WHAT IS LIABILITY INSURANCE & WHAT DOES IT COVER?
Liability Insurance covers your legal costs & expenses in the event you are found negligent for personal injury or property damage to a third party. In personal injury claims you could be held liable to pay medical costs including rehabilitation expenses. Compensation could also be awarded to the family not to mention your legal fees on top of that. Without Liability insurance all of these costs would come from your own pocket. Liability Insurance cover provides a financial safety net in case something unforeseeable does happen.
WHY IS IT SO IMPORTANT TO HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE?
Under the Statute of Limitations, after a child reaches the age of 18 years they have at least a further 3 years in which to instigate legal action against you. i.e. legal action could be taken against you up to 21 years after the injury/illness occurred. This is why it is imperative you have a policy in place at the time the injury/illness occurred. Although you may not have any assets today your financial situation will more than likely change in the future and you could be jeopardising it by not insuring against your legal liability. You do not have to have a current policy at the time you need to make a claim, you do however need to be covered at the time the injury/accident occurred.
LIABILITY COURT CASE EXAMPLE
Brown v Hewson  NSWCA 393 – Court of Appeal of New South Wales Negligence – three and a half year old respondent injured when he fell or jumped from balance beam at child care centre – respondent sued appellant proprietors of child care centre – case heard sixteen years after accident – appellants denied liability and disputed respondent suffered head injury – appellants also disputed that any ongoing neurological or behavioural problems were caused by accident – primary judge found appellants breached duty of care but did not accept plaintiff injured head – primary judge found plaintiff not entitled to damages for any neurological or behavioural problems – appellants challenged finding of negligence – Centre Based and Mobile Child Care Services Regulation (No. 2) 1996 (NSW) – Children (Care and Protection) Act 1987 (NSW) – Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) – held: no error in finding appellants failed to exercise reasonable care in supervising respondent’s activities – causation established – not open to primary judge to award a “buffer” for past and future economic loss – appeal allowed in part.
WHAT ARE MY CONTRACTUAL RESPONSIBILITIES?
Hiring a hall space – A standard Liability policy excludes liability arising under contract. Some will provide cover for liability assumed under a lease. Therefore, it is important to check the lease to ensure that you are not asked to take on the responsibility of others
HOW DO I INSURE MY EQUIPMENT ON LOAN?
In most instances, the owner of the equipment will carry their own insurance for loss or damage to equipment on hire including Liability however you may be held liable for misuse etc., there is limited cover under a Liability policy; also additional responsibility under such hire agreements is not covered unless approved by insurers before risks commence.
WHAT IS GIVING HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT?
This refers to a provision or clause in an agreement (whether a lease, hire agreement etc) where one party or both agree not to hold the other or others responsible for loss, damage or injury caused. It is important that if you enter or accept such a clause, you need to notify insurers. Otherwise, insurers may decline a claim. Reason being, insurers are not given the right to recover against the other party who may be held liable but with whom you have given the hold harmless agreement.
WHAT HAPPENS IF WE HAVE A CLAIM & INCIDENT?
Important to notify us of any incident and make a report. Some incidents though trivial at first may escalate to a claim. Therefore you should complete an incident report and lodge it with us as soon as reasonably practicable when incident is still clear.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS TO PROTECT MY PROPERTY FROM BURGLARY/THEFT
– Keeping all blinds drawn in buildings containing expensive equipment such as computers and laptops. – Storing electronic equipment and other valuables at least one metre away from windows, preferably in a secure internal room. – Ensuring security alarm systems are armed, functioning correctly and monitored by an external security company. – Having patrol companies make regular nightly visits at random times. – Ensuring perimeter fencing is secure with locked gates and no holes cut into cyclone fencing or sections of fencing lifted to allow crawling underneath. – Ensuring shade sails, verandas and buildings cannot be climbed. Do not leave moveable items like ladders, skips, wheelie bins about the property because they may be used to climb onto rooftops. Once on the rooftop, entry to buildings can be gained, damage can be caused and serious injury is likely, if a fall occurs.
WHAT ARE SOME PLAYGROUND SAFETY MEASURES
Playgrounds are common within child related facilities and often are the source of numerous injuries. 75% of injuries occur as a `result of falls from play equipment. To minimise this risk educational organisations should be aware of: – Soft surfaces should always be present where equipment is over 500mm high. – Poorly designed equipment hazards such as sharp edges – not just on equipment but also on borders and moving parts that can crush or pinch small fingers. – Children are extremely vulnerable to sunburn. Where possible, try to provide some form of shade. This might be in the form of trees (a long term solution), shade sails, or building structures. – – Exposure to direct sun also means that metal surfaces heat up quickly causing burns to children’s skin upon direct contact. Of all the possible measures to prevent injury there is no substitute for active close supervision.