Safety Obligation Violated? Trash Cans Damage Cars
As a self-employed person, you have only limited control over some things. If, for example, a storm sweeps across your company premises, causing unpaved objects to crash against each other and resulting in damage, you can hardly be blamed for that, can you? Unfortunately, things are not that simple, as this damage event proves once again.
Rented Premises - More Space, More Responsibility
If your company has grown so much that you need to rent office space to create enough room for staff and equipment, this is basically a great milestone at first. But having your own company building comes with new responsibilities. This was also experienced by a personnel service provider insured through exali who had rented an office building in a city centre.
When a storm hit the city in the form of a strong gale, the service provider's office building was of course not spared. Due to the high winds, two rubbish bins broke loose on the premises and crashed into two cars parked nearby.
Safety Obligations For Office Buildings
But who was responsible for the damage? After all, everyone involved was helpless against the weather. But as mentioned at the beginning, renting a building entails certain responsibilities. Particularly relevant in our case is the so-called duty to comply with safety obligations, which landlords can contractually transfer at least in part to their tenants.
It stipulates that property owners are obliged to regularly check their property and the associated driveways and footpaths for safety. Part of this duty is also to secure the property during special weather conditions - such as a strong storm. The personnel service provider should have placed or fixed the trash cans in a way that they do not pose a danger to the surrounding area even at high wind speed.
In connection with accidents that could have been avoided but nevertheless resulted in damage, the term "negligence" comes up again and again. The following article summarises the meaning of this term, the difference between slight and gross negligence and how this can affect the insurance conditions of a Professional Indemnity Insurance: Negligence: What Professional Indemnity Covers.
Your Business In Good Hands In Every Damage Event
This damage event is the best proof: even if you work absolutely error-free, you are never completely protected from claims for compensation by third parties. This is because these can also arise in situations that initially have nothing to do with your work, for example in the case of personal injury or property damage.
Even in such cases, you are reliably protected with Professional Indemnity Insurance through exali. If you cause financial, personal or property damage to third parties, the insurer will bear the costs after a thorough examination. If the claims made against you prove to be unfounded, the insurer will defend them on your behalf.
Would you like to know in more detail which damages are covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance through exali? Our customer service will be happy to help you. You can reach our experts on 0 821 80 99 46-0 from Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm (CET). Alternatively, you are welcome to use our contact form.
Covered In the Event of Negligence
The service provider finally reported the damage to exali customer care. There, the case was carefully examined and then forwarded to the insurer. The insurer settled the claim for around 5,500 euros. But how was it possible for the insurer to cover the damage, even though the personnel service provider had apparently negligently breached his safety obligations? The answer can be found in the exali insurance conditions. These state analogously:
Insurance cover is provided for liability claims due to the maintenance of a business, in particular due to the use of buildings or premises of the insured persons as owners (or) tenants. Insured here are claims arising from the breach of safety obligations incumbent on the insured persons in the above-mentioned properties (e.g. structural maintenance, lighting, cleaning, gritting and clearing snow on footpaths).
With exali, damages resulting from slight and gross negligence are also insured - both for financial losses as well as property damage, personal damage and the resulting consequential damages. This is made possible by the combination of Professional Indemnity and General Liability already included in the basic cover. The last one applies to property damage within the scope of your business activities. This means you are covered in the event of errors - even if they are not directly related to your professional activity.
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.