Ensure your business does not stumble trip and fall

5 ways to ensure your business does not stumble trip and fall

Trip and fall, it can all happen so quickly – a customer catches their foot on a chair leg, or slips when coming in from the rain – but your business is left dealing with the legal and financial fallout for months.

Whether you have a restaurant, a shop, an office or work from home – if a customer is on your premises, generally you’re responsible for their safety.

A trip here or a fall there could mean a claim is headed your way. Here are five steps to minimise the impact it can have on your business.

1. Make your site safe

SafeWork Australia and all of the state and territory authorities have reams of information and guidance on identifying hazards, as well as assessing and controlling risk.

But the unfortunate reality is that insurance claims relating to slips and trips are still very common, says Steadfast Broker Technical Manager Michael White.

“Every business has an exposure to them, even home businesses,” he says.

“But obviously some businesses have a greater exposure than others – shopping centres, hotels or anywhere else there's a lot of people going through, and any business where there are food stuffs that might be spilled on the floor.”

2. Record your actions

Whether you take steps to eliminate a hazard, isolate it, or put engineering or administrative controls in place, record what you've done to prevent a slip or trip occurring. This should include keeping regular cleaning logs.

“The trouble with a lot of slip and trip insurance claims is that if somebody says 'I fell over on a piece of banana skin that somebody dropped on the floor', there is generally no record of the banana skin actually existing,” White says.

“Which means there is no record that the banana skin hadn’t been sitting on the floor for a week. So your records should be able to prove you have a strict regime in place to manage risks.”

3. Approach the potential claimant

If someone does take a fall on your premises and is not seriously injured, it can pay to be proactive.

“A lot of businesses will speak to a potential claimant who’s had a minor incident and say 'we will pay your medical expenses' or 'we'll give you a $100 gift voucher', or take some other step to assuage their feelings,” White says.

4. Record the incident

You may be legally required to record and report an incident on your premises. To find out what your obligations are, consult your local workplace health and safety authority.

Regardless of your legal obligations, it's wise to keep your own records of any incident. At a minimum, include the name, address and age of the injured person, as well as the time, date, nature and cause of the injury.

5. Insure against costs

The reality is, slips and trips are common and the consequences can be significant.

“There are two issues – there's the compensation and the legal costs of defence,” White says.
“And there can be a very large amount of money involved in both.”

Having an appropriate public liability insurance policy in place can help your business meet these costs.

Source: Steadfast Well Covered

PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPARED

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PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE

At Publicliabilitycomparison.com.au we quote broadform liability cover, this covers your business against claims for personal injury to another person (other than employees) or damage to property owned or controlled by someone else, or advertising liability. Property damage, personal injury or advertising liability which gives rise to legal liability must happen during the period of insurance and be caused by an occurrence in connection with your business activities, Broadform also cover product liability.

General Advice

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

Public liability comparison

Things to consider before buying public liability insurance

Things to consider before buying public liability insurance

Liability insurance is likely to be one of the first purchases that your new business is likely to take out. Although it's not compulsory it is needed to protect your business against claims made by a third party for loss or damage caused by you or your staff.

Before you purchase public liability insurance, it's worth looking at a few things that you should take into consideration. Steve Sloan an insurance broker with Insure 247, explains what to look for before you make your purchase.

Level of Cover

First, you need to choose your limit of cover. The cover is generally offered at either 5,10 or 20 million dollars.
If you're covering a contract ask the vendor what limit they require, if you're dealing with state or federal government that's likely to be a 20 million dollar starting point.

Read More

Liability Insurance - Insurers

When looking at the cover offered by insurers it's important to look at the insurer's financial strength, claims ratings and whether they are an Australian based insurer.

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Exclusions and variations

According to Sloan "Not all policies are the same, and some insurers may even offer different covers through different channels. It's important to check any exclusions under the policy especially if they would have an effect on you or your occupation. Insurers are obliged by law to advise you of any variations to this standard contract, that contract will be based on the product disclosure statement (pds for short)"

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Claims rating

An insurance policy proves it's value at the time of the claim, that's why prior to making a purchase you should look at the insurance claims rating. Publicliabilitycomparison.com.au uses claimsrating.com by LMI, they look at each insurers Speed, Proactiveness, Accuracy, and Fairness in the claim process.

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Price

Any business must be aware of its cash flow requirements, according to Sloan "Some public liability insurers will offer policies that are very similar in features and cover, however still be wildly different prices", he urges consumers to "Don't let price be your guide, let value and cover decide your choice"

Buy the right policy for you

If you don't feel comfortable making those comparisons or have any questions pertaining to your risk you should discuss it with a broker.

PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPARED

Compare Public Liability Insurance

1300-Insure

Public Liability Compared

 

PUBLIC LIABILITY INSURANCE

At Publicliabilitycomparison.com.au we quote broadform liability cover, this covers your business against claims for personal injury to another person (other than employees) or damage to property owned or controlled by someone else, or advertising liability. Property damage, personal injury or advertising liability which gives rise to legal liability must happen during the period of insurance and be caused by an occurrence in connection with your business activities, Broadform also cover product liability.

General Advice

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on the inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

Liability Insurance

 

What is a drivers risk extension?

What is a drivers risk extension?

If as part of your business you or your staff drive or test drive client cars it's worth checking your insurance policy to ensure that you have what's called the motor trade extension or the "drivers risk extension".

Although a standard public liability policy includes damage that you cause to other peoples’ property, this does not extend to damage that you cause to a client’s vehicle whilst driving it. If you ever drive your clients’ vehicles, you should also include the driving risk extension in your public liability policy.

Damage to or theft of a customer's vehicle that is your care custody and control while road testing is a major risk, it's likely that in the event of an accident, your clients' insurer we'll sue your business for the resulting damage or loss.

There is also a risk of being sued, in the event that you were one of your staff injure somebody while on that test drive or moving the vehicle around.

Who should consider a drivers risk extension?

This is not just mechanics, panel beaters, truck repairers, but also car groomers, valet car parking etc.

You may also have extended your risk by offering clients a courtesy vehicle and you should check to ensure that the cover on the car includes the person driving the vehicle and guard against you been sued by any damage of that they do.

So remember claims as a result of injury or damage, in a vehicle is most likely to be excluded under normal public liability policies if you are unsure speak to a broker ask him to review your policy and your requirements.

Note: This cover may not extend to claims as a result of faulty workmanship if you feel this may be a risk once again you should talk to a broker.

Talk to a broker

Public Liability Compared

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs

 

Public Liability Insurance Claims Checklist

Public Liability Insurance Claims Checklist

What to do in the event of a Public Liability Insurance Claim?
Public liability insurance is there to protect your business if your business activities damage property or injure someone.

But unlike motor or home insurance, there must be a third-party letter of demand to trigger the claim on the policy.

This can be in the form of an email from the client or in more serious cases a letter from the client’s solicitor.

Public Liability Insurance Claim Check List

First things first

Contact your broker, they have more experience in dealing with complex claims and generally get better results than if you go directly to your insurer. They will be able to assist with the likely course of the claim and better explain the steps need.

Details

Provide the broker/insurer with a third-party letter of demand.
Provide details of the events that caused the claim, including locations, dates, times and the personnel involved.

Where possible provide photos of the loss.

Property Loss

What is the cost of repair, has the work been completed, if so by whom, do you have a copy of the repair invoice?
If Subcontractors are involved

Provide details of any sub-contractor involvement, do they have public liability insurance, and if so with whom, could the loss be attributed to the subcontractor?

Personal Injury Claim

What were the clients injuries? What is the prognosis, has the client detailed the loss of revenue and out of pocket expenses?

Death Claims

Claims that involve death can be traumatic for all involved. Its best to see early advice as each state will have different agencies that may be involved, and culpability can take months to settle, its best to involve your broker, insurer, and lawyer as soon as possible.

Settlement

In our experience simple property claims can be settled in a relatively short period (currently 42 days), however complex property claims, death or injury can take years, you must maintain the policy during this period, ensuring that the premiums are kept up to date.

The average public liability claim is generally only a few thousand dollars, but you have cover for up to the policy cover level, $5 million, $10 million or $20 million, you will have to pay the excess prior to the insurer settling your claim, and some insurers will require a release letter to be signed by you the insured and the third party.

If you have any questions, speak to one of our team, or contact your broker.

 

PUBLIC AND PRODUCTS LIABILITY INSURANCE COMPARED

Compare Public Liability Insurance

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Public Liability Compared

Please note that any advice given has been provided without taking into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It is also based on information we have obtained from you. You must ensure the information is accurate and complete. Otherwise, this advice may be based on inaccurate or incomplete information. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate in light of your objectives, financial situation, and needs