Protecting the Public
Why Is Public Liability and Products Insurance Important?
Public liability and products insurance is often dealt with as part of a package, particularly for small and medium sized businesses.
Cover protects the business from legal responsibility to members of the public (third parties) and customers where products have been sold.
Again, a seemingly straightforward cover that commands relatively little attention. As with other insurances, we can advise on the suitability of exclusion clauses ranging from the apparently innocuous disclaimer in the premise’s car park to the sale of goods imported from abroad.
The most often missed risk in this area is that of vicarious liability. A booking agent is a good example of this risk. A booking agent might believe that they simply facilitate a contract between an activity or event and the provider, and the public liability insurance obligation falls on the provider. This is true and, in these circumstances, you must ensure that all of the businesses you book for have public liability – but this does mean that your business cannot be sued. Vicarious liability arises from putting someone in the situation where they are exposed to a risk. Experience providers have a duty of care to their customers for the quality and competence of its event/experience operator. If anything goes wrong, it is possible for there to be a claim against the experience provider. The scope of vicarious liability has got broader and broader. The most tenuous successful claim that I have seen recently was where Barclays Bank hired on contract an independent doctor to carry out drug and alcohol tests on prospective employees. The doctor abused some of the candidates that he was testing. There was a successful lawsuit against Barclays for the actions of the doctor.
Circumstances are as varied as business is and each case is slightly different. The scrap yard owner who insisted on allowing his guard dogs to roam freely around the site will live long in the memory…
You might think that public liability and products insurance is all pretty much the same. For us, there is an art to putting the right cover in place that dove tails with your normal terms of business, so that your premium reflects your true exposure.
Yes, we need to ‘get out more…’
Not All Risks Are In Plain Sight....
Your business requires people that understand the breath of your risk. So many businesses do not appreciate the vicarious liability they have to others .
Vicarious liability is the hidden risk for many businesses and the one area that can give rise to unpleasant surprises.