The Philadelphia Insectarium and Butterfly Pavilion, a science museum showcasing one of the largest living arthropod collections in the United States, recently suffered a catastrophic loss.
Crooks heisted over 80 percent of its collection — 7,000 of its rare insects, lizards and snakes, valued at over $40,000.
According to The New York Times, police believe this to have been an inside job. Three current or former museum employees are the suspects. The evidence? Security-camera footage, plus staff uniforms hung from knives that had been stabbed into a wall.
The year-old museum has been forced to close its second and third floors while it tries to rebuild its collection. CNN reports that the museum has started a GoFundMe to raise funds to replace its collection. Per John Cambridge, the museum’s owner, there is no insurance to cover this loss. “Our insurance doesn’t cover this. Why would they?”
Well, they would if the business had the correct insurance coverage.
Consider these alarming statistics:
- 75 percent of employees steal at least once.
- Internal theft by employees occurs at a rate 15 times greater than external theft.
- Employee theft or embezzlement causes 30 percent of business failures.
According to the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners’ 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse, only 15 percent of businesses will fully recover their losses. Yet, according to Business Insurance, most businesses go without employee theft insurance.
Two takeaways for you to consider.
1. Call you insurance agent or broker to determine if you have employee theft insurance, if so, what and how much does it cover, and if not, what do you need to do to purchase it. You don’t want to be one of the 30 percent of businesses that fail because of employee theft.
2. If you live in the Philadelphia area, and happen to the run into one of the insectarium’s rarest stolen specimens, the six-eyed sand spider, I suggest you leave it alone. It’s the most venomous of any spider and is still missing.
Jon Hyman is a partner at Meyers, Roman, Friedberg & Lewis in Cleveland. Comment below or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow Hyman’s blog at Workforce.com/PracticalEmployer.