The chairs that could cost your business three hundred thousand dollars

Business discussions that could cost your business

Stephen Sloan insurance broker with Insure 247 urges businesses to consider that it's often the small things that can cost your business a lot of money.

could cost your business

In a recent case in the New South Wales District Court, Kmart Australia was  made to pay compensation when an $8 plastic domestic use only chair collapsed when I client sat on it.

Awarded more than $300,000

According to the SMH*

Ms Lewis suffered permanent damage to her lower back, right buttock, thigh, and knee among other injuries.

She was awarded more than $300,000 in damages.

In making her decision to award Ms Lewis the sum, Judge Gibson noted that Kmart had breached its duty of care.

"To keep the photo lab (and its income) flowing, Kmart and its staff allowed the development of a haphazard system of customers taking chairs for sale in other departments (itself a breach of store policy) for use in circumstances where those chairs were unsuitable to the point of being dangerous," she said.

"I am satisfied that the plaintiff has established breach of duty of care. The defendant's failure to provide adequate seating for its customers in the photo lab, training for its staff and regulation of equipment use all play a role in relation to the circumstances of the accident."

Public Liability Insurance Offers Protection

Broker Stephen Sloan explains "Public Liability Insurance cover can protect the business owner where it is found to be negligent. It will also offer some protection for the high legal cost of defending such events.

Going without public liability cover may save you money spent on premiums, however in the event of a claim that saving may cost you your business.

Does Your Business Have A Plan?

It is not that anyone at Kmart intended for the client to get hurt and at no stage did the management of Kmart have any actual involvement in the actions that lead to the injury, however, they do need a system for training for their staff and the regulation of equipment, does your business do that?

It's also worth considering a risk mitigation when purchasing items used by the public or your staff, consider the use and consider is it appropriate for the intended use.

More Information

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Sole Trader To A Company Does my Policy Cover Me?

If you are still unsure, talk to our team on 1300 046 787, to discuss your requirement.


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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

Source *Sydney Morning Herald

Are all Public Liability Insurance policies the same?

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Are all Public Liability Insurance policies the same?

You know you need public liability insurance to protect your business against claims of third party loss or damage, and there are many Australian Insurers and underwriting agencies that offer cover but are they all the same?

We asked Steve Sloan an Insurance Broker with Insure 247

“No not  all policies offered in the Australian market are the same, some may only offer protection to the public for injury or damage as a result of your business activity, but not your injury or loss as a result of your product. To combine both you should look for Broadform Liability cover.”

“Check if you policy has any exclusions, endorsements, alterations that may take effect in the event of a claim.Some may exclude your importing, some may exclude your professional or legal services. They may have heat exclusions in the event of work done away for your premises.”

Does a higher excess save money?

Sometimes you may save a few hundred dollars in premium by increasing the excess payable at claim, however in the event of a claim the excess may end up higher than the value of the claim. It’s also worth checking the excess as some underwriting agencies have a minimum excess of $5000, likewise in the event of personal injury claims some insurers require no excess at all.

Will they all have the same level cover?

When you get your public liability quote, you will be asked what level of cover you require. Cover generally offered is either $5, 10 or $20 million, you should seek the advice of a broker before arranging the quote to see if the level of cover offered is enough to meet your needs.

What is Legal Liability

Before buying a policy Steve Sloan recommends using the check list below

Public Liability Check List

  • Is it Broadform Liability (Both Public and Product Liability?)

  • Are there any endorsements or alterations to the cover?

  • What are the policy exclusions?

  • What is the excess in the event of a claim?

  • Check the level of cover

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