Liability insurance is a type of insurance policy that protects a party against a claim from a 3rd party through legal action or through a claim directly against the policy. It is not usually designed to pay out any compensation to the insured party, but only to other claimants.
In the case of liability insurance the insurer bears the legal responsibility and duty of protecting the insured party from unreasonable claims.
What is Employer’s Liability Insurance?
In the United States employer’s liability insurance is designed to protect a company and its workers by offering a level of coverage that protects workers against injuries or fatalities that are the fault of the company, or a third party whilst the employee is on company business.
It is not the same as worker’s compensation which is a form of insurance designed to cover lost wages and medical benefits to a worker but at the expense of the worker’s right to sue their employer for negligence. Worker’s compensation can paid in similar ways to payouts made under employer’s liability insurance.
Employer’s liability insurance is designed to cover those areas of work which are not already covered under workers’ compensation plans.
Are there any restrictions on employer’s liability insurance?
In many of the American states the insurers are prohibited by law from imposing any unreasonable conditions for companies who want to be insured. In practice this even forbids the insurer from requiring the company to obey the law in regard to current safe working environments.
Is employer’s liability insurance mandatory?
In some states it is, in others it is not. It is highly recommended that employers take out adequate coverage with employer’s liability insurance irrespective of the legal requirements. This is because in the event of a claim many smaller companies can be driven into insolvency in the event of a successful legal action against them.
How do I know if my work place is covered by employer’s liability insurance?
There may be a mention of employer’s liability insurance in your contract of employment or in the terms and conditions detailed in your employee handbook – if it is not detailed in the documents, your employer may still have employer’s liability insurance and you should contact your line manager or HR department to find out exactly what kind of coverage is in place for your work place.