Opportunities for employees to steal are often literally without limit, and lately without much threat of punishment for some.  Police resources are often so overwhelmed with other matters that little attention is given to employee thefts. Ordinary business insurance policies generally bear a broadly-written exclusion of loss due to, or even contributed to, by employee theft of any property, not just cash.

The cases of employers who just didn't think about it or didn't think it could happen to them would fill an encyclopedia.

If you have a loss of cash, securities or inventory and there is some basis for asserting employee involvement, your claim may be denied outright.

Insurance is generally available as an endorsement item, or separately. While it is prudent to insure, the nature of this type of claim can make recovery difficult. Some thefts occur over an extended period of time and are very difficult to establish as to amount.  Policies typically have provisions for establishing your loss that may be difficult or impossible to meet. Some policies contain prosecution/conviction clauses which require extensive legal pursuit of the employee as a condition of recovery. (And there are cases - believe it or not - where employees countered by suing for wrongful discharge.)

Whether you insure or not, there is no substitute for careful controls: on cash, on inventory, signature authorities, on incoming and outgoing mail, on employee access to records, etc. This risk is truly a category where an ounce of prevention is worth many times the uncertain cure. The most likely suspects:  diligent, loyal, bookkeepers who just love their job and never ever take a vacation.

USIS, a merging of several regional employee databases, maintains a large database of employees who have been dismissed for theft. Members can have a prospective employee screened against the list for a very nominal cost.


Site Index