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5 Questions About Business Liability

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Many companies have staff and where people work, things sometimes go wrong. As a result, you as an employer may have to deal with damage claims. Expert Derk Lodiers answers five questions about corporate liability.

1. Why is this an important topic?

'Business liability is an important issue because you don't always know in advance how high a claim can turn out. This in contrast to, for example, a building that you insure. For example, it's usually possible to say in advance how great the damage will be if a business premises burns to the ground. But with liability claims, the damage can vary from a few hundred $ to the millions. This depends, among other things, on the size of your company and the type of work.

In addition, the number of claims for damages has increased considerably in recent years. This is because the Anglo-Saxon claim culture spread. In the event of damage, people now often wonder who they can claim and lawyers respond to this. Nowadays, legislation also offers more extensive possibilities for claiming compensation. This can affect the capacity and continuity of your company. "

2. When do you as an employer have to deal with liability?

'In the first place in the case of damage caused by employees to third parties. You can think of a scaffold builder. He is building a scaffolding and suddenly a part falls out of his hands. This ends up ten meters lower on a parked car, which leads to material damage. The owner of that car then recovers the damage from the scaffolder builder's employer.

Secondly, employees can harm each other. This concerns, for example, two kitchen employees who are pouring soup. One of the employees slipped due to a wet floor. The result is that his colleague gets boiling hot soup over him, resulting in serious burns. This employee then addresses his employer.

Thirdly, employees themselves can be damaged. An example is a factory worker who cleans a machine. Something gets stuck in that machine and he decides to remove it by hand. However, something goes wrong and he has to miss a few fingers as a result. He then appeals to his employer for compensation. "

3. Can you also be liable if you're not to blame for a specific incident?

'Sometimes as an employer you can't do anything about it, but you're still held liable. That happens regularly, because people still look for financial compensation in the event of damage. The court can then judge that the employer is the stronger party that pays for the damage. For example, if an employee falls down the stairs at the office and sustains a dental injury. You can still be liable, even if the staircase is just safe and has been used hundreds of times by him. "

4. What should you look out for in a business liability insurance policy?

'It's good to know that business liability insurance is a specialist insurance policy. Coordination and consultation with an independent intermediary is essential. For good coverage, for example, it must always be clear what an entrepreneur does exactly. This is also called the capacity.

For example, an insurance policy may state that you're insured against liability in the capacity of a hospitality entrepreneur. Then you're not automatically insured in other capacities as a contractor or retailer. The intermediary therefore asks what kind of work the entrepreneur does, because it shows what he can do wrong. This is important for the possible acceptance by the insurer and the conditions it sets.

With current insurance it's important that the intermediary and the entrepreneur stay in contact about the actual work. That's why we visit our customers every year. Points of attention are, for example, activities that the entrepreneurs have started doing, purchasing conditions from their clients (with provisions on liability) and doing business internationally with parties in countries such as the United States. '

5. What can an independent intermediary mean for entrepreneurs?

'An independent intermediary is well versed in the field of business liability insurance. He constantly follows the providers in the market. He also supports entrepreneurs by pointing out important changes in legislation and regulations. Finally, in cooperation with the insurer, for example, he helps to limit business liability through the terms of delivery. "

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