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Employers Liability Insurance - Finer points for employers in the UK

Published: 12/12/09

Buying insurance to protect you as an employer against claims made by employees owing to work hazards needs to be carefully carried out. Terms and conditions that make a policy or agreement between the employer and the insurance seller define the conditions that will allow you to receive your claims. The insurance policy wording contains certain details which include –

  • The activities you are expected to carry out and not carry out. An activity that qualifies as one that is out of the way and results in hazard, may not be recognised as a valid reason for the insurer to compensate the claims made against you.
  • Transparency of company records is an important factor that may make or break the deal with the insurer. Providing the insurer with detailed company records is necessary for the insurers to be convinced about your business picture
  • Reporting an incident that may be the reason of your claim to the insurance cannot be avoided. A suitable communication of caution is important to make sure that there is no dilly-dallying with the proceedings of claiming the insurance.
  • Legal responsibilities must be met with regards to ensuring safety at workplace. A failure to do so can put in a weak position when it comes to answering for your faults.

However, for the above reasons, it is not a hard and fast rule that the insurance company will refuse your claim simply because you carry out an unconventional step in business, or maintain secrecy on some company records for security reasons. Moreover, unless agreed upon, the insurer cannot force you to pay part of any claim made by the employees. Usually the agreed amount is supposed to be paid to you in full.

The coverage amount

An employer’s liability insurance usually covers for at least £5 million. The usual purchases are for £10 million. It is important to assess the risks owing to the nature of your business. The purchase amount will be higher for businesses with higher probabilities of accidents.

Government penalty

Employer’s Public liability insurance is required by law for the safety and security of UK citizens. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) ensures that all employers are insured against claims made by employees for a minimum of £5 million. The insurance certificate can be asked for vigilance by the HSE. A fine of £2500 may be levied upon the company for any day that the company fails to comply with this law. A failure to produce the certificate to the HSE can cause you a fine of up to £1000.

A legal advisor is always recommended for proceedings in the insurance department. It may often happen that the insurance company tries to retain as much wealth as possible, causing you inconvenience and suffering. Along with detailed consultation about insurance sellers, policy wording and information on buying the most suitable policy, the HSE offers books and extensive online information to employers.

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