Month: June 2017

So You Need To Find Some Public Liability Cover

Public liability insurance is an insurance product that protects a business against claims made by any member of the public who is injured on the property of the business. The injured person could be a customer, visitor, sub-contractor or even a trespasser who is injured or has their property damaged. Public liability insurance will also cover the policy holder if he or she damages a client’s property at their place of business.

The most at-risk businesses are places where a large number of people visit including shopping centres, pubs, theatres, clubs, hotels and sporting venues. However, there is the possibility of an accident in even the smallest of places, and the cost of a claim, which would include NHS medical costs, could be enough to close a small business.

What does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

There are several business liability insurance products that cover a broad range of situations. The main coverage is for loss of earnings and damages awarded to the claimant as well as any legal costs for the business or claimant depending on who wins the court case.

Public liability insurance will cover an accident on the business premises as well as outside the premises in certain cases. If the policy holder or their employee is working on a construction site or on a sales visit, their insurance will cover any accident or injury sustained there.

Many companies or customers require any business with which they work to supply proof that they have public liability insurance. This is particularly true when working with local authorities.

The first thing to consider is how much coverage a company should have. It can be very disadvantageous to be under-insured. One million pounds is usually the minimum, but high risk industries will require much more. Small to medium enterprises (SME) usually have a maximum limit of 10 million pounds. A SME is a business that employs less than 250 people and has an annual turnover of less than 50 million euros.

Choosing the Right Policy

There are some points that should be considered when choosing a public liability insurance policy.

  • Are the right types of situations covered? For example, working from heights, slip and fall, dropped items, extreme heat.
  • What are the endorsements and exclusions? Exclusions will make the policy less expensive, but may exclude essential coverage. Endorsements will add coverage that is not already included in a standard policy.
  • Is the level of coverage acceptable for the business as well as the requirements of clients?
  • What is the cost of the policy? This will depend on the amount of coverage, the risk involved and the size of the business.

What is not Covered?

Public liability insurance does not cover accidents that happen to business owners, their property or employees. This is covered by their regular business insurance policy. Business owners are required by law to have employer’s liability insurance if they employ one or more people. In some cases, this does not apply if the employees are family members.

A limited company is a legal structure where the company is a legal entity that is separate from its directors. This means that the directors’ liability is limited to their initial investment in the company.

How to Reduce the Cost of Public Liability Insurance?

As mentioned earlier, the cost of insurance partly depends on the risk the business has. If the risk is reduced, the cost will reduce. For example, safety measures can be taken as well as security measures. The insurance company will advise a business how to reduce their risk factor.

A new business will have higher premiums. A start-up company will pay more for coverage the first year of business. This will lower every year they operate.

It is recommended to get quotes for public liability insurance from several companies. It is a highly competitive industry, and the cost for the same coverage may vary a lot from different companies. There are websites where quotes from most of the major companies can be compared. There will be insurance companies that are less well known than the major companies, but they may give better value for money.

Raising the excess that needs to be paid by the policy holder before the insurance company starts paying is one way to reduce the cost of the premium. This should be carefully considered because a high excess may negate the initial savings and cost more in the long run.

Reducing the coverage will also reduce the cost of the premium. This is only a good way to save money if the key areas have the necessary coverage.

A Claim Example

The employee of a small shop washes the floor and does not warn people that the floor is wet. A customer walks in unaware and slips on the floor and breaks an arm. The injured customer may sue the shop and would most probably win the case because the injury was caused by the regular business activities as well as negligence on the part of the employee.

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Gas Engineers Need Liability Protection Like Any Other Trade

If you are a gas fitter or engineer, you will understand that there are many day to day risks involved when dealing with gas lines. You likely must visit a variety of different premises each day, performing a wide array of tasks that force you to deal with flammable materials. The constant hazards that come with the position mean gas engineers are highly exposed to accidents and as a result, claims of negligence. This is why the majority of gas engineers and fitters purchase a public liability insurance policy to protect their business and their livelihoods from claims of negligence.

Public Liability Insurance

A public liability insurance policy is designed to protect contractors and professionals from lawsuit deriving from acts of negligence. This insurance policy covers a wide swath of issues, as well as the legal defence costs and medical treatment expenses associated with the incident. If your actions were to result in an injury to a client, member of the public, or damage their property, the insurance would cover the entire cost of the claim. For example, if you were fitting a new boiler and did so incorrectly, resulting in damage to the home, this would be grounds for a lawsuit.

Coverage Included in a Gas Engineer Insurance Policy

Many policies are bundled with other insurance products in order to cover the entirety of your business. For example, if you have employees, equipment, or a company van, the insurance company may provide coverage for these items in a general liability insurance policy. However, others may choose to utilise only the public liability portion of the coverage, while shopping around to find suitable coverage for other areas. The public liability portion will generally cover legal expenses and miscellaneous costs arising from the lawsuit. Any medical treatment will also be covered, as well as the cost of an ambulance or any emergency room treatment the aggrieved party received.

Gas Engineer Insurance Quotes

You can typically find a quote directly through an insurance provider or by trawling comparison websites for various policies. Making an enquiry through a comparison site will save you time while at the same time doing extensive research of the available options. Generally, a gas engineer insurance policy will offer the following options:

  • No claims discount – Helpful for engineers who have no history of claims and follow high safety standards.
  • £1 to £5 million of coverage – The cost of an insurance claim can be extremely high. Medical bills and emotional trauma in addition to legal costs can escalate quickly. Individuals who deal with flammable materials are especially susceptible to high risk, high damage situations, especially if it involves the death of an individual or the loss of one’s home.
  • Safety training discount – If you are certified or train your employees regularly on safety practises and protocol, you may be eligible for a discount based on your assiduous and rigorous attempts to limit the odds of a potential accident.

Working with gas and highly flammable materials can be a high risk business. While in other careers being negligent may result in a small settlement or fine, when dealing with gas the potential for an explosion or traumatic incident means you need a solid liability policy to protect your business. Public liability insurance is something every gas engineer should consider before doing contract or freelance work.

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Public Liability Insurance – What It Is and Why It’s Important

In the course of running a business, it is often a necessity for both you and your staff to come into contact with the general public. Legally, we owe a duty of care to ensure the safety of these people and their property. If a negligent act were to cause harm to an individual or their belongings, that person is entitled to compensation from the business. Given the cost of a claim and the unpredictable nature of accidents, it is important for every business to protect themselves with public liability insurance.

Public Liability Insurance – What It is

When a member of the public files a claim against your business, public liability insurance covers both the legal and medical bills associated with the lawsuit. Typically this includes expenses owed to the NHS for care, including the cost of an ambulance ride. If the claim is awarded to the injured party, the insurance will also cover the cost of the compensation.

As the cost of legal, medical, and personal hardship can escalate rather drastically, most businesses are unable to cover these costs on their own. In fact, most public liability policies start at a minimum of £1 million, with increments of £5 and £10 million policies depending on your level of risk.

Value of Insurance Versus Cost and Risk

Most insurance policies require your business to pay a monthly premium. The amount will vary widely depending on the risk of insuring your business, your previous claim history, and the amount of cover you wish to purchase. Generally, this amounts to a low risk trade of approximately £50.00 a month in exchange for millions in protection and peace of mind.

Policy excess

Costs can be further minimised by putting in safety measures or training courses to limit your perceived level of risk. You can also institute a high excess to lower your premiums. However, be sure you can pay the excess if a claim were to arise before you commit to such a decision.

The other advantage of having public liability insurance is the assurance it provides clients if something were to go wrong. Many customers many not deal with a business that is not insured, especially if the work involves expensive computer or electrical systems where an accident can cripple a company.

What Constitutes Liability

Of course, injury or damage to property does not necessarily mean your business is liable. According to the law, certain facts must be established before an accident can be considered negligent.

  • A duty of care was owed to claimant.
  • The business failed to exercise that duty of care.
  • The claimant suffered a loss which was a direct result of breaching that duty of care.

What Public Liability Does Not Cover

A common misconception regarding public liability insurance is that it covers lawsuits filed by employees. For that, a separate policy called Employers’ Liability Insurance is required. Many policy providers will bundle the two policies together in order to lower costs.

It is also important to take note of the small print. Not every eventuality is covered by a public liability policy. Insurers often work to research your business and limiting their exposure to certain activities. In other cases, they may offer a general template for your business type that does not meet the unique risks of your business.

Be sure to consult with an agent and go into detail over which scenarios are covered, as well as areas where the cover may be unnecessary. Adapting the insurance to the demands of your business will mean a cheaper and more effective coverage.

Online Quotes

You can find many public liability packages through online comparison sites, regardless of the type of business or trade you specialise in. This is an excellent way to find competitive quotes based on independent research. However, it is always wise to make sure the company you deal with is a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) before proceeding with a policy.

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