Insurance News

Why is Public & Products Liability Insurance Important for Business Owners? 

Public & Products Liability insurance is almost always sold together and you will often hear it referred to as “Broadform Liability”.

Such a policy is vitally important for every business as it protects the policyholder from legal liabilities arising from claims of personal injury or property damage, as detailed below.

Public Liability 

Public Liability covers the legal liability of the policyholder for claims arising from personal injury or property damage, arising during the period of insurance in connection with the business activities.

Simply put – if injury is caused to another person or property of a third party is damaged, due to your negligence in carrying out your business activities, the policy will respond to claims against you. Subject to all applicable policy terms, conditions & exclusions.

Public Liability is part of the law of tort which focuses on civil wrongs. Claims are made under common law based on negligence and/or damages. Claims are usually successful when it can be demonstrated that the business breached a duty of care and caused the injury or damage when carrying out their business activities.

An example of a public liability claim is a shopper in a supermarket who slips on a spill on the floor and injures their ankle. If the shopper sues the supermarket and demonstrates that they breached their duty of care, the shopper will likely we awarded damages to cover medical costs, loss of earnings, etc.

Other Public Liability claims examples may be a customer tripping over contents in your office, a security guard causing injury to a bar patron during an eviction, a painter over spraying a wall and damaging a car with the paint, a tradesman causing damage at a client’s home… you get the picture.

Products Liability 

Products Liability covers the legal liability of the policyholder for claims arising from personal injury or property damage, arising during the period of insurance in connection with the products of the business.

In other words, the product causes injury or property damage.

A great example of a products liability claim is the Liebeck v McDonald’s case of 1994. It is undoubtedly one of the most unbelievable product liability cases in US history. In this case, Stella Liebeck accidentally poured hot coffee, purched from McDonald’s, on her lower body and suffered third degree burns on her thighs, groin and buttocks. Liebeck’s lawyers argued that the company served coffee at a temperature of 180 to 190 degrees Fahrenheit while other companies served coffee at a more reasonable 140 degrees. Liebeck was awarded a jury verdict of $2.7 million in punitive damages and $160,000 for medical expenses.

Other Products Liability claims examples may include a restaurant causing food poisoning to diners, a child’s toy causing harm to an infant, a faulty electrical appliance, etc.

The premium payable for Public & Products Liability insurance is dependent on several factors, including: the activities of the business; the limit of indemnity requested; the size of the business (annual turnover, number of employees, etc.); the claims history and the like.

As with all insurance policies, terms, conditions & exclusions will apply.

To learn more about Public & Products Liability insurance and why it is important for your business, please contact Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur on 1300 633 530 or via www.ausuremacarthur.com.au.

Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur Pty Ltd ABN 89 145 758 989 is an Authorised Representative of Ausure Pty Ltd T/As Ausure Insurance Brokers ABN 94 096 971 854 AFSL 238433. Any advice implied in this advertisement is general advice only. We have not taken into consideration your needs, objectives or personal circumstances. Before purchasing any insurance policy you should consider the Product Disclosure Statement which is available by contacting the Insurance Broker, Jarrod O’Brien on 1300 633 530.

An Important Change in Childcare Legislation from January 2016. 

As of January 1, 2016 the National Quality Framework (NQF) implemented new Educator to Child ratios for the child care sector. This was rolled-out across all States & Territories, other than TAS & WA where they were already in place.

The NQF is the result of an agreement between all Australian governments to work together to provide better educational and developmental outcomes for children using education and care services.

Since its commencement in 2012, the NQF introduced a new quality standard to improve education and care across long day care, family day care, preschool/kindergarten, and outside school hours care.

The changes to the Educator to Child ratios bring national consistency to this important area of the NQF and allows staff to give more individual attention to each child.

Affected age groups, services and jurisdictions are as follows:

• New ratios apply for children older than 24 months and younger than 36 months at centre-based services in NSW, Queensland and South Australia.

• New ratios apply for children older than 36 months up to and including preschool age for all centre-based services in Queensland and Victoria.

• New ratios apply for preschools in ACT, Northern Territory and South Australia.

• New ratios apply for family day care services in Queensland.

Although there were several changes, the age group of children in care from 24 months to 36 months saw the most significant shift with ratios in NSW, QLD and SA reducing from 1:8 to 1:5.

At Ausure Macarthur we are constantly keeping up to date with changes to legislation and other factors that affect the child care industry. Our knowledge of the childcare industry means we understand the risks faced by the industry and our ability to compare different insurance policies ensures you will always have the best protection, especially as your needs change over time.

Ausure Macarthur can tailor insurance policies for the child care industry to include the following sections of cover:

• Public & Products Liability

• Professional Indemnity

• Property in your Care, Custody & Control

• Property

• Business Interruption

• Money

• Breakdown of Machinery & Electronic Equipment

• Glass

• Statutory Liability

• Personal Accident for Children

• Personal Accident for Volunteers

• Management Liability

Personal Accident for Children is insurance that is becoming increasingly popular with child care providers and it is something that we highly recommend.

If a child in care suffers an injury caused by an accident, the insurer will pay the cost of various out-of-pocket expenses incurred by the parent or guardian, up to the policy limit. This may include ambulance costs, doctors’ fees, hospital costs, loss of wages and the like.

Importantly, there is no requirement to demonstrate negligence on the part of the child care operator, as there is with a public liability claim. This allows the child care operator to settle claims with parents or guardians that otherwise would not be approved under the public liability.

I’m sure all centre operators would see this as a huge positive in maintaining strong relationships with parents & guardians. After all, word of mouth is the best form of advertisement!

Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur would be more than happy to discuss your business risks and insurance requirements with you. Contact Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur today at http://ausuremacarthur.com.au

Author: Zoe Anderson-Stanley

Source: http://www.acecqa.gov.au/national-quality-framework

What insurances do I need for a start-up business? 

We are often asked what insurances are required for a start-up business. However, the answer is not always that simple. It will depend on the type of business, the industry, the legal entity type, whether there are employees or not and various other factors.

Without knowing any of the above, we will discuss some of the insurance policies that should be considered by anyone starting a business in Australia.

PUBLIC & PRODUCTS LIABILITY

Every business should have Public & Products Liability insurance. This policy will provide cover in the event you cause injury to another person (or someone suffers injury due to your negligence) or you cause damage to third party property, in the course of carrying out your business activities or from your products.

All businesses have an exposure to such claims, even if you are just working in an office.

The limits to be considered are usually $5m, $10m or $20m and the premium will be determined largely by your business activities & estimated annual turnover.

WORKERS COMPENSATION

Workers Compensation is a compulsory insurance for employers. It covers your business for costs that might follow a workplace related injury or disease. These costs may include weekly and lump sum payments, medical, hospital and rehabilitation expenses, and return to work costs.

However, sole traders and partnerships are not eligible for workers compensation. In saying that though, if a sole trader or a partnership were to employ people, a policy will be required for the employees.

PERSONAL ACCIDENT & ILLNESS

If you are a sole trader or partnership and you wish to be covered for loss of earnings in the event of an accident or illness, a personal accident &/or illness policy is for you. The policy will cover a percentage of your weekly personal earnings (not business income) for a pre-determined indemnity period, usually from 1 – 3 years only. You will also have an excess period applicable of 7 – 28 days which is the period after an accident or illness before benefits will commence.

There are also options to cover your fixed business expenses while you are not working and lump sum benefits in the event of extreme accident or illness.

BUSINESS PACKAGE

A business package insurance policy provides various sections of protection allowing you to customise the insurance appropriate for your business. Sections of cover include: Property Damage (covering contents, machinery &/or stock against perils such as fire, water, storm, accidental damage, impact, malicious damage, etc.); Business Interruption (covering your loss of profits in the event you cannot carry on the business due to a fire destroying your premises, for instance); Theft (covering theft of contents, machinery &/or stock); Glass Breakage; Public & Products Liability; Breakdown of Machinery & Electronic Equipment; General Property (covering loss or damage to portable property, anywhere in Australia); Employee Dishonesty (theft of money & perhaps other assets, by employees); Transit (covering loss or damage to your goods in transit) and Money (covering loss or damage to money in transit, on your premises, in your safe and in your home).

GENERAL PROPERTY

Explained a little above, a General Property policy will cover your portable property against loss or damage, anywhere in Australia. Such property may include: tools of trade, laptops, mobile phones, photographic equipment, 2-way radios, etc.

PROFESSIONAL INDEMNITY

If you are providing professional services, you will require a Professional Indemnity insurance policy. Such a policy covers civil liability arising from a breach of your professional services or from the conduct of your professional business. Professional services are usually those professions that require further study and include professions that provide advice, designs, audit, certification, consulting and the like.

Professional service providers may be: solicitors, accountants, insurance brokers, architects, consultants, training organisations, engineers, etc.

A Professional Indemnity insurance policy will cover claims of pure financial loss (as well as claims of personal injury & property damage, for most occupations) that will likely be excluded by your Public Liability insurance policy.

The above insurance policies represent what should be the major considerations for any new business in Australia. As mentioned earlier though, varying risks of different businesses mean further insurance policies may be required to fully cover all business exposure. Your business may have a need for Management Liability (directors & officers liability, employment practices liability, statutory liability, taxation audit, fidelity, etc.); Contract Works; Plant & Equipment; Commercial Motor; Cyber Liability; Errors & Omissions or others.

To ensure your business is properly protected from the unforeseen, speak with an insurance broker who will provide advice on your risk & exposure and recommend a tailored insurance program to protect you.

Good luck in starting your new business!

Use of drones in business. 

Drones have gone from being the stuff of science fiction, to new age warfare used by militaries around the world and now they have been found to be a great tool for many businesses.

Gary Shapiro, President and CEO of the US Consumer Technology Association, which is well known for its annual Consumer Electronics Show conference in Las Vegas, has been quoted as saying:

“They are an economic game changer, one that will transform the way we do business. Drones are already assisting emergency and disaster management programs, national weather service tracking, traffic management programs, shipment delivery and much more. Popularity of drones has risen because of falling costs for sensors and other components, improved battery technology and people have seen the impossible become possible.”

In Australia, the number of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) or “drones” being used for commercial purposes is on the increase with the Civil Aviation & Safety Authority (CASA) having granted over 200 licenses by 2015. This is up from just 14 licenses in 2012.

Australian businesses are finding many uses for drones, such as:

• Aerial photography

• Aerial surveillance

• News reporting

• Agricultural uses, such as spraying

• Power line inspections

• Mining surveys

We think that in the not too distant future drones will be used for deliveries… How much quicker would you receive that late night pizza if it were delivered right to your door by a drone?!

Businesses should note that as at December 21, 2015 it is still illegal to fly any drone for commercial gain without certification.

If you are using a drone you must adhere to the regulations imposed by CASA. Some of the main points are as follows:

• Drones must be operated within line-of-sight and in daylight hours

• You must not fly within 30m of vehicles, boats, buildings or people

• If you are in controlled airspace (most Australian cities) you must not fly higher than 400ft (120m)

• You must not fly within 5.5 km of an airfield

• It is illegal to fly for money or commercial benefit unless you have an unmanned operators certificate issue by CASA

Fines for the misuse of drones can be up to $8,500.

If you plan on using a drone in your business, contact the Civil Aviation Safety Authority first at www.casa.gov.au.

You should then consider your insurance requirements. Whilst it may not be a legal requirement to have insurance, you would be silly not to.

Consider a scenario where your drone crashes into a tree, or falls from the sky causing irreparable damage. What is the cost to replace the drone without the benefit of insurance?

Or worse still, consider your legal liability in the event you cause injury to another person or damage to someone else’s property. Such claims can run into the millions.

There is also the issue of breach of privacy laws, harassment and surveillance & data collection, to name just a few additional factors for consideration.

To ensure that you are properly insured you should speak with your insurance broker.

Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur would be more than happy to discuss your business risks and insurance requirements with you. Contact Ausure Insurance Brokers Macarthur today at

 http://ausuremacarthur.com.au

Author: Jarrod O'Brien