Employers’ liability insurance will help to cover the cost of settling and defending any claim made by an employee against your business. This includes compensation pay-outs and legal fees should the case go to court.
If an employee claim does end up in court, a compensation sum might reflect factors such as medical costs and loss of income due to the employee not being able to work. Employers’ liability will cover this cost up to the policy limit.
It might be vital to have an employers’ liability insurance policy in place as it’s a legal requirement for most UK firms. You could be held responsible for any injury your employees sustain while carrying out work for your business.
A policy covers all injuries, from what might seem like an innocuous trip or slip, to a long-term illness suffered because of their work. It could be important to note that claims can still be made after an individual has stopped working for your business – this is because symptoms may only become apparent after several months.
You can’t predict or even prevent accidents from happening, but you can safeguard your business from the financial repercussions. Employers’ liability cover can be a lifeline, especially for small businesses and sole traders who might not otherwise have access to the necessary funds.
As a result of the Employer’s Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969, it’s a legal requirement for most UK businesses to have employers’ liability insurance, meaning it can be essential cover if you have employees.
Whether you’re a sole trader, small business owner or part of a global empire, not having sufficient employers’ liability cover can lead to substantial fines. These could be up to £2,500 a day until you take out a policy.
So, what does the law say about different types of staff? There are different classifications and no two businesses are the same, so here’s a guide to the rules:
Contractors – you might not require an employers’ liability insurance policy if you’ve hired an independent contractor who doesn’t work exclusively for your business.
Subcontractors – if a subcontractor uses their own equipment, tools and materials then they usually don’t need to be covered by a policy but if they will be using yours, you might require cover.
Part-time employees – if you’re self-employed and employ someone else to help with your workload, even part-time, you will require a policy.
Volunteers – you need employers’ liability cover in place if you employ volunteers.
Temporary employees – it’s essential to have this cover for all temporary employees, including interns and students on work experience.
Apprentices – it’s also a legal requirement to have a policy in place for any apprentices you employ.
Circumstances can vary, so it’s always advisable to check before anyone begins work for your business, especially if you feel there might be grey areas.
Things Home Insurance will cover and things it won’t
Not all buildings and contents insurance policies are the same, so you always need to check the details to see what yours includes. But here are some things that policies generally will and won’t cover…
Home insurance doesn’t cover things naturally deteriorating or breaking because you haven’t looked after them. This is known in the insurance world as ‘wear and tear’. You might also find your home insurance cover is invalidated if damage to your home is caused by wear and tear. For example, if there’s a leak because you haven’t replaced broken roof tiles.
Cover for fire comes as standard with buildings and contents insurance. So, if you have both you should be covered for damage to the structure of your home and your belongings inside it.
Keys are sometimes covered by car insurance, rather than home insurance, even if they’re stolen from your house. Replacing modern computerised keys can be very expensive, so check both your car and home insurance to make sure you’re covered for theft, wherever your keys are taken from.
You should be covered if your smartphone is stolen from your home. But to protect your phone while you’re out and about, you’ll need cover for personal possessions outside the home, which isn’t always included as standard. Check with your provider – if you’re not covered, you might be able to add this to your policy as an additional extra.
Provided you have cover for accidental damage, this type of incident should be included within your home insurance. You need to make sure accidental damage is included in your policy, though, as it doesn’t always come as standard.
Generally, insurance policies will state that you need to tell your provider if you’re going away for more than 30 days. An empty house is considered a higher risk than an occupied one, so your provider may choose to limit the cover they provide while you’re away for a long period, or you may need to take out specialist unoccupied home insurance.
Speak to your insurance provider if you intend to be away for longer than 30 days – they may be able to add endorsements to your policy, to ensure your property is fully covered