Specialist Liability Insurance in South Africa

Specialist Liability Insurance is designed to cater for the invariably catastrophic financial implications of eventualities, when they do occur.

Umbrella Liability Insurance - cover will come into force when normal limits are reached

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One thing is certain, all businesses, from small-to-medium enterprise (or SME) and professionals, are exposed to the public at large in some way or another and thus liability cover is essential for any business operating in South Africa. Liability Insurance should therefore be a serious consideration to cover and protect your business against a myriad of liabilities.

A liability claim against your business can have devastating affects – that is, if you are not protected through a tailor-made product. Adopting a proactive approach is key to be indemnified against claims – financial or otherwise. Often the circumstances of liability may be vague and even unclear, but can still lead to legal expenses and disputes.

Liability risk may vary from business to business – it is recommended that the client and their broker conduct a proper risk survey. This is required to analyse any possible liability claims against the client. Often where a business provided a service, claims may arise on aspects such as neglect, omissions or errors.

This area of insurance is highly specialist. There are only a few leading insurers and specialist niche underwriters who provide cover for Liability Insurance.

These options may be confusing...

In fact, the smartest thing you can do is -- Get a specialist broker to do it for you!

Specialist Liability Insurance may cover the following areas:
  • Broad Form Liability Insurance:   Basically, it is an improved version of the traditional commercial policy’s benefits. It extends into improved territorial limits, wider cover with regards to property damage and what is seen as trigger events with a “softer” wording.
  • Clinical Trials Liability Insurance:   Medical device companies, medical research and pharmaceutical companies, should seriously consider these liability insurance options. This offers cover for individuals who participated in the clinical trials, and where injuries can be directly linked to the trials and proven to be the actual injury.
  • Commercial Crime Liability Insurance:   It covers a company against financial loss through theft and fraud (e.g. money laundering, employee fraud, embezzlement, corruption, computer fraud, extortion).
  • Contractors Liability Insurance:   Offers peace of mind protection to those businesses or individuals involved in construction, repairs and maintenance, civil construction and other. The cover protects the insured against a host of perils that may happen whilst they are busy with a project.
  • Cyber Crime Liability Insurance:   Any organisation who handles personal data can fall victim to this escalating crime. Cover options normally include data liability, data security, brand repair costs, data investigations & fines, and associated data disclosure notice costs.
  • Directors and Officers Liability Insurance:   Provide liability cover for current and senior management and directors of a company. Normally, for claims made by shareholders or stakeholders for a wrongful act. The cover will pay towards where awards were made, or for legal and investigating costs.
  • Employment Practices Liability Insurance (EPLI):   Basically, it covers an organisation for claims made in the workplace through employees. These claims may include aspects related to wrongful termination, harassment, promotion arguments and many others.
  • Events Liability Insurance:   Includes event cancellation or liability. With liability, it covers death, injury, illness or damage to property. Event liability cancellation, is all about an event being cancelled and providing further cover extensions to clients with special perils.
  • General Liability Insurance:   It covers you for claims made by the general public, as a result of day-to-day business activities. Normally cover would extend to death, injury or damage to property.
  • Kidnap and Ransom Liability Insurance:   Businesses or high net-worth individuals should consider taking this cover – especially when travelling to dangerous places from time-to-time. (Perils may include: Extortion payment, security consultants, judgements and defence costs, any additional expenses like travel and others).
  • Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance:   Medical care givers buy this liability cover to indemnify themselves from the broad liability claims that can be made by patients.
  • Motor Third Party Liability Insurance:   This type of liability insurance covers you, if you caused a vehicle accident which resulted in damages or a loss of another person’s property.
  • Passenger Liability Insurance:   Grants cover to a business against passengers being transported in a vehicle owned by the business. Claims may arise in the event of an accident for death or injuries to passengers in such vehicles. Taxi owners would be a good example, where passenger liability insurance would apply.
  • Pension Funds Liability Insurance:   A highly regulated environment and regulatory authorities are imposing stringent statutory duties on trustees in performing their duties. The Pension Fund Liability Insurance grants cover for trustees, employers and employees and the actual pension fund in the event of a wrongful act, impacting negatively on the assets of the fund.
  • Prize Indemnity Liability Insurance:   Insurance taken by the client, where they may be held liable for a certain event or achievement. For example, sponsoring a hole-in-one on a golf day. A prize is often attached to such stroke of genius “or luck” – if achieved, the insurance will indemnify the insured.
  • Product Recall Liability Insurance:   It covers the costs associated with recalling a product, such as customer notifications, shipping and disposal. Some industries are more prone to product recalls such as: Food & beverage, vehicles, toys, electronics and many more. They all may face voluntary or involuntary product recalling from time-to-time.
  • Professional Indemnity Liability Insurance:   Professionals granting services, or those who provide advice, may be faced with a liability claim. A third party may hold them accountable in connection with service provided. In some professions this form of cover is required by law.
  • Pollution Liability Insurance:  Pollution liability grants cover against gradual, sudden, accidental or associated pollution with a product. It may also include clean-up costs of own land, water, third party property or land, diminished value, bodily injury, spillage of waste in transportation and contractors pollution at contractor sites.
  • Umbrella Liability Insurance:  Where the insured takes out increased liability cover. This cover would come in force when the normal underlying policies' limits are reached.
  • Warehouse and Cargo Carriers Liability Insurance:  It offers protection to the policy holder for goods in their care whilst in storage, or whilst it is being transported.
  • Workmen’s Compensation Liability Insurance – now known as Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COID):  All registered employers in RSA must pay contributions to the fund. The fund provides cover for the general South African workforce. It covers injury, death and disease. An employee or their dependents may however, still institute legal action against an employer for injuries, death or disease – if deemed to be accountable.
    It is recommended that all businesses take extra liability as claims of this nature may amount to large pay-outs.
Employment Practices Liability Insurance - cover for job termination, harassment etc
Workmen's Compensation Liability Insurance - cover for the SA workforce
Motor Third Party Liability Insurance - covers loss/damage of another person's property
Medical Malpractice Liability Insurance - covers to indemnify against patient claims
Cyber Crime Liability Insurance - cover against any illegal activity that involves computers, internet or network-connected devices
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