There’s a lot of confusion out there on what is covered when it comes to personal injury.
Although this is too complex a subject to cover comprehensively in a single article, we will try to explain a few things and make it easier for business owners to understand.
If you have any specific example you’d like to discuss, the best option is to speak with your insurance adviser or the insurer directly.
Is Personal Injury Covered?
Personal injury is covered, and it is a major part of public liability insurance. What is more important is how personal injury is covered.
A public liability policy will cover personal injury suffered by another person where you or your business is found to be liable for that injury due to negligence.
If for example a member of the public tripped and injured themselves in a trench you had dug which was insufficiently marked, the policy would cover their costs.
Legal liability is a complex area, and whilst it is impossible to list examples of every possible claim, generally speaking you will be covered if you’ve tried to do the right thing, but through some form of negligence on you or your business’s part things have gone wrong.
Are Staff Covered?
There are two ways in which this question can be looked at. Firstly, are staff covered for injuries that they cause, and secondly, are staff covered for injuries that they suffer?
For the injuries that they suffer, no they would not be covered by your public liability policy. This is a risk that would be covered by a worker’s compensation policy.
For the injuries that they cause, yes they would be covered provided that the injury was caused due to negligence and occurred during normal business activities.
It’s important to keep in mind that to be covered under the company policy a worker must be an employee and not a subcontractor or other form of contractor.
What Costs Are Involved?
The costs involved in personal injury claim can range from a few thousand dollars through to millions of dollars.
The average claim for a broken arm or sprained wrist may extend to a few thousand dollars for medical costs and maybe a few days lost income, but in the case of death or serious disablement the costs can be enormous.
One such case which has been in the news recently is that of a young girl who was left severely disabled allegedly due to food poisoning.
In this case a judge ordered KFC to pay a total of $8 million to the young girl and her family.
Whilst this is an extreme case (and an extremely sad case) it does show that claims relating to personal injury can involve enormous sums of money that would send most businesses bankrupt without the right insurance in place.
As we’ve already pointed out, legal liability can be a very complex area, especially when it comes to personal injury.
Although we’ve tried to ensure the information in this article is accurate, it is important that you do not take any action (or fail to take any action) based on this information without first seeking professional advice from a qualified person.
If you would like to discuss your cover or have any specific questions you should speak with your insurance adviser or contact your insurer directly. You can also refer to your product disclosure statement (PDS) and policy schedule for more information.