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Have you ever been so mad at a company for doing something wrong you wanted to sue them? After a few hours, most of us cool off and laugh about the situation. But not everyone – millions of claims begin with minor accidents and lead to the third party suing the business (public liability lawsuits).

There are times when the business has truly made a serious mistake, and the member of the public has the right to sue. However, many public liability claims are not the business’s fault and may surprise you.

Various situations can lead to public liability claims. They usually occur when a visitor on your premises has hurt themselves, usually by slipping or tripping, and they believe that it was the business’s negligence at fault, rather than carelessness on their part (shocking). 

Public liability claims can seriously damage a business, no matter whose fault it is. Claims lead to financial loss and reputation damage. Most companies purchase public liability insurance to avoid risky impacts when they begin their business. This article will explain the top 5 most shocking and silly public liability claims and how public liability insurance helped the business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

As mentioned, public liability insurance is one of the first insurance a business will purchase to protect itself. Public Liability insurance protects businesses if a third party (a member of the public) sues the company, alleging that the business’s negligence caused them some bodily injury or property damage. 

As soon as a business begins its journey on its premises, it is at risk of public liability claims. In addition, claims could be anything from someone slipping in a restaurant washroom to an employee accidentally dropping a flowerpot out the window. 

Therefore, every business needs public liability insurance to protect itself from these risks, which may not even be the business’s fault. After reading these odd public liability claims, you may be more persuaded to invest in public liability insurance.

Top 5 Surprising Public Liability Claims?

1. Slip and Fall Hobby 

We all have seen those bright yellow stands with the falling man to warn us about wet floors. They do a pretty good job of communicating the message, so we are more careful in that area. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. There are millions of slip and fall claims, which are claims made by third parties who have slipped on the premises. Third parties then sue the business for injuries due to their negligence. The yellow stand is a safety net for companies to protect themself from such cases- as they did their duty to warn.

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However, what if we tell you that these claims may still arise even if the floor is not wet? Isabel Parker, a 72-year-old lady, used to position herself in various stores and pretend to slip and injure herself. She has been victorious 49 times during her long scamming career and collected US$ 500,115 between 1993 and 2000.

Such slip-and-fall frauds are shocking and happen all over the world. They are fun to read about but can be costly for a business. However, public liability insurance will cover the cost of legal defence, medical costs, and commission after the incident. In addition, the insurance gives the business owner confidence and peace of mind when fighting against any public liability claims.

2. Glassdoor or Invisible Door 

Imagine this: your employee is cleaning those glass doors and has actually done a great job. Hold on to those back-patting cause if the job is done too well, there might be customers who don’t see it as a door and walk straight into it (ouch). Instead of rethinking their careless move, they might blame your business for having ‘too clear glass doors’. Believe it or not, this is a common public liability case.

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For instance, A man had just finished shopping at a supermarket, and while walking out of the shop, he walked straight into the glass door. He was embarrassed, and his nose began to bleed. He instantly sued the business for his injury and mental trauma. The local court took the case seriously, and a settlement was made to reduce the impact quickly.

Thankfully, public liability insurance will assist the business in such situations. The insurance will provide legal, medical and settlement costs for the claim. Such claims can come from anywhere, and having clean glass doors shouldn’t be a crime. Public liability insurance reduces the impact of these risks and allows employees to focus on their job.

3. Flying Coconuts

 Some businesses work in outdoor areas and use that area and nature in various ways, such as a golf course, outdoor club or private park. Outdoor areas are full of public risks, as they can’t be controlled as indoor spaces. There is the risk of rain, animals, hail and falling trees. One would think a customer or client would understand that. Well, not in this case.

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A woman sued the outdoor club, claiming a falling coconut struck her at the Mardi Gras event due to the organiser’s negligence. Additionally, she claims the incident has brought her recurring nightmares of ‘flying coconuts coming to strike her in the eye’. The vice president of the company settled the case with a settlement payout. Luckily, the business had the funds to end the case instantly, but many companies could suffer in a case like this – with reputation damage and financial.

These kinds of claims can occur at any point and anywhere. Public liability insurance will protect your business from financial and reputation damage—the best protection against flying coconuts on your premises.

4. Falling Products 

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When a business sells its products in a store, product placement is essential, and at the same time, most stores have limited space. Therefore, each product is placed carefully, and some are set higher up for a good reason. The higher products usually are more expensive and need employee assistance to help customers bring them down. The business must ensure the store is safe for customers, but the customers must also make responsible decisions.

However, some customers believe they have no duty to be responsible. For example, a man was injured when trying to climb shelves to reach high-level products. Instead of asking for assistance, he took the responsibility himself, and the falling product resulted in a broken arm. He then sued the supermarket for negligence and third-party injury on their premises. The supermarket paid the man’s medical bills and compensation of USD 136,000 in damages.

Public liability insurance pays for damages when the business is in trouble with such cases. The insurance will pay for all costs related to the case, including settlement. However, public liability claims can be unpredictable and not a business’s fault; hence, the company shouldn’t pay for customer negligence.

5. Concerts Are Too Loud

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When you enter a concert, you want the most from the experience- the loud music, the crowd and more. It is what makes a concert memorable and fun. Additionally, it’s something one expects from a concert. Who wants to go to a quiet concert!. Well, a few people do not know what is involved in a show.

In 2010, a woman attended a  Justin Bieber concert and complained it was too loud. She sued the concert organiser for $ 9.2 million, claiming she obtained hearing damage. Luckily, the concert company won the case due to the absurd claim. Unfortunately, not every business may be as lucky and have to pay some settlement costs.

Public liability insurance is a business’s best tool in such odd cases. The insurance company will help cover the cost of defending yourself, and if the case is lost, the insurance will pay the related expenses. 

Why Does Every Business Need Public Liability Insurance?

No matter what your business does, third-party risks and possible claims always arise from anywhere. When third-party customers or clients enter your business, you are responsible for their safety and care. As you can tell from the above examples, third-party claims are shocking and can rise at any point.

Additionally, many more severe examples of public liability claims can ruin a business. Such claims can cost the business millions and create an ongoing case that may shut it down. Insurance significantly reduces the impact, allowing the business to recover from the damage.

Not everyone thinks logically, so it is better to have public liability insurance to be safe.



To learn more about public liability insurance and protect your business from surprising claims, contact Red Asia Insurance.