It is vitally important that the business description on a liability insurance policy is correct and up to date. You should check your business description, regularly, at least once annually at renewal, to ensure that it is correct and depicts an accurate description of your business and the activities you undertake.
Why is the business description on a liability insurance policy so important?
A liability insurance policy protects you against claims from third parties in the case of public liability and from employees in the case of employers liability arising our of and in the course of the business as described in the business description.
It is the business description that is the most important factor in the insurer assessing the risks proposed under a liability insurance policy. It informs the insurer what you are doing and the type of work you undertake and it is this that the premium you pay is based upon.
If the description is not correct and you are operating outside of your declared business insurers can repudiate any claim made under a public liability or employers liability policy, albeit they made be compelled to respond to any judgement made against the policyholder, they would be in a position to seek restitution from the policyholder for any payments made in these circumstances.
Interpretation of the business description
Whilst all this may seem quite frightening, a little balance comment may be helpful here. If your business description is “Builder”, any work that would normally be associated with that trade description would be accepted under the policy and this might include “higher” risk activities such as roofing and scaffolding as well as “lower” risk such as clerical work.
It is worth noting that this inclusion and acceptance of associated trades is very much subject to those activities being ancillary to the main business description as described. A builder, whilst he would be covered for scaffolding work associated with a more general contract for building works should not be undertaking work where there sole involvement is erection of scaffolding for another company. This is a very important distinction to make. If you are a scaffolding contractor, a roofer, a hot plumber by trade, then that is what your policy should be based upon.
On-line liability insurance quote and compare sites
With the increased availability of instant quotes for liability insurance on the internet and in call centres, there is an increased risk that policyholders may “buy on-line” with the incorrect business description and not have the access to information of the right quality from their provider. Remember it is your responsibility to arrange your insurance correctly and the information your provide is the information that your policy will be based upon. If you are in any doubt whatsoever about the details of your policy you should seek clarification and confirmation from your insurance broker or company.
At Blackfriars we provide an extensive list of on-line liability insurance products for more than a thousand occupations and activities. These offer instant quotes and cover for many trades but we also back this service up with a team of professional insurance brokers who are more than happy to discuss your requirements with you and help you to make sure that the policy you are buying is suitable for your needs.