Over the last couple of years, we have noticed insurers starting to ask a lot of questions around the use of sub-contractors, particularly in any trades related industry. This additional underwriting is a result of increasing claims for personal injury to sub-contractors.
As a sub-contractor is not deemed to be an employee, they are not covered under the businesses workers compensation insurance. So if a sub-contractor is injured while working under your direction, they (or their workers compensation insurer) can bring claims against the business owner’s public liability insurance. Claims are being made on the basis of business owner’s not providing (and documenting) adequate training, safety procedures or insuring a safe working environment.
Insurers are responding to these increasing claims in two ways;
1. Applying an additional excess for personal injury claims to sub-contractors. This excess can be up to $25,000.
2. Asking additional underwriting questions to understand the exposure your business has to sub-contractors and then loading your premium accordingly.
As a business owner, it’s defiantly worth reviewing your public liability insurance to make sure you have correctly disclosed the use of sub-contractors and to see if any additional excess is applicable to these personal injury claims.