Protecting Your Company Well, Part 1

Protecting Your Company Well, Part 1

My son loves baseball. We often go to the park to bat a few balls. But instead of hitting out into the field, we bat towards home plate. That way, since there are only the two of us, we don’t have to run after the ball: the fence stops it.

Last time out, after a solid whack, the ball was truly stuck in the fence. Like a fly in a spider’s web. I really don’t understand how it got that stuck, but when my son saw it, he got all excited. “Imagine if it had gone right through!” I told him it wasn’t possible, but that just made him try harder. I told him again and again that the ball wouldn’t go through, that it was impossible. And as kids often do, he answered with a saying I have often told him. And that leads me to talk to you about…

Corporate civil liability

Many companies contact us to insure their equipment: a vehicle, tools, a building even. They want to protect their assets against fire or theft, imagining the worst scenario as the total loss of all these assets.

However, as soon as a business begins operations, it exposes itself to a much greater risk: a civil liability lawsuit for having caused damage to others.

No one enjoys getting a formal notice. Even if the amount being claimed is small, it’s upsetting and makes us question our actions and our work. So imagine if the amount is more like $100,000. If you aren’t insured, it could jeopardize your business.

Two types of lawsuits

Lawsuits can be grouped into two categories: the real ones and the far-fetched ones.

As a serious company, you surely undertake all your activities professionally. You want your clients to be happy and refer you to others. But bad luck happens and is often unforeseeable. A pipe is punctured accidentally or a tool or object injures someone. In these moments, you know your client will send you a bill. This is a well-founded and real formal notice.

But sometimes you are held liable for damages when you had nothing to do with their cause. You change a few shingles on a roof and a month later the brick chimney collapses. You receive a formal notice. Why? You were up on the roof. That’s all.

Regardless of whether they are well founded or not founded at all, lawsuits are costly and fees have to be paid.

When you hold commercial liability insurance, your insurer will take charge of your case as soon as you receive a formal notice. They will represent you, defend you and, above all, pay the costs of your defence, including those of experts and analyses. Finally, if you are found liable for the damage, the insurer will indemnify the plaintiff.

Contesting and paying thousands of dollars in defence fees to prove that you were not to blame can seriously compromise not only your company’s finances, but also your own health.

And if you believe that a lawsuit against your company is impossible, here’s what my son reminded me: “It may be impossible today, but it’s not impossible to imagine. And if it is possible to imagine, it may become possible tomorrow.”

/ Tips & Advice