Examples of Employers Liability Insurance Claims
Personal injury at work
There are an unlimited number of ways an accident can happen in the workplace that results in injury or illness to an employee. It is just as likely that an employee could trip on a stray wire in an office as it is for an employee to slip on a wet floor in a retail shop.
The fact is that there is no sector of employment that is completely free from hazards or risks. This is one of the reasons why employers liability insurance is compulsory, because there is no guarantee of safety. It is true that some industries are shown by statistics to have much higher rates of injury or illness than compared to other industries, but then employers liability insurance premiums usually reflect the risks and a low risk industry would benefit from a lower employers liability insurance premium.
This page will give some examples of where employers liability insurance has saved employers from paying financially devastating amounts of compensation.
Employers liability insurance example claim 1
An employee in an office has just made a cup of coffee and is returning to her desk on the other side of the office. While walking back to her desk, the employee trips on a loose piece of carpet that was raised off the floor. The trip caused her to fall and break her arm. The employee also suffered some mild burns as the cup of coffee she was carrying had spilled over her during the fall.
She had to be treated for her injuries in hospital and had to take several weeks off of work. During this time she had to travel to and from hospital to check up on her injuries. The employee decided to make a claim against her employer as the carpet was dangerous and should have been fixed.
The employer tried to defend the claim saying that the carpet had only become loose that day. The claim made it to court and it was decided by the court that the employee's claim was valid. The court ordered the employer to pay compensation of £20,000 to the employee for injury, costs and other damages. The court also ordered the employer to pay all of the legal fees, including those of the employee. This brought the total amount the employer had to pay out to over £100,000. Luckily the employer had compulsory employers liability insurance and all costs were met by the employers liability insurance policy.
Employers liability insurance example claim 2
Two of only four employees working for a small electrical firm were carrying out essential electrical maintenance work. One of the employees was a new apprentice and had forgotten to properly earth the electrical circuit he was working on. This resulted in the apprentice suffering an electric shock that caused minor burn injuries and resulted in having to have time off of work.
This apprentice decided to claim against his employer. His employer refuted his claim saying it was the apprentices fault for not taking the necessary safety precautions. The claim made it to court and the judge decided that the apprentice had not received proper health and safety training from his employer. The employer was told to pay £17,500 to the apprentice for his injuries and loss of earnings as well as paying all of the legal costs of both parties.
The employer had not taken out an employers liability insurance policy as he thought it was not necessary with only a few employees. All of the costs had to be paid to the apprentice from the employers own pocket, almost putting him out of business. Several weeks later, the Health and Safety Executive caught up with the employer and found that the employer had not had employers liability insurance for at least 300 days. The employer was fined £2,500 for each day that he did not have employers liability insurance. Unfortunately, the employer could not afford to keep the business running with all of these costs and is now unemployed.
All of this could have been avoided if he had taken out a relatively inexpensive employers liability insurance policy. It is too late for this employer to learn from their mistake and now he faces the difficulty of finding a job in a tough economic climate.
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