Public liability insurance for the moment is not a compulsory level of coverage for businesses though there is currently a great debate raging regarding whether it should be mandatory or not. However, many businesses they are finding that customers are taking their business elsewhere if they do not have this level of coverage.
So what exactly is public liability insurance? To put it very simply, public liability insurance offers businesses protection against their liability for causing accidental bodily injury to third persons, and also against damage to a third party’s property while you undertake your business activities.
Say you are a plumber, and you are called in to fix a leak. If you accidentally knock something over and damage it, you are covered. Or if you a builder and the client comes on to the construction site and something falls on them, you are covered.
Public liability insurance covers businesses if the third party is on the business premises or if you are on the third party’s property, it is especially important to take out public liability insurance if you work on customer’s sites. If you do all your business by phone or email – for example you are an accountant or IT consultant – it is less important for you to take out public liability insurance as you won’t enter your client’s homes and they are less likely to come to your office.
It is important to note that public liability insurance does not cover any damages awarded as a result of your negligence, so if this is the case you would have to pay the damages and both sets of legal fees. However, if it is not found to be a result of your negligence then the public liability insurance policy would cover the cost of the damages, your legal fees and the claimant’s legal fees.
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States, and I wanted to take a moment to reflect upon how incredibly fortunate my family and I are. Sure we have a few issues here and there, but for the most part, we are healthy, have food on the table, and a place to stay. My father has Alzheimer’s and is going downhill fairly quickly, but I am thankful for his long life and health until recently. So we will be celebrating our Thanksgiving day with family and enjoying football and lots of food.
Contrast to Honduras
Some of you may know that my college-aged daughter and I recently returned from Honduras where we spent 10 days on a mission trip. I am always struck by the contrast between this Third World country and the United States. The poverty and lack of infrastructure is simply amazing. Here is one view of city:
The mountains are very pretty and the people are nice, but everyday life can be a struggle. There are so many things that we take for granted like our infrastructure. The roads there are full of potholes and have mounds of dirt sitting in them in random places. Manhole covers have been stolen for recycling and the holes have tires in them to warn drivers.
We take security for granted as well. Many businesses have armed guards posted. It is shocking to say the least to see shotgun wielding guards at the Dunkin Donuts. When I first arrived last year, I thought there were a lot of prisons. It didn’t take long to figure out that razor wire was surrounding most of the buildings in the capital.
I was also surprised to learn that there is no mail service in Honduras. Most of the roads are unnamed so it is next to impossible to get a package to someone. Oddly enough, bills for electricity are placed on the door and have to be paid at the banks. (If the bills get delivered, can’t there be mail but maybe I’m missing something.)
I am also thankful for clean water that I can drink. Even the locals can’t drink the water because of the risk for disease. The poorest Hondurans seem to find some method of getting safe drinking water. One of the jobs can be seen in the picture at the left. This delivery method is motorized, but there are several who ride around in bikes delivering bottled water to the various neighborhoods throughout the city. I also found the little half liter bags of water that the kids drank quite fascinating.
Of course if you want to talk about risk when traveling to Honduras, you have to discuss the airport. I have learned that the international airport in the capital city of Tegucigalpa is one of the (if not THE) most dangerous and scary landings for pilots, and thus for the passengers as well.
If you don’t believe me, check out this video of a plane coming in for a landing. I want to know what is up with the people on the mountain?!
After that landing video, you understand why it is that I make sure that all my insurance coverage is up to date. I want to make sure that if anything happens to me either during the landing or while on the ground in Honduras that my family is well cared for. I always like to joke that I am worth more dead than alive, but for the next several years, it is a true statement.
Now life insurance isn’t the only insurance that I carry. Being in the United States and having many things and responsibilities means that I also carry disability insurance to protect income in the event of illness or injury and home owner’s insurance to protect property. Other types of insurance that should be considered are a liability umbrella policy and even professional liability insurance if you are in a higher risk profession.
Taking Stuff for Granted
I am incredibly thankful for being born into a wonderful country with plenty of opportunities for those who work hard. I am thankful for my health and my family. I am thankful for the safety and security and ease of travel in the United States. There may be problems in our country right now, but things could always be worse and I don’t want to take anything for granted.
So this Thanksgiving Day, for what are you thankful?