Liability Insurance

14 Jan 2005
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United Kingdom
A company has quoted to do some work in my house and their T&Cs regarding liability insurance states:

"XXXX has Public and Employer liability insurance which covers accidental damage caused by a member of staff working on behalf of us. All damages must be reported within 24 hours of the visit taking place. There is an excess on any claim of which 1/3 is paid by the customer and 2/3 by XXXX".

It suggests that I have to pay 1/3 of the excess on any claim !!

Surely if a contractor causes damage, the company makes the claim and pays any excess. Or am I missing something?

Any advice on liability insurance would be welcome.

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Tell him to get lost, you are not liable for his misfortune. It's a bit like me borrowing your car, and I tell you that you are liable for 1/3 the cost of any damage that I might cause.
His stance also implies he's lost out before due to his incompetance, and this is his underhand way of spreading his liabilities.
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Sounds dodgy to me, make sure he has full liability insurance to cover all aspects of the job required.

If he is not properly insured, if any one of his staff comes to harm, you could be liable for damages because you invited them onto your property to work without checking there was adequate cover
That's not an insurance policy if the insurance company does not have to pay any of the claim.
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If he is not properly insured, if any one of his staff comes to harm, you could be liable for damages because you invited them onto your property to work without checking there was adequate cover

Tricky area this one, because if the "harm" they came to was a direct result of the home owners negligence, then there would be a claim against him regardless of whether the workers company had liability insurance. But the homeowner would not be liable because they don't have liability insurance, but he would very likely struggle to recover any costs for damage, because he'd then need to sue the personally. If they tried to sue him for any damages, the judge would rule that in not having liability insurance, they were themselves negligent, and working under their own recognicence.

Better he points out to the company that their terms that he pay one third of any claim makes him wary of using them, so he'll pass on their services for now - unless he desperately needs them of course.
Your claim in law is against the contractor and he is covered by his insurance policy. In theory you get your claim paid in full by the negligent party and he bears any excess on his policy. This bloke's T's and C's look a bit dodgy to me and I wouldn't use them.
Doug99, good evening.

OK, the Building Company has PI, and PL, Insurances in place, fine so far. Lots of reassurance. LOOKS GOOD???


Any Insurance "Contract" is between the Insurer, and the Individual or Company that applies for and is named on the Policy, and funds the fee that the Policy attracts.

Looking at it? what part of the above "Contract" are you ? you should be indemnified and protected should the Policy Holder [the Contractor or his representatives / workers] damage your property. you are not named on the Policy, you could be a beneficiary of the Policy, should something go wrong??

If you wish to take this fiasco further?? ask for the name of the Insurer, or a copy of the PI. and PL, Insurance Policies, if you get them contact the Insurer and inform them of this "SCAM" because that is what it is ! !

As for using this Company, sorry, but I would walk away?

Your call??

Thanks everyone for your input. I've asked the company to clarify their "customer pays 1/3 of excess" statement, so will see how they respond.
But Doug, every reply said avoid them, so why bother. What is it you're not telling us.
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Came across something like this many years ago. I was told I would pay the contractor 25% of any claim then when he got paid by the insurance company he would pay me back my 25% So decided to take one of the plasterers for a drink to 'discuss what I wanted'. Amazing what a bit of alcohol can do to loosen a tongue!

Turned out the builder would always make a claim, get the 25% off the customer, get paid by the insurance then give the customer his 25% back. Where the scam was, he was telling the customer one price for the damage but claiming more back from the insurance. After paying back the customer he was still quids in.
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