Home Forums Money matters My Equipment damaged – whose PL insurance covers?

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    Can anyone clarify the following?

    I am contracted to one company who sends me to a location that is not their office. At that location, another company’s employee damages my equipment. The location is not owned by either company.

    The company contracting me is saying I am not covered by their insurance. The company who’s employee damaged my stuff is saying I am not covered under their insurance, as I was working for the other company.

    I am a PTY LTD but this particular piece of equipment was not insured yet as it was NEW.

    Surely Public Liability of the employer of the person who caused the damage covers this? This is what PL is for, yes?


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    Hi James,

    That sounds very frustrating. :(

    I hope it all works out in your favour, and will be interested in any comments from our resident insurance experts.

    Best of luck,

    • Total posts: 31

    Yes, hoping someone who has been in a similar situation can shed some light.

    Basically, company 1 (who contracted me to go out to a location) are saying their insurance doesn’t cover the equipment, and company 2 (who organised the location and the event there, and whose employee damaged the equipment while I was off doing my job) is saying that because I was contracted by company 1, company 2’s insurance doesn’t cover me.

    The fact that I have been subcontracted by company 1 seems to be throwing a spanner in the works.

    • Total posts: 1,815

    Perhaps you should go to your nearest Fair Trading office – if in NSW it’s http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au

    Jason Ramage
    • Total posts: 3,161
    jamesgrean, post: 220544, member: 60501 wrote:
    I am a PTY LTD but this particular piece of equipment was not insured yet as it was NEW.

    Oh JG,

    This sounds like a good old duck and weave for sure.. Personally, and i am no insurance buff, although the liability lies with the person who inflicted the damage – or company they represent.

    Whether or not their insurance covers it is a totally different conversation.

    If i was driving my car and hit your machine, would you go ‘me’ or the company that employed you to do the job? Pretty sure its not going to be the business employing you as they didnt inflict the damage.

    Now, the real reason for my reply is ummm… ummm. your sentence above, why wouldnt you insure a new product? is their a dif between an old item and new? should you have coverage from insurance the moment you take possession? if it gets damaged or stolen and uninsured, you have just done your doe and maybe your livelihood.. Just saying.. Does your standard insurance cover it? can you go to them and lodge the claim and point the blame at the person inflicting damage to claim from them?

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: hello@lucasarthur.net.au   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    • Total posts: 453

    Unfortunately this is not an uncommon occurrence – obviously I don’t have the full details but maybe I can point you in the general direction (not a legal opinion – but from years of dealing in insurance claims….)

    Forget about Company 1 – you are a Pty Ltd (not a Natural Person) so you probably wouldn’t have any recourse against their Equipment policy as an Insured (unless specifically noted on their policy). And I can’t see how they could be held liable for the damage.

    Now to Company 2 0 If an employee of a company 2 causes damage to your item, then the employee can be held responsible. However, as the employee is under a ‘contract of service’ with company 2, company 2 has a vicarious liability for the damage they cause. As such, company 2 may be required to compensate you on the employee’s behalf.
    The fact you have been contracted by Company 1 is irrelevant – you need to look at the causation of the damage and that is by Company 2.
    Company 2 would no doubt have Public Liability that would cover them (and all others defined as Insured’s – this generally includes Employees) for Property Damage caused by Company 2 where they are negligent. From what you have mentioned, you hold the Employee of Company 2 responsible.

    Here are some ways of handling it:
    – Do you have Business Contents insurance? If so, you may be able to get cover under the ‘Temporary Removal’ benefit – that is what I use sometimes for my clients who take their items onsite (obviously different policies have different covers). If you do (and you are covered), claim through your policy and your insurer will compensate you and look to recover the money from the party you hold responsible (Employee of Company 2 – they would send the documents to the Employee who could then use Company 2’s insurer to respond).
    – If you do not have any other insurance, then you will need to provide a Letter of Demand to the Employee, who should be able to provide this to Company 2 (who would then forward on to their insurers to respond).
    Of course different variables come in to play (value of item / Company 2 Excess on Liability policy etc) but this may be of benefit to you.

    One last thing – please insure the items that you cannot afford to replace BEFORE purchasing / using them…. in saying that, you are not the first person I have seen do this and you definitely won’t be the last….

    Let me know if you have any questions or need to clarify anything further.



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