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    "If you've been injured through no fault of your own you could be entitled to compensation. If you're unsure if you could claim, I recommend you call Accident Advice Helpline."

    Esther Rantzen

    Health and Safety News

    Warning to SMEs over liability insurance

    By David Brown on September 25, 2013

    Small businesses are being warned that they risk facing heavy fines and even financial ruin if they do not have sufficient insurance cover.

    More than 350,000 small firms have no employers’ liability insurance and could be fined up to £2,500 a day, according to insurance company LV.

    The law requires all businesses employing staff to have employers’ liability insurance otherwise they can be fined by the Health & Safety Executive.

    Staff ‘vulnerable’

    One in every 14 small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) polled did not have the required certificate.

    LV also found that one in 20 small businesses had no general insurance cover in place, equivalent to 230,000 companies.

    If one of these businesses is sued, or is forced to interrupt trading due to an unforeseen event such as a fire or flood, it could go under.

    Mike Crane, commercial lines director at LV, said: “This research shows that thousands of small businesses are leaving themselves vulnerable to financial ruin by not taking out appropriate insurance cover. Those businesses employing staff are particularly vulnerable.”

    LV’s claims data shows there has been an increase in the number of employer liability claims in recent years.

    Accident Advice Helpline has years of experience in dealing with these sorts of claims, and can help employees get the best compensation deal.

    Other liability claims

    Meanwhile, slips and trips liability claims from the general public now make up the second-largest proportion of claims, after theft and damage caused by leaks, storms and accidental damage.

    The survey found that 6% of SMEs did not have public liability insurance.

    Business interruption is the other main area in which companies can be insured against losses, but only 60% of small businesses have this insurance. The average cost of business interruption claims increased by 9% in 2012.

    “In today’s culture where compensation claims are on the rise, SMEs could find themselves thousands of pounds out of pocket if they do not have adequate protection,” Mr Crane said.

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