• October 15, 2020

Public and Employers Liability – What’s the Difference?

Getting insured is overlooked by many small businesses who take risks by ignoring basic requirements that could, in the long run, save them millions of rupees. At Quantum Insurance, we help protect small businesses like yours with the right insurance.

Today our insurance Corporate Relationship Executive, Riyaz, will talk about Public and Employers’ Liability insurance.

What are the main differences between Public Liability & Employers Liability?

Riyaz: “In a nutshell, and to make it simple, Public Liability covers you if any member of the public (client, visitor, etc.) gets injured on your business premises while Employers Liability covers you if one of your staff gets injured on your business premises or while carrying out work-related tasks.”

Why it is important for a business to have these policies?

Riyaz: “Let’s look at employer’s liability first. Every small entrepreneur gets excited about bringing on employees into their company because it’s a sign of business growth. But employees also come with costs and some of these costs are not immediately obvious.
For example, you are liable for your employees’ wellbeing while they’re at work. So, if they get injured while working for you and decide to sue you, an Employers’ liability insurance will cover your legal costs, including compensation payouts and legal fees should the case go to court.”

Is this still necessary for Small Business, with only two or three employees or employing friends and relatives?

Riyaz: “A legal claim is a legal claim. So, if an employee is within their rights to sue you, there’s always a possibility that they will do so. I believe that it’s best to be prepared so that if you do get sued, your business can handle it and survive.”

What about public liability?

Riyaz: “The grounds on which you can be sued for public liability are diverse, but they usually fall into two categories:
1) Bodily Injuries or 2) Damaged goods or loss of property.

Bodily injuries get the most attention. These happen when a client gets injured on your premises and files a lawsuit due to perceived negligence on your part. Somebody slipping on the floor and hurting themselves, loose items on shelves falling on people, harm caused to a person because of a specific product.

You don’t hear it as much, but it does happen in Mauritius.”

What about damaged goods?

Riyaz: “Mistakes happen and it’s possible that you damage one of your clients’ shipments or, if you work off-site, that your staff break something in their home… Even damage to a consultant’s or client’s laptop on your premises is a potential ground for a lawsuit!”

What happens if you’re a small business owner or solopreneur? Like a hairdresser?

Riyaz: “As I’ve said before, anything can happen. Let’s take the hairdresser example. If somebody slips on hair strands or if the product used by the hairdresser doesn’t suit a person’s skin and causes a rash, the hair parlour’s owner could be liable.”

That seems like a lot of possibilities to consider … how can someone know exactly how much cover they need?

Riyaz: “The best way to work out the amount of liability cover your business needs is to consider the scale of the work you do and the possible extent of compensation claims. And the easiest way to figure that out is to get in touch with us at Quantum. There are no obligations, it’s FREE, and we’ll tell you exactly what to consider when insuring your business.”