In the United Kingdom, businesses and employers should undertake an assessment of the first aid needs of the business and part of this assessment will include whether the business should have it’s own designated qualified first aiders and if so are first aiders covered under business insurance policies?
Does my business insurance cover claims made in respect of liability arising from the provision of first aid services?
Most business insurance policies that include cover in respect of public liability and employers liability insurance will automatically include cover in respect of the provision of first aid services by a qualified first aider within the business. You should check the details of your own policy in order to be certain the cover is in place for your business but generally you will find that first aid is included in your policy document under the definition of the “Business”. The wording of this definition will include the following or it’s equivalent;
The business of the Insured as specified in the schedule which is deemed to include:
c) fire, first aid and ambulance services
Does my insurance cover me for first aid services provided to members of the public?
When deciding whether you need a qualified first aider or aiders within a business you will also need to consider whether that person will provide the services to any visitors or customers who may be involved with the business. The provision of such services would be included within the definition of the “business” as stated above providing that your policy did not specify “to employees only” or a similar limitation.
Can someone claim against the business as a result of liability arising from first aid services?
To date there have been no successful actions in the UK arising from the provision of first aid services, although there have been claims made. Your insurance, subject to the inclusion of first aid, will take your place in any such action and whilst there may be no reasonable prospect of a claim being successful against you, the insurance company will cover the cost of any legal defence that may be required and this might be quite costly.
There are suggestions that the UK government will introduce legislation to protect so called “rescuers” or ” good Samaritans” from legal action in the future, such legislation is present in many countries around the world but at the present time the legal situation in the UK is determined by common law built up over the years that does favour the “rescuer”.
Insurance for professional first aid services
The situation for a business providing first aid or other medical services is somewhat different. In these cases a specialist policy providing medical malpractice insurance or an equivalent cover under public liability insurance, would be required.