PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Claims for injury or property damage, regardless of whether they are successful, can have a devastating effect on your business’ finances.


Accidents can and do happen, so it is important to ensure you have adequate Public and Products Liability Insurance in place to protect your business.  
Without adequate cover you may be up for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars to pay for a claim. In addition, consider the legal costs that can be incurred in defending a claim, or the general disruption to your business.

Public and products liability go hand in hand and cannot be separated from each other.

Public liability covers injury to others or damage to their property as a result of your business operating. Often accidents occur unexpectedly and can result in substantial claims. Whereas product liability provides cover for claims that are related to the products you manufacture or sell. It covers your legal liability should a bystander, buyer or any user sustain an injury or property damage due to a defect or malfunction of your property.

Reviewing your business with your insurance broker will help you determine what level of cover you require cover for your individual requirements.

ASBESTOS LIABILITY

What is Asbestos?

Asbestos is a fibrous silicate mineral that was once a popular building material for domestic and industrial products. Its strength and fireproof qualities made it an attractive choice for ceiling insulations and tiles, roofing shingles, patching compounds and in appliances like irons. 

The use of asbestos was banned after the material was found to cause serious illnesses, including the cancers mesothelioma and asbestosis. Asbestos disintegrates with age, polluting the air and water with fine particles. The inhalation of these particles has been linked to various ailments such as asbestos warts, pleural plaques, pneumothorax and increased pleural thickening. Asbestos becomes a health risk if materials containing asbestos are disturbed and the particles become airborne. This presents a particular risk to construction workers and house cleaners who may unknowingly disturb the toxic material.

Do I need cover for Asbestos Liability?

If your business is involved with the removal or demolition of asbestos, you need to ensure you have adequate cover in place.  As most standard liability policies exclude asbestos, a specialist asbestos liability policy is required.

A typical asbestos liability policy will cover:

  • Demolition activities
  • Testing and/or sampling including its transport and disposal
  • Working with asbestos and/or making asbestos safe
  • Property owners and/or tenants

How much and what type of cover do I require?

Asbestos related illnesses, and the resulting claims, can take anywhere from 10 to 30 years to manifest.  As a result, you need to ensure you are covered for the highest possible limits.

A ‘claims made’ policy compared to a ‘loss occurring’ policy provides you with greater protection. This is because the policy current at the time a claim is made against you is the one that will be triggered. Generally, this will have a higher limit compared to the policy which applied at the time the incident occurred. It is important to ensure the retroactive date is no later than when you first commenced this type of work.

ENVIROMENTAL IMPACT LIABLITY

There is now intense pressure on organisations to behave in a social, ethical and environmentally accountable manner.

Corporate governance, compliance and social responsibility are becoming increasingly important considerations for existing shareholders, potential investors and lenders.

Environmental Liability Insurance covers costs related to contamination of air, water or land due to the sudden and accidental release of hazardous material from your business. These can include the costs of brownfield restoration (land previously used for industrial or some commercial uses) and cleanup, as well as liability for injury or death caused by pollution.  The policy may also protect against cost overruns or regulatory changes that increase the cost of cleanup.

It is difficult for businesses to understand their environmental risks and organisations need to be aware that in many instances their liability insurance policies will not cover them for pollution liabilities.

There are different types of Environmental Liability Insurance products available, and these include:

  • Premises Pollution Liability Insurance
  • Contractors Pollution Liability Insurance
  • Tank Safe Storage Tank Liability Insurance
  • Healthcare Premises Pollution Liability Insurance

Cover under these policies can extend to include cover for:

  • Sudden, accidental and gradual pollution
  • Remediation costs for pollution emanating from your business location
  • Remediation costs for claims from government agencies for pollution emanating from your business locations
  • Cover for injury or property damage to third parties 
  • Legal defence expenses for any claims covered under the policy
  • Cover for emotional distress or mental anguish claims
  • Cover for natural resource damage claims

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More information: Business Insurance