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Friday, 31 October 2014

Public Liability: Part 2

This week, we will continue from where we stopped last week on Public Liability Insurance.
7.0. Basic Exclusions
The following are some of the exclusions under employers’ liability insurance:
(a) Insured’s liability to employees of contractors to the insured;
(b) Bodily injury intentionally caused or aggravated by the employer;
(c) Any injury by accident or disease directly attributable to act of foreign enemy, war and nuclear risk;
(d) Any liability of the insured which attaches by virtue of an agreement;
(e) Punitive or exemplary damages because of bodily injury to an employee employed in violation of the law;
(f) Accidents resulting from riot, strike and civil commotion; however, this exclusion can be covered on payment of additional premium;
(g) Accidents occurring outside the workplace or outside working hours; this exclusion can also be covered upon payment of additional premium.

8.0. Benefits of Employers’ Liability Insurance
8.1. Employer: This policy guarantees the employer financial security for his/her business in the event that an employee is involved in an accident for which the business is liable, especially for some industrial diseases that manifest after a long period. The employer will also be seen as actively interested in the welfare of its employees.

8.2. Employee: This insurance policy also provides security for employees. Hence, employees are able to work without any fear of being abandoned in the event of an accident. This increases the productivity of employees.

9.0. Occupiers’ Liability Insurance
Occupiers’ liability insurance is one of the compulsory insurances in Nigeria. It was created to satisfy the provisions of section 65 of the Insurance Act of 2003. Section 65 of the Act requires all owners or occupiers of ‘public buildings’ to take up occupiers’ liability insurance to cover their legal liabilities with respect to loss of or damage to property or bodily injury suffered by any third party user of their premises.

Examples of possible scenarios where another party can claim under occupiers’ liability insurance are where personal injury results from accidents in a neighbour’s house such as slips, trips or falls within the property; or being bitten by their dog.

Similarly, if you have been injured, through no fault of your own, in another place such as an airport, public swimming pool, or shop, you may be able to sue the insured occupier for compensation.

An occupier is anyone who owns or occupies the premises, or has a ‘sufficient degree of control’ over an area; and might be a local authority, a company, or an individual. Consequently the occupier is responsible for the safety of those premises or that area, for the benefit of other people.

‘Public building’ under this Act includes a tenement house, hostel, a building occupied by a tenant, lodger or licensee and any building to which members of the public have access for the purpose of obtaining educational or medical service, or for the purpose of recreation or transaction of business.

10.0 Scope of Cover
The occupier liability policy can be arranged to include the following covers.

10.1 Personal Liability: This section cover payments for all sums for which the insured, spouse, relatives and anybody living with them is liable to pay for injury and medical expenses to any third party for accidental injury while on the insured’s premises.

10.2 Public Liability: This pays for legal liability of the insured for accidental damage to public utilities (underground water pipe, electricity cable, etc.) or any underground installation. Injury, death or property damage to any member of the public arising from excavations extending to the insured’s property is also covered by this section.

10.3. Accidents to Domestic Servants: In the event of a bodily injury or disease arising out of and in the course of employment of any domestic servant like gardener, driver, security guard, etc., this section will cover the insured’s liability to compensate these employees.

11.0 Sanctions for Non-compliance
It should be noted that refusal to take up this insurance policy attracts a fine of N100, 000 or one (1) year imprisonment, or both, upon conviction.

All of the above liability insurances help protect the assets of the business, homeowner or occupier.

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