Liability Cover

 

We all have a duty of care towards others in our community. This duty arises in our everyday lives, our work and our relationships. Over and above this duty we are obliged to obey the laws of the land. However, sometimes despite our best endeavors, we can accidentally breach these duties and obligations, causing injury, damage or financial loss.

At PIC we work with our clients to mitigate these liabilities and transfer such risks to insurance companies for an appropriate premium.

A range of covers

Liability insurance has evolved over the years from a basic Public Liability policy to now include a full range of products, including Internet and Cyber Liability policies.

New case law, new legislation and increasing regulation, along with an increasingly complex world create new obligations and increase the likelihood of being sued or prosecuted.

Some examples of the types of liability you, or your business, could confront are;

  • Damage to a third party’s property.
  • A breach of legislation.
  • Personal grievances by employees.
  • Products which cause damage or injury to third parties.
  • Errors or omissions in advice or services.
  • Inadvertently transmitting a computer virus.
  • Defective workmanship.

Some of the types of Liability Cover available include;

  • General & Product Liability
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Directors and Officers Liability
  • Employers Liability
  • Statutory Liability
  • Internet/Cyber Liability
  • Associations Liability
  • Freight Forwarders Liability
  • Carriers Liability

 

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General and Product Liability

Offers protection when accidental loss or damage is caused to a third party. This may be damage to property or injury to people arising from carrying out your work, or a fault or defect in a product which you supply. Even when it is not your fault, or the fault of your product, the legal defence costs can be significant. These costs are also covered under the policy and are payable in addition to the sum insured.

 

Professional Indemnity

Offers protection to the business for its legal liability arising from the provision of professional services or advice.  When faced with allegations of this nature there is inevitably a severe impact on the ability to continue to focus on day to day business. Professional Indemnity Insurance reduces the financial burden of having to defend such allegations and/or pay compensation to an aggrieved party.

A professional is described as anyone that gives another person advice and/or services of a skillful nature according to an established discipline.

 

Directors and Officers Liability

Offers protection to the directors and officers of a company for a legal liability arising from wrongful acts committed by them in that capacity.

In today’s business environment directors and officers face an increasing number of risks arising from both governance and compliance obligations when managing their business. The policy also provides for reimbursement to the company where it is required to reimburse those individuals under the terms of their engagement.

Even the costs of defending allegations, including those that are groundless, can be substantial and sometimes ruinous if not insured. These legal defence costs are also covered under the policy.

 

Employers Liability

Not every injury or disablement is covered under ACC and even when it is there are now circumstances where employees can claim additional amounts against their employers. The Employers Liability policy provides protection in these situations for:

  • Settlements or damages payable (including exemplary damages) in respect of claims for personal injury to employees suffered in the course of their employment.
  • Loss of earnings where the employer is criminally liable.
  • The costs incurred in defending allegations or settling these claims, including any prosecution, inquiry or investigation.

The types of claims for personal injury that are covered are;

  • Mental injury or mental anguish without physical injury (stress or shock)
  • Heart attack or strokes caused by stress, shock or fright.
  • Gradually occurring diseases (chemical or environmental)
  • Disease or infection (legionnaires disease)
  • Punitive or exemplary damages

 

Statutory Liability

Just as no person is an island, companies do not operate in a vacuum. All endeavors are circumscribed by laws enacted by parliament. Inadvertent breaches of these laws can create substantial costs, even if one is eventually found blameless. Statutory Liability insurance provides protection against the expense of legal and other costs, including representation at hearings, enquiries, reparation orders and, where allowable , fines and penalties. With many hundreds of laws in existence the chances of breaching just one is significant but the more common ones are; Health and Safety at Work Act 2015,Building Act 2004, Resource Management Act, Food Act, Fair Trading Act, Commerce Act, Dangerous goods Act, Human Rights Act, Historic Places Act.

 

Internet/Cyber Liability

In this increasingly connected world almost all of us use the Internet and email. Many businesses are now totally reliant on their computer systems meaning any interruption or interference could be catastrophic for them. Client or customer information is provided on the basis that it will be kept confidential and not be released to others. This policy provides protection for legal liabilities arising from the use of the internet or email that results in any of the following;

  • unauthorised use of names or information
  • unauthorised use of advertising
  • infringement or unauthorised use of intellectual property rights
  • defamation
  • transmission of computer viruses

The obligation to pay compensation, which could be substantial, is covered, as are the legal defence costs necessarily and reasonably incurred.

 

Association Liability

Protects non-profit organisations, charitable trusts and incorporated societies against claims made against them for mistakes, errors or omissions constituting a breach of duty. Importantly the policy also provides protection for the individual office bearers, trustees and others who may become personally liable. It also provides for reimbursement to the association or society where it is required to reimburse those individuals under the terms of their engagement. Of course legal and other defence costs are also insured.

 

Freight Forwarders Liability

Whilst traditionally many freight forwarders and customs agents may have avoided any carrier’s liability by acting as agents for the carrier, they are often still exposed to potential liabilities arising from errors or omissions in the performance of their services.

Freight Forwarders liability insurance provides a comprehensive policy which typically includes the following;

  • liability arising from loss of or damage to cargo and consequential loss arising there from
  • errors and omissions including delays, wrongful delivery and other financial loss caused to the customer
  • third party liabilities including personal injury and property damage
  • fines and duties that arise from a breach of relevant statutory provisions
  • legal, defence and other specified costs

 

Carriers Liability

All carriers in New Zealand operate under the Carriage of Goods Act 1979. This legislation defines the limits of liability that a carrier has for damage. Liability is for any type of damage that occurs to the goods whilst loading, unloading or in transit. Although the limit per item is comparatively low, depending on how the load is presented for cartage the total value at risk can be substantial. Liability is strict and there are very few grounds for a defence.

 

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