Information & Tips on Liability Insurance
The simplest way to define liability insurance is that this type of insurance protects its policyholder from being held responsible for the other party’s damages. Liability insurance policies will usually only cover you for damages caused to others accidentally. Criminal acts are not offered any protection.
You may already have some liability insurance coverage
Chances are that if you own a car or home you already have some form of Liability insurance coverage. Your car insurance protects your liability to the property of others caused by your insured vehicle. Your home insurance is the main policy that most of us have that includes liability coverage. If you live in the western countries most people usually have some form of liability protection through their home insurance or even renters insurance policies.
There is more awareness of rights and obligations in western countries and people are not reluctant to sue. Legal aid is available in many countries if they need help in legal matters and cannot afford to hire a lawyer. For the general public homeowner policies offer a reasonable amount of liability coverage. In Canada, for instance, one million liability coverage is standard with many companies home insurance policies. The one million liability can be increased to two million for only a few dollars more per annum. In developing countries however homeowner policies are not very common and many people have no liability coverage.
Who needs liability Insurance
If you are a professional person such as a doctor, lawyer, factory or business owner, then you cannot afford to be without liability insurance. Many governments actually require certain professionals to have some form of liability insurance.
Types of Liability Insurance
General liability: Protects business companies from third party claims.
Error and Omissions: Protects companies and business by covering acts or omissions of their employees which may cause damage to others and result in the company being held liable. Companies are protected from being held liable for their employee’s statements, actions or failure to act responsibly.
Professional Malpractice: Protects professionals like doctors or dentists from lawsuits arising out of negligence on their part.
Professionals who need liability Insurance to protect themselves
- Real Estate agents deal with documents of sale and purchase. A mistake can be costly to prospective buyers and sellers and agents can get sued for any error that results in a loss to the people they deal with. Many licensing bodies insist that real estate agents must have errors & omissions insurance before they can work in their profession.
- Doctors, Dentists, and other health care professionals need professional liability coverage. This protects doctors as well as the hospitals or institutions they work for from liability claims that may arise from acts of negligence etc from patients.
- Teachers today are getting liability insurance to protect themselves in the event they are accused of some kind of wrongdoing or are sued by students or parents.
- Employers need liability insurance to protect themselves from liability actions of their employees. Employers usually also protect themselves with workers compensation protection which is supposed to provide for payments for the recuperation and rehabilitation employees who may suffer an injury during the course of performing their duties. Employer liability for covering injured employees is usually referred to as workers compensation. In many countries, such insurance is mandatory and administered by government bodies.
Umbrella liability Insurance
An Umbrella liability policy is a type of insurance available to individuals and companies to protect them against liability claims above and beyond the amount covered by their primary policies or for claims not currently covered.
Umbrella policies are usually thought to be meant for high profile or wealthy people in the past. However, with a large amount being awarded by juries in many western countries, people are starting to look for added protection. Umbrella policies pay when other liability insurance money is not sufficient to pay out a claim. With Umbrella policies, you can add up to 5 million dollars worth of liability coverage. The cost of umbrellas liability is somewhere in the range of $250 per year for each million dollar coverage you add. Check with your insurance agent or broker if you feel you need to protect yourself with such liability coverage.
Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance
Some insurance companies are also offering Kidnap, Ransom and Extortion Insurance now. This type of insurance is usually purchased by large companies to protect their executives and families. Celebrities and high net worth individuals also purchase such policies to protect themselves.