Did You Know? Employee Dishonesty

Did You Know? Employee Dishonesty

Did you know that eight out of ten crimes against businesses are carried out by employees? Workplace fraud and employee theft are more prevalent than ever: It is estimated that the average American business loses six percent of its total annual revenues due to some form of employee fraud. Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to occupational fraud and abuse because they usually cannot afford extensive safeguards against these risks, nor can small firms easily absorb the large losses to which employee fraud and theft can lead.

Most business owners prefer to think of their employees as loyal, trustworthy and honest, and are unwilling to accept the reality that those whom they regard as “family” might be stealing from them. But there are many reasons why an employee may be tempted to defraud an employer, not the least of which is financial pressure on the employee. Also, a dishonest employee may attempt to rationalize a crime with such excuses as “The company will never miss this money” or “This isn’t really stealing because I’m not being compensated as I deserve.”

Typically, losses attributable to employee fraud can range from relatively small, one-time thefts to long-term schemes that go undetected for years. Statistics indicate that the average length of time that an employee fraud goes undetected is eighteen months, during which time an employer can lose enormous sums of money. That’s why early detection of employee fraud is vital. To protect against this ever-present risk, companies would be wise to establish loss prevention programs that include training in fraud prevention and detection for all managers.

Additionally, sound controls must be in place to prevent employee fraud, with thorough reviews of these loss control practices occurring regularly.

But no loss prevention program is foolproof, which is why all companies ought to obtain separate employee dishonesty insurance coverage. Under virtually all commercial property policies, employee dishonesty coverage, also known as employee theft coverage, is a standard exclusion. But employee dishonesty insurance is specifically designed to protect an employer from financial loss due to the fraudulent activities of an employee or group of employees, including such employee-driven crimes as embezzlement and internal theft. No business owner wants to believe that employee dishonesty insurance is necessary, yet without such coverage, a business is severely exposed to potentially devastating losses. That’s why no business insurance program is complete without appropriate employee theft coverage.

To learn more about how you can protect your business from employee dishonesty, contact us.