Public & Products Liability Claim

A Public Liability policy provides protection for legal liability to the public (third parties) for bodily injury and/or damage to property, and protects the insured party in respect to amounts for which they are legally liable. The policy covers any insured activity of the Insured anywhere within the Commonwealth of Australia in the case of an Australian policy, or anywhere within New Zealand for a policy issued in New Zealand.

Products Liability insurance forms part of the Public Liability policy, and relates to liability for goods sold or supplied.

It should be noted that due to New Zealand’s Accident Compensation legislation, claims are unable to be brought for bodily injury unless the injury arises from a breach of a statutory obligation, where the appropriate government agency may bring a prosecution. Cover for these may be available under a New Zealand Employers or Statutory Liability policy as the Public & Products Liability policy in New Zealand does not cover these.

Recommended Action 

  • Offer assistance to any injured party that is within your training and experience. 
  • Contact the ambulance service or other emergency service that may be required. 
  • Do not admit any liability or offer to make any payment to any person. 
  • Having said this, it is important to be polite and not to inflame the situation.
  • All claims should be reported to your insurance broker, adviser or insurer as soon as practicable.
  • Do not reply to any correspondence received from the claimant or their representatives. 

Information Required

The following information is to be collected and provided to your insurance broker, adviser or insurer:

  • Full details of the incident.
  • Photographs of the scene and the damage/injury, if possible. Naturally, do not photograph the injury if it will endanger life or inflame the situation.
  • Full details of the incident, with the full names and addresses of witnesses, if possible.  

Note, insurers may request further information, depending upon the circumstances or your claim.

General Note on Negligence

The public or products liability policy is not a personal accident policy. A legal liability has to be shown to attach to the Insured, its employees or volunteers by the claimant before the claimant will succeed in a recovery.

A legal liability may arise through a contract between the parties, government regulations or under tort. As a general rule, under most torts such as the 'tort of negligence', a claimant will have to prove three things to be successful:

  1. That the person that they are seeking to recover from, owed them a duty of care.
  2. That the person they are seeking to recover from breached this duty of care.
  3. As a result of this breach of duty of care, they suffered injury and/or loss or damage to property.