As a responsible employer, you doubtless have one or maybe several insurance policies in place to cover your employees in the case of injuries or illness incurred at work, and, in the worst case scenario, to compensate their families for death occurring as a result of their employment. However, you may not have sufficient cover for all the consequences of such tragic occurrences. Employer liability insurance provides extra protection and peace of mind in case you are faced with legal action resulting in compensation claims being awarded against you.
As an employer it is crucial, and generally demanded by law, that you have insurance policies that provide compensation for any employee suffering injury or illness arising from their employment; the insured amount should be sufficient to cover any medical expenses arising and remunerate them for any lost salary. An employer could also have liability for helping an employee to recover from injury illness in the long-term, for example by paying for their home to be adapted if they have mobility issues arising from injury. It’s important for you to make sure you have the correct insurance in order to protect your business from potential losses from employee claims and to fulfil your legal and moral duties of care towards your employees. Additionally, having this type of insurance provides reassurance to your workers, letting them know that if the worst happens you have cover in place for them.
It’s important as an employer to know what you may have to face in terms of legal action if an employee suffers illness, injury or even death in the course of their employment. There are five main types of claim that can be brought against you in this field. You should remember that liability lawsuits can be highly complicated and that it is always advisable to consult legal experts when facing liability claims. This is something that can be paid for by employer liability insurance.
The five main types of claims that may be brought against you in liability lawsuits are as follows:
Negligence: if one of your employees suffers an injury or becomes ill in your employment due to a lack of adequate protection measures or safety policy, you may end up in court facing claims for compensation. In such a case, your ordinary workplace insurance may not be sufficient to cover all the expenses. Although it may have provisions for paying medical expenses and wages while the worker recovers from accidents that weren’t your fault, for example slipping and falling from a ladder, it may not cover accidents in which you are partly or wholly to blame as the employer. An example would be a worker using a tablesaw and cutting themselves by accident: if all the correct safety guards and training procedures were in place, workplace insurance would probably cover it; however, if safety guards were missing or it could be proved that the worker had not been sufficiently trained on the particular piece of machinery, you as the employer could be liable, and employer liability insurance would cover you.
Consequential injuries: injuries occurring in the workplace can have a significant effect on those who are not directly involved. Any person who suffers damage or loss as a result of the workplace injury could bring a case in court against the negligent party. For example, in the case above, where the worker suffered hand injuries as a result of employer negligence, it might be the case that the injuries were so severe that they seriously affected the employee’s ability to fulfil their share of childcare at home, so that their spouse had to give up their job in order to care for their children. In this case, the spouse might be able to bring a case against the employer for their loss of wages; this would be in addition to any payment you might have to make for the employee’s loss of wages.
Third-party actions: liability lawsuits may sometimes be brought against you or your company even if the original lawsuit is brought against someone else. To continue the example above, the worker who was injured might decide to take legal action against the company that made the tablesaw, claiming that flaws in the design of the equipment were responsible for their injuries. Subsequently the manufacturer might choose to take out a third-party action against you or your company, claiming that if you had provided sufficient training the injury would not have happened. In this case employer liability insurance could meet the cost of any awards made against you.
Dual capacity: dual capacity lawsuits may occur when a worker launches a lawsuit against the company they work for related to incidents caused by using equipment that the company itself has manufactured. Again, in the case above, if the tablesaw that caused the injury was manufactured by the company in which it was being used, the company could be exposed to dual liability, being sued not only for allowing the employee to use faulty equipment but for manufacturing faulty equipment in the first place.
Loss of consortium: these suits result from action taken by family members related to an employee who has been injured, become ill, or been killed due to employer negligence. There are many different types of damages that a family might suffer due to a worker suffering from negligence, physical, financial, or emotional, and they could be entitled to compensation for these. Even if you have insurance policies that provide benefits for death or disability, families could be entitled to a higher level of compensation than you are covered for if you don’t have employer liability insurance.
Hopefully all of the above has shown you the need to have adequate employer liability insurance in place in case of accidents. If you already have a worker compensation policy it may incorporate elements of employer liability insurance, but to ensure you are fully covered you need to ask your agent or insurance company check this for you and to ensure that you have an adequate level of cover.
Hopefully all of the above will be helpful to you as you search for an insurance policy that will give you the peace of mind you need when you are dealing with the complexities of running your own business. Without being properly insured, you risk losing everything you have worked so hard for over a single incident. Also visit the right news network for more news and stories.