We are living in an increasingly litigious society and as such it has never been more important to make sure that you have the right protection in place to cover you and your business against a compensation claim.
Whether you are a national limited company or a local sole trader you can held be held legally liable for any injury or damage you cause to a third party whilst in the course of your business. You could also be held responsible for any injury or damage that your employees cause to a third party. For example you could be loading or unloading your vehicle and you drop a package on a customer or a member of the public causing an injury. If you have premises, a visitor to those premises could slip on a wet floor and injure themselves. If you are delivering goods to a customer you could cause damage to their property.
A Public liability insurance policy would cover your legal liability to pay any damages awarded to members of the public for injury, illness, disease, or damage to their property, sustained as a result of negligence during your business activity. Remember you or your employee has to be held legally liable for a third party to make a claim against you. The policy would also provide cover for the legal costs and expenses that you may incur in trying to defend any claim. Without the protection of an Insurance policy you could be held personally liable to pay any compensation claims and these claims can be very expensive. A minor incident may result in a major claim!
Although Public Liability Insurance is not compulsory by law it may be a requirement of your contracts with certain customers and they will want to see proof of your insurance. We can take care of the paperwork for you and confirm the exact cover that you have in place direct with your customers.
Public Liability Insurance covers you against claims made against you by customers or members of the public but will not provide cover for injury to your own employees so if you employ people you will also need Employers liability insurance. Employers Liability is compulsory by law. Please click on the ‘what is employers liability insurance’ video for details on this type of policy.
Some examples of typical claims that can arise could be an employee could suffer an injury due to faulty machinery or slip on a wet floor. You may be at risk from disease related claims such as asbestos, dust related diseases, asthma from metal refining or wood dust. An increasing common type of industrial disease is work related upper limb disorder or RSI as it more commonly known – repetitive strain injury. Another increasing common type of claim is stress. These claims can be brought against you from both existing and ex employees.
Having good Health & Safety procedures, risk assessment policies and adequate supervision will help in reducing the risk of these claims, however accidents do happen and you need to be protected if and when they do.
Employers Liability Insurance provides you with this protection, the minimum level of indemnity required by law is £5million but most Insurance policies offer a £10million limit as standard.
You may not have any full time employees but if you use labour only subcontractors who you supply with equipment and materials then you will require Employers Liability Insurance. If you are unsure as to whether or not you have employees we can check this with you and advise you accordingly.
You can be fined up to £2500 if you do not have Employers Liability Insurance but not only that, you can be left to pay a compensation claim yourself. As already mentioned this can run into hundreds of thousands of pounds.
We have given you a brief overview of liability insurance and if you want some more information or a quote for this type of insurance, please contact us or just fill in your details or give us a call and we will be happy to discuss the type of cover that you may need.