Does Liability Insurance Protect From Car Accidents In Your Parking Lot?
If you have a business or own a large property, you are probably aware of the need for different types of insurance to protect different types of insurance for various parts of your business.
But, did you know if you have a private car park, that is, a car park owned by you, but car drivers can pay to park there, then you should have public liability insurance?
Many people who own this type of land are unaware of the need for liability insurance.
Let’s have a look more in depth at this subject.
What Is Public Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance is available to help protect a business against any claims made against them by a lawyer instructed to do so.
Public liability insurance is what you’ll want to be looking into. This type of insurance is generally not required by law for a business owner to have, however it is a very good idea to do so, and could save you a lot of trouble if a case is raised against you.
If your business has any contact at all with the general public, then public liability insurance is highly recommended. If a member of the public did decide to sue you, and you don’t have public liability insurance, then you could find yourself without the money to settle the case, which could cause many problems including bankruptcy.
Do I Need Insurance For A Private Car Park?
If you own some land where the public pay to park their vehicles, then yes, you should have public liability insurance.
If there is an accident in a car park, usually the parties involved will claim with their own vehicle insurance.
However, not all accidents are between two vehicles. Someone could be injured whilst walking across the car park having parked their vehicle, or their car could be stolen, damaged, or broken into and have valuables stolen.
In these cases, you could find yourself being the subject of a claim, and you would need insurance to protect you.
The last thing you want is to be receiving correspondence from a lawyer for a car wreck saying you are being sued, and you have no legal protection in place.
What Other Insurances Do You Need?
Whilst the public liability insurance is what you will need to cover any accidents that happen within your car park, you may also need to consider other types of insurance.
If you are employing people to staff the car park, for example security staff or people to take payment for the car park, or any other role, then you may need to consider employer liability insurance.
What Is Employer Liability Insurance?
Employers liability insurance should be taken out by any one who is employing people to work for them.
This type of insurance protects the employer should the employee be injured in an accident at work, or become unwell whilst working.
If the responsibility for any injury or illness lies with the employer, and it is found that compensation needs to be paid, then this will be covered by the employer liability insurance.
It is worth mentioning that employers liability insurance will also protect you against any claims made by any volunteers who are working for your business.
Are Accidents Common In Car Parks?
It is estimated that 20%, that is one in five, accidents between cars occur in a car park, however this is probably a low estimate, due to not every accident being reported to the police or to an insurance company.
Accidents in car parks are usually car to car accidents, but not necessarily always. Some people will collide with static objects such as lamp posts or trees, objects such as shopping carts or bicycles are also common causes of collisions.
Luckily, accidents in car parks are usually considered fairly minor, with little to no damage to other cars or objects, this is because the vehicles are usually slow moving.
What To Do If There Is An Accident In A Car Park
An accident, however minor, is never a pleasant thing to be involved in, and can cause some degree of shock, however the law requires you to do certain things.
You must never leave the scene of the accident without talking to the other party, and if necessary reporting it to the police. Your insurance company should also always be informed.
It is best, if you can, to discuss how to proceed with the owner of the other vehicle involved. However, this is not always possible if they are taking a long time to do their shopping, in this case, you should leave your name and contact details, along with a brief description of the accident on a note on the windshield.
It is very important to take photographs of the accident scene, and any damage done to both vehicles, to provide evidence to the insurance company. This also protects you, from the other party wanting to claim for damage that is not your fault. Remember to take photos of the number plates as well, to prove the cars that were involved.
If there are any people around who saw the accident happen, take their details, as they may need to be contacted to provide a witness statement.
Report the accident to the insurance company, and if necessary, the police. Failure to report an accident, or leaving the scene of an accident is against the law, and could result in prosecution.
So, you can see that if you own a car park that the public uses, it is within your interest to have public liability insurance.
Whilst this is not a legal requirement, it is highly recommended if you are dealing with the public in any capacity.
You never can tell what will happen, and the last thing you want is to be sued for someone having an accident in your car park, and not have the protection to pay the legal fees and any compensation that will need to be paid out.