It is compulsory in the UK for an employer to purchase Employers’ Liability cover. A high rate of workplace accidents during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries led to the introduction of the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969.
- Employers’ Liability Legislation
What started as a concern over the safety of industrial workers now protects all employees. All businesses must comply with the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
The term “employees” includes full and part time employees, apprentices, loaned staff, self-employed sub-contractors, those on work experience and volunteers.
- How Employers’ Liability Arises
If an employee is able to prove their injury resulted from the breach of statutory duty by an employer, they have an automatic right to legal compensation.
Where an employer can show that they have fulfilled their statutory duties, then they will have no liability.
Cover only applies to accidents occurring whilst the employee is engaged in their usual work. Travel to and from their usual place of work is not included.
- Indemnity and the Insured
This cover protects employers from the financial consequences of their potential to cause injury, death, disease or damage. Many such exposures are unlimited and there is, therefore, a large responsibility on the insurers to clearly express their intention in the policy wording.
- Territorial Limits
Geographical limits are put in place by the insurer, usually defined as Great Britain, Northern Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and their surrounding waters. Some insurers extend cover to include injuries to persons temporarily working for the insured abroad.
- Exclusions and Extensions
Policy wordings vary. It is important to check any risks your employees are likely to be exposed to are covered under your policy. Exclusions often include injuries resulting from radioactive contamination or motor accidents when the employee is travelling as a passenger.
- Policy Conditions
You must comply with policy terms to make a successful claim. You have a duty to take reasonable precautions to prevent injury or damage occurring. If any feature of workplace risk changes, you must notify your insurer.
Premiums are based on an estimate of wages to be paid during the policy year. At the end of the year the employer will tell the insurer how much was actually paid out in wages and the insurers will calculate the actual premium. The employer will then pay or be refunded the difference.
Tailored to suit your business, a Commercial Combined Insurance policy typically includes:
- Material damage and theft
- Public, product and employers’ liability
- Business interruption
- Goods in transit
- Legal expenses
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