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What Does Public Liability Insurance Coverage Mean?

The coronavirus pandemic transformed our world. It has caused fear and anxiety😫 for many people all over the globe 🌍. It made us more conscious of our health and greatly emphasized the need for insurance that gives us a safety net should we contract a disease. For some, this begs the question: What does public liability insurance coverage mean?

With COVID-19 cases still rampant globally, most public liability insurance policies tend to exclude claims relating to communicable diseases, outbreaks of infections, and pandemics 😷. However, that’s not always the case. Whether your current insurance covers this exclusion is a question that only you can answer by reviewing your updated insurance policies.

Even if your individual insurance excludes COVID-19, you might be covered under public liability insurance. Further, if you own a business, you might need a public liability insurance policy to avoid catastrophe. So, what does public liability insurance coverage mean, and how might it benefit you if you’re a business owner or patron of a business? 🤔 This article will answer those questions and more. 

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Basically, public liability insurance is an insurance product for business owners. It covers the cost of claims 💰 made by the public for incidents that occur in a business establishment. The coverage includes third-party liabilities such as bodily injury or harm, damage to property, or death ⚰️. It can also cover COVID-related issues depending on the policy.

Public liability insurance, as you will see, does not only help the public should an eligible claim happen. It also protects the business from unforeseen situations and financial disasters if a large claim emerges 💸.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Coverage Mean?

While different insurance policies have different inclusions and exclusions with regards to their coverage, there are five basic claims covered under this type of insurance:

  1. Bodily Injury

If someone is injured visiting your business establishment, they are eligible to be covered. In fact, almost 50% of the liability claims under this type of insurance are due to accidents such as slips and falls 🤕. 

  1. Property Damage

Let’s say you hire a contractor to come in and work on your house, and the contractor accidentally breaks your window. Or perhaps you are in a business office and a staff member accidentally spills coffee ☕️ on your designer outfit. This can be considered damage to your property and can be subject to an insurance claim 💰 .

  1. Legal Defense

From the business owner’s perspective, public liability insurance covers the expenses of hiring an investigator or an attorney to represent the company in a lawsuit should a case be filed against them by a customer ⚖️.

Aside from these three basic coverage areas, public liability insurance also includes more areas of coverage. These include personal injury, data loss, copyright infringement, intellectual property, contractual and/or tenant’s liability, and liability arising out of advertising rights. 

What Does Public Liability Insurance Coverage Mean for COVID-19?

Let’s go back to the million-dollar question: What does public liability insurance coverage mean for COVID-19? Although it does not explicitly state the coverage for COVID-related cases, bodily injury includes illnesses 🤒. This can be a gray area to include liabilities incurred from COVID-19. 

So to answer the question, yes! Public liability insurance coverage does sometimes include COVID-19 coverage. But take this information with a grain of salt. For one, this is still on a case-to-case basis. Aside from that, not all insurance policies cover the cost of COVID-related situations. It is still best to contact your company 📞 directly to find out about their policies. 

So, what happens if you’ve contracted COVID because of a business? You need to successfully make a claim that you contracted COVID-19 as a direct result of the business’s breach of the duty of care. Let’s delve into that a little more. 

How to Prove a COVID-19 Negligence Claim

A public liability claim must prove that negligence on the part of the business resulted in your illness 🤧. That is, you have to state evidence such as:

  • A violation of the government guidelines with respect to business operations and conduct of health and safety protocols ⛑
  • A possible contamination resulting from inadequate sanitation
  • A failure to take necessary precautions known for public knowledge to fight COVID-19

These are only three of the claims you may lay on the table. They can serve as preliminary evidence to prove that the business has breached the duty of care.

Does that sound complicated? That’s because it can be. Aside from that, you also have to prove that you got sick because the business acted irresponsibly🦠. Lastly, you have to show that the injury, which in this case is the COVID-19, negatively affected you. This can include health issues, earning ability, and similar problems. 

Get Public Liability Insurance or File a Claim with Professional Help

So, what does public liability insurance coverage mean? As you have read, for a business owner, it can mean protection from claims 💰. For a customer, it can mean compensation if they contract COVID thanks to negligence on the part of the business. 

However, this is not a surefire bet. Insurers are wary of including communicable diseases as part of their insurance policies. When they do offer coverage, it can come with higher premiums.

If you’re trying to pick a good policy or file a claim, you may need to seek assistance from legal professionals 👨‍⚖️ who know how this process works. If you have inquiries and further questions, do not hesitate to book ✒️ a consultation with Ian Corzine or his legal team today! We can help you with COVID liability and much more.