How to claim against public liability insurance
What does my public liability insurance cover?
Your public liability insurance will cover the cost of claims made by members of the public for personal injuries, death and loss or damage to property, as a result of an incident that happened on your premises, or in a public place, due to your work.
Your insurance will usually also cover legal fees. However, there will be a limit on how much the insurer will pay out per claim. It is often set at between £1 million and £10 million, according to the terms of your policy.
Your public liability insurance will not cover injuries to your employees. These should be covered by employers’ liability insurance.
What do I need to do if an incident or accident happens?
The first thing you should do is act quickly to minimise any damage or injury. That may mean making sure the injured person receives medical attention, or ensuring no further damage is done.
At this stage you should not admit blame. If a claim is brought, there will have to be a proper investigation to establish what happened and who was responsible. Even if it looks straightforward, there may be circumstances you are not aware of.
What records do I need to make?
It’s important to make a record of what happened, including:
- what happened during the incident,
- the time and date,
- names and contact details of everyone present at the time.
You should consider taking photographs and obtaining statements from any witnesses.
When do I contact my insurers?
You should contact your insurers as soon as possible, even if the person injured hasn’t made a claim against you yet. Your insurers will be able to confirm whether your public liability insurance covers the incident.
Normally, they will explain what you need to do next or what will happen. For example, it may be appropriate for a loss adjustor to be involved, or for you to be appointed a solicitor to deal with matters for you.
What information will my insurers need?
Your insurance company will need:
- your name and company details,
- your insurance policy number and contact details,
- details of the person claiming against you,
- details of the incident including:
- the date, time and place it occurred,
- how it happened,
- details of damage
- estimates of damage repairs (if possible).
In personal injury cases, they will need details of the injury and other information you can supply about treatment, time off work etc. Don’t worry if you don’t have all this information.
What happens once I’ve registered a claim?
Provided you are insured with a reputable insurer, they will advise you on what to do next, and keep you informed about the progress of the claim. They will need to establish the facts and who was to blame so that they can resolve the claim as quickly as possible.