Last Chance General Liability - Employee Demolishes Skylight
When companies grow, this is first of all a reason for joy, but often also requires further steps, such as renting office space. This also brings up new responsibilities and new questions, such as: Who is actually responsible if damage occurs to the rented premises? An IT service provider insured through exali had to realise that this question quickly becomes very relevant in this real exali damage event.
When a company reaches a certain size, it becomes necessary for many self-employed people to rent office space in order to create room for employees. An IT service provider had therefore rented rooms on several floors. This included an office on the third floor of a building. The supply of fresh air was ensured by slanted skylights that the staff could open and close with a lever.
One day, an employee used too much force: He pulled so hard on the window lever that he ultimately tore it out completely. It was neither possible to close the window completely nor lock it anymore.
Even self-employed people in the art sector are not immune to property damage. This was also the experience of a photographer insured through exali during a shooting. Read the whole story in the article Trouble at a Photo Shoot: Self-Employed Photographer Damages Sculpture.
General Liability Bears The Costs
The IT service provider reported the damage to exali's insurance experts, who forwarded the case to the insurer after careful examination. In order not to expose the affected room unprotected to the effects of weather and to reduce the risk of burglary, a quick reaction was necessary here. Thus, in the first step, all parties involved ensured that the window was at least provisionally closed to minimise the damage.
Subsequently, the cost estimate of a commissioned craftsman's company showed that work from the outer front of the building was necessary to remove the broken window as well as to install the new one. The weight of the window and the legal requirements made it necessary to erect scaffolding on the outer wall.
To prevent accidents and ensure safe working measures had to be taken. In the case of the IT service provider, the issue of fall protection in particular played a decisive role, as the work took place at a height of more than two metres.
General Liability Already Included In The Basic Cover of Professional Indemnity
In the end, the insurer paid for the damage of 3.000 euros for the new window including installation and the scaffolding. This was made possible by General Liability Insurance, which, together with the Fiancial Losses Insurance, is already included in the basic cover of the Professional Indemnity Insurance provided by exali.
This means that you are not only protected if you cause financial damage to third parties, such as clients, but also in the event of personal injury and damage to property - as in this case to rented office premises (in insurance terms: damage to rented property). Incidentally, this cover applies not only to you as the policyholder, but also to your employees. Thus, in the case of the IT service provider, the employee who demolished the window did not have to pay for the damage with his private assets.
Specifically, the following persons are also insured under the Professional Indemnity Insurance policies through exali:
- legal representatives of the policyholder
- executive and other employees of the policy holder, marginally employed persons, voluntary helpers, trainees, volunteers, interns and working students
- employees of temporary employment agencies who are integrated into the business of the policyholder
- freelancers (natural persons) integrated into the business of the policyholder, as far as they work in the name and on behalf of the policyholder
- Shareholders, limited partners, shareholders, supervisory board members and advisory board members (natural persons), in so far as they carry out an activity insured under this contract in the name and on behalf of the policyholder.
Vivien Gebhardt is an online editor at exali. She creates content on topics that are of interest to self-employed people, freelancers and entrepreneurs. Her specialties are risks in e-commerce, legal topics and claims that have happened to exali insured freelancers.
She has been a freelance copywriter herself since 2021 and therefore knows from experience what the target group is concerned about.