Sales of liability insurance policies that cover legal claims for office bullying and sexual harassment cases have been surging as companies prepare for lawsuits filed by their workers.
Approximately 46,000 cases of such liability insurance policies were sold over a year through the end of July by four major insurances companies — Tokio Marine & Nichido Fire Insurance, Sompo Japan Nipponkoa Insurance, Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance and Aioi Nissay Dowa Insurance, according to a report in The Yomiuri Shimbun.
The figure jumped by about 60% compared to the same period of the previous year, which involved about 29,000 cases.
The policies are in high demand, particularly among small-to-midsize companies.
Amid the advancement of the #MeToo movement, which encourages victims of sexual harassment to come forward, companies are starting to view such workplace cases as a risk for management.
These “employment liability” insurance policies offer protection in cases in which employees sue the company — or those at the executive or management levels — over mismanagement or sexual abuse or unfair dismissals.
Companies pay premiums for policies that will cover expenses such as legal fees, loss of salary and financial compensation.
The number of civil suits involving work-related issues has been increasing. Loss of salary in harassment cases and unpaid overtime are the main demands plaintiffs have made. The preliminary figures for such cases in 2017 stood at 3,526, up more than 50% from 10 years ago.