What to do in the event of a public liability incident – Third Party Property Damage

Whilst Public Liability insurance is not a legal requirement for some businesses, it is essential to protect the Policyholder against allegations of damage to third party property. Damage or alleged damage to the property of another party by the Policyholder is a Public Liability matter.

It is a Policy requirement that the Policyholder notifies their Insurer of any circumstances which may give rise to a claim. Insurer’s expectation is that such matters are notified in a timely manner allowing them sufficient time for a liability investigation and to consider their stance in advance of a formal claim.

As part of the investigation, Insurers will amongst other documentation, request copies of:

  • Full details of the incident with photographs of the damage.
  • Copy internal investigation indicating findings and details of any witnesses.
  • Risk assessments and/or method statements for task being undertaken at the time of the incident.

A formal claim is an allegation of negligence and consequent damage to property and in these circumstances, will be brought by a member of the public against the property owner or occupier, the Policyholder. The claim will generally be issued in the form of a letter by solicitors instructed by the claimant and will set out the allegations and breach of duty being maintained.

Insurers will instruct an investigation, generally requiring the services of a loss adjuster or investigator who will meet with the Policyholder to discuss the incident. Once Insurers are in receipt of the findings of the investigation, they will make a decision to either concede or deny liability.

For guidance with notification to Insurers of an injury to a member of the public or visitor please contact your Thomas Carroll dedicated Claims Executive or call 02920 853788.