Public liability insurance exclusions – Are you insured for damaging something whilst working on it?
Lately I’ve been working on insurance for businesses whose trade regularly involves working on an object belonging to their customer.
As part of their liability arrangements, one of the major areas they have been keen to look at is their Public Liability insurance. As well as injury of third parties, Public Liability insurance covers third party property damage, so if you damage somebody’s property and are found negligent, you’d turn to your Public Liability insurance.
Beware – Public Liability insurance exclusions
The problem for businesses that work on property belonging to someone else i.e. the customer, is that most Public Liability insurance policies come with an exclusion for damage to property being worked upon.
Basically what this means is that if you damage your customer’s item whilst you are carrying out some work on it, you aren’t covered.
Imagine you are a furniture restorer, or a window cleaner or general cleaning company. Any business in fact that does some work to or on customer’s property, could find themselves with a significant gap in their insurance cover.
In recent years, having spotted this issue, some insurance companies have started to extend their policies to include damage to property being worked on. For example, there are some specialist cleaning company insurance and window cleaning insurance policies out there that do give this cover, but unfortunately there are many other types of business out there that need cover for damaging an item being worked on, yet currently there are no ‘specialist’ policies for this.
Cover can be found for damage to property being worked on, it’s just not often given, so it would be prudent for a business to work with a thorough business insurance broker who will look closely at the detail such as public liability insurance exclusions, to ensure they have all the cover they need at competitive rates.