The city has taken out a $1.2 million insurance policy against lawsuits it might face because of police action during the Democratic National Convention.

The city's Office of Risk Management hired Arizona-based Berkley Assurance for primary coverage and Landmark American Insurance of Atlanta for excess coverage up to $5 million, city spokesman Mike Dunn said.

The plan is being paid for with the Department of Justice's $43 million security grant to the city.

It provides liability coverage for the city and police officers "in conjunction with errors and omissions while performing their professional duties," Dunn said.

The policy covers the city from Friday to July 30. The convention runs from July 25 to 28 but many protests are slated to start earlier.

Cleveland, in preparation for the Republican National Convention next week, paid $9.5 million to buy a $50 million protest insurance policy.

In 2000, Philadelphia spent $100,000 for up to $3 million in law enforcement liability in connection with the Republican National Convention here.

The city's records from 2000 are incomplete, but Dunn said that 15 civil actions - some with multiple plaintiffs - were brought against the city then, and that the insurance carrier paid out approximately $1.8 million to resolve all actions, including legal defense costs and settlement costs.

The value of each settlement is unknown but the insurance carrier paid out less than $400,000 to settle all claims that were not dismissed or withdrawn, including funds paid to plaintiffs, their attorneys, and charities, Dunn said.

This year, the convention's host committee is providing general liability insurance through South River Partners and D.H. Lloyd & Associates. Host committee spokeswoman Anna Adams-Sarthou said the committee spent about $2.5 million for a plan that covers in excess of $250 million in various insurance, excluding police liability.

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