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Liability Lines

With the growing literacy rate, access to information, together with the development of the
judicial system, be an individual or a corporate one cannot escape from legal liability. Liability can arise out of personal negligence in the form of bodily injury or death or damage to property in public space or in an organization. Liability can also arise out of the goods sold, supplied or even during the process of conducting business. Professional negligence, errors or omissions can also lead to financial implications.

Employer’s liability

Employees are usually the most valuable asset for an organization but can become a major liability if the risks exposed and obligations under the law are not understood and the company isn’t protected against them. Most Middle Eastern Countries stipulate employer’s obligations under their respective Laws. In the case of United Arab Emirates, Federal Law no 8 of 1980 (amended from time to time) stipulates the employer’s liability in the event of an accident whilst in employment. Although the laws do not enforce insurance protection, employers are obliged to insure against their liabilities under the laws of their respective countries as well as under Common Law and/or Sharia Law.

Besides standard employment contracts, employers may be required to provide additional insurance coverage to attract and retain specialists or key personnel as part of their HR strategy. Employees may often get exposed to certain unusual risks due to their involvement in dangerous activities or by their commercial travelling to hazardous or dangerous areas.
A well worded Employer’s Liability Insurance policy can provide protection against legal liability arising from injuries or death of employees.

Comprehensive General Liability or CGL

Commercial General Liability insurance, also known as business general liability or corporate liability insurance covers claims of bodily injury or property damage that may arise on the business premises or during normal company operations outside of their premises. Businesses or commercial enterprises can be exposed to liabilities arising from its premises or activities at work sites away from its base, as per specific laws or under common law or tort or negligence or due to contractual or commercial or other obligations.

Typical liabilities would be claims in respect of Third Party personal injury or death or property damage, advertising injury, contractual liability, liquor liability, completion liability, pollution, and claims for damages from material damage by accident, lightning, fire or explosion etc.

Contractors can often be contractually liable for loss of or damage to the principals surrounding property, property in their care and custody, goods being lifted, transported or erected due to pollution or professional negligence etc.

The right comprehensive general liability or CGL policy can be designed to provide protection against all these liabilities and engaging with one of our experts is recommended so that they can evaluate the risks you may be exposed to due to your normal business activities or specific contracts.

Directors and Officers Liability

Directors, officers or senior employees are often exposed to the risks of being sued for their decisions that may be deemed inappropriate or incorrect. Claims can be from various avenues including shareholders, employees, clients, authorities or the general public. These claims can turn out to be the personal responsibility of the senior executive resulting in personal assets being attached or compromised of the organisation that they work for.

Such unanticipated lawsuits against these executives can be devastating to the concerned individuals as well as the organisation they represent. Organisations have paid the price for not being prepared to protect the individuals who are responsible for their successes and therefore it is vital that companies invest in such policy as it enhances a sense of security in the organisational hierarchy. This may also attract and retain the right talent and boost the organisation’s standing within the professional community.

Decennial Liability

In addition to the usual construction risks, the owners, principals or contractors can be exposed to the risks of latent defects or defective materials supplied or even defective workmanship. Usually, owners or principals of building projects take out this cover while the contractors are supervised by Insurers or the appointed quantity surveyors, to ensure such defects are eliminated. A well worded decennial liability policy extends protection in the unfortunate event of any mishap resulting in a liability.

Medical Malpractice

The Medical profession is usually more exposed to the risks of errors and omissions since they are directly involved with human lives. These cases are sensitive in nature and are often governed by the concerned authorities. In some countries, the coverage is mandatory with stipulated minimum coverage and limits of indemnity.

Typical Claims are for wrong diagnosis, mishandling of patients, misreading prescriptions resulting in wrong treatments, overdose of medicines, ignoring symptoms etc. Such claims can be financially devastating and can have dire legal implications, including the risk of losing their licenses not to mention their reputation.

Medical Malpractice Insurance policies can be designed by our experts to provide protection against risks of clinical or medical errors and omissions.

Product Liability

Any physical item that is sold or is given away is deemed as a product. A product must be “fit for purpose”, and you can be legally responsible for any damage or injury that a product you supply may cause. Claimants tend to claim from the supplier of a product first even if they did not manufacture the product.

A properly worded Products liability insurance policy can cover legal liabilities arising from a defective manufactured product leaving your premises as compared to the Public Liability Insurance, which generally covers risks within the premises unless extended to include work away risks.

Professional Indemnity or Liability

Due to the growing pressure professionals operate under, with demands for quick answers and cost effective solutions, there can be errors and omissions made by the professionals, resulting in financial loss to their clients. This factored with the litigious nature of the society underscores the need for protection against potential lawsuits, both for clients and professionals. Some of the professionals normally exposed to this are Architects, Contractors, Engineers, Doctors, Lawyers, Accountants, loss adjusters/surveyors etc., Professional Indemnity Policies, are complex in nature and require professional help. A well worded policy can be designed by our experts to provide the right protection against the above risks.

Public Liability

As Business owners, there are many possibilities for you to be liable which could be categorised as Public Liability. This includes but is not limited to accidental loss of or damage to property belonging to the public, third party or accidental bodily injury, disease contracted while attending a business activity, damage to the buildings you occupy as tenant, loss of or damage to the goods in your care and custody, or even work away risks. This may also include liabilities arising out of food & drinks served by you or goods sold, supplied, serviced or manufactured by you. Besides the claims, legal assistance may be required in defending such claims or if you are liable, find the appropriate mechanisms to safeguard your interest.

These risks can be insured under Public Liability Policy suitably extended to include your specific needs.

Workmen’s Compensation

Workmen’s Compensation is the basic protection of employees under specific laws or governance. Usually, the employer/employee relationships are defined by the country laws, which also stipulate the employer’s obligations in the event of accidents resulting in injuries or death of employees. Like most countries, the United Arab Emirates has the UAE Federal Law which governs the employer/employee relationship. The UAE law stipulates that the employer is obliged to compensate injured employees, and in cases of deceased employees pay death compensation to the members of the deceased family.

Workmen’s Compensation Policies can be extended to include Employer’s liability as per Common or Sharia Law with specific limits of liability to suit the needs of the company.

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