Premises Liability Insurance
Premises Liability Insurance. In contemporary society, property owners usually take many precautions to minimize liability. In spite of this, owners still face the risk of liability claims against them. That's why it's important to have premises liability insurance coverage. This insurance often protects the premises owner from claims such as injury and property damage, which occur within the premises. Slip and fall is the most common claim.
In the majority of the cases, claims usually originate from disgruntled customers or guests who are injured on the property. Even though the premises liability insurance is essential to property owners, it is imperative to understand that it has its limitations. This article discusses the scope the premises liability insurance, policy limits, and situations that the policy does not cover.
Premises liability insurance is crucial to protect your business from slip-and-fall and other injuries at your location. Learn how this coverage can shield your business from large bodily injury claims.
Scope of Premises Liability Insurance
Premises liability insurance is coverage provided to pay for the for costs that may arise from property destruction or personal injury (i.e. slip-and-fall) that occurs on your premises. The law stipulates that a premises owners are expected to provide reasonable safety and precaution to guests and licensees. This implies that the property owner is liable for any loss of property or personal injury that affects individuals who have been legally permitted to enter the premises. For example, the property owner is liable to pay for claims of a guest or customer who slips and fall in their premises. Trespassers have a very limited claim and may be compensated if they prove negligence on the part of the owner.
Even though the premises liability covers for damages and injury to legal visitors, it is important to understand that not all incidences of property loss or injury are covered. For instance, a physician in a hospital who injures a patient is not covered under the property owners’ premises liability coverage. Instead, the physician requires a professional liability insurance to cover for such injury.
Apart from this, it is also important to understand that if you lease space in a building, you have to acquire a premises liability insurance for the space leased. The landlord will not be liable for slip and fall or other accidents or loss of property that occur within your leased premises. However, if an injury occurs outside the leased space, like in the stairs or lobby, then the landlord will be liable.
Premises Liability Insurance Policy Limits
Different insurers offer different terms. Most insurers usually offer a lower and upper limit of for liability. Although most property owner attempt to obtain policies that cover the majority of the claims, there exists a likelihood of the claim exceeding the upper limit an insurer provides. In case the claim goes beyond the stipulated policy limit, the property owner is usually liable for the excess expenses - unless the purchase an excess liability policy (umbrella) that extends coverage above the base policy limits.
Therefore, when choosing your premises liability insurance, it is important to assess, compare, and contrast the different policies on offer in the market. Industry experts and advisors suggest that property owners should work with experienced commercial agents. These agents would provide professional guidance based on risk assessment as well as their experience in the market.
Sometimes the leaser or owner may have premises liability insurance, but the insurer refuses to pay for claims. One of the reasons that an insurance company may refuse to pay is negligence or recklessness. If the owner does not take care of his property and refuses to put any precautionary measures, the insurer does not have to pay. The property owner owes a duty of care to his invitees and licensees in order to validate any claims that arise within the property.
In cases where the owner is strictly liable for the injury or property damage, the insurer would refuse to pay. Therefore, property owners should always ensure that their actions are not inherently harmful to visitors, guests, and other people within the premises. Dangerous actions such as storing harmful chemicals where customers can access qualify as strict liability, and the insurance company would not pay a claim.
The Bottom Line
The modern society has placed various obligations on property owners in a bid to ensure the safety of invitees, licensees, and trespassers. Property owners are required to cover for any loss of property or injury that occurs on their premises. For this reason, many take premises liability insurance, which protects them from property damage and injury within their premises. Prior to obtaining a premises liability coverage, owners have to understand that they owe a duty of care to people in their premises. As such, incidences of negligence or recklessness should be avoided for the insurers to pay for liability claims.
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Get useful tips and information about how much commercial insurance costs, small business risks and exposures, how insurance regulations effect your businesses' and detailed descriptions of coverages and exclusions and more. Most small businesses need to buy the following four types of insurance at a minimum to cover their operations from every day risks:
Property Insurance: This policy covers a business if the property used in the business is damaged or stolen as the result of common perils like fire or theft. Commercial property insurance covers the buildings, structures and also business personal property - which includes furniture, inventory, raw materials, machinery, computers and other items.
Liability Insurance: Any company can be sued. Slip-and fall lawsuits are very common and be costly. Customers can claim you injured them or damaged their property - and lawsuits are very expensive. Commercial liability insurance pays damages and can include attorney's fees and other legal expenses. It also ca pay for the medical bills of injured third parties
Commercial Auto Insurance: For vehicles owned by the business. Commercial auto insurance pays bodily injury or property damage costs for which the business is found liable - up the the policy limits for liability and property damage.
Workers Compensation Insurance: In almost every state employers must provide workers comp when there are W2 employees. Workers compensation pays for the medical care of employees and can replace a portion of lost wages - regardless of who was at fault for the injuries.