharmacy safe, a security guard is your best bet. Make sure they are fully qualified and reliable, or outsource this to a reputable security firm.
You should also have a top of the line alarm system which automatically informs law enforcement if something goes wrong. Test it regularly, and conduct drills with your staff for what to do if this alarm is ever triggered.
Pharmacy owners also need to do everything they can to make the rear of their pharmacy uninviting for would-be burglars. Add good lighting, reinforce doors and locks, and keep back alleys and passageways clear of boxes and clutter.
Remember that it is highly likely that the burglars will come into the store sometime during business hours to scope out the premises. Ask your guard to note suspicious persons, or tell you directly if seemingly inappropriate questions are asked about the store.
In many cases, the local Gardai will be happy to come round to your pharmacy and give you a free security appraisal. They’ll inform you of your retail premises’ strengths and weaknesses, and let you know what you need to do in an emergency.
Wondering how a security guard will impact your pharmacy insurance? Give us a call today, and our insurance experts can help.
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.