If you are an employer in the UK, you are responsible for the health and safety of your employees while they are at work.

Therefore Employers' Liability insurance is compulsory. The Government introduced The Employers' Liability Compulsory Insurance Act 1969 to ensure that employers have at least a minimum level of insurance cover against claims from such employees, should they seek compensation following injury or illness as a result of their work.

Following the introduction of the Employers' Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Regulations 1998, the minimum level of cover is £5m but most policies provide an automatic level of £10m.

The Health & Safety Executive enforces the law on Employers' Liability insurance and their inspectors will ask to see your Certificate of Insurance and other insurance details. (A copy of the current certificate must be displayed where your employees can easily read it). Failure to do so, may result in a fine. You can be fined if you do not display the certificate of insurance or refuse to make it available to a Government Health & Safety Executive inspector when requested.

The 1969 Act termed an employee as "an individual entered into works under a contract of service or apprenticeship with an employer". Today, Employers' Liability policies actually provide wider cover than this, for example, most policies will indemnify employers where they are deemed responsible, for hired-in people or those working on a work experience scheme. The question of where liability rests in such cases can still be open to debate.

Employers' Liability policies cover injury that is caused during the period of insurance. Consequently, when injury or disease manifests itself years after the original cause, for instance and industrial disease, there is a need to identify the Employers' Liability insurers from way back.

This can cause difficulties for the claimants especially if the employer is no longer in business or have not been retained by them. Employers following the 1998 Regulations are now required to retain for 40 years any certificate of insurance issued to them.

Group companies, which are parent companies and their subsidiaries, are still viewed as a single employer and can therefore be insured under the same cover, but EL Certificates must clearly state which subsidiaries are covered and specify their names.

Associated companies cannot be insured by the same EL cover and must be insured separately because they are separate legal entities.

Public/Products Liability

We live in litigious times. Businesses can be sued, rightly or wrongly, for seemingly vast damages over a whole services of complaints. Whether working at home or at a business premises. Public/Products Liability insurance can protect a business from this. It can't stop people suing or winning their cases, but it can deal with the financial consequences.

When your business involves contact with the general public you need Public Liability cover. This protects against injury to third parties (not staff) or damage to your property where you are believed to be negligent. This could be someone tripping over a cable, or slipping on a wet floor. Cover also includes the Legal Fees and associated costs involved in defending a claim, plus the award for damages against you including NHS costs relating to ambulance call out and hospital treatment.

Products Liability cover provides additional cover in respect of damage or injury caused to Third Parties as a result of a product sold or manufactured.

It's not unknown for damages to reach millions of pounds and you can select a limit of liability for your business needs. Some businesses have the need for specialist extensions to adequately cover their requirements, for example acts of appointed sub contractors.