Small Businesses and Public Liability Claims

As a small business owner, you are likely working with limited resources and a tight budget. In addition, you wear many hats including hiring, sales, HR duties, marketing, and even accounting. Focusing on getting your business off the ground or staying afloat is on the daily agenda, but have you thought about the potential risks you face on a regular basis? A slip and fall, hazardous materials, or unsafe work zones could land your business in hot water and lead to a public liability claim. While not all claims can be foreseen and prevented, you can protect your business with a comprehensive NM Risk Management and Loss Control insurance program.

It should go without saying that customers should be able to shop in your store comfortably and safely. If, for example, a customer becomes injured in your establishment and they can prove that it could have been prevented by you, they can file a public liability claim. There’s a legal term, duty of care, that means the owner of occupant of a building must take steps to ensure that anyone who has a legitimate reason to enter that building is safe. If your negligence leads to a third-party injury, you are breaching your duty of care.

Bear in mind that the most common type of public liability claim results from slips and falls. However, basic and prompt housekeeping processes can minimize this risk significantly. In fact, according to the National Floor Safety Institute, falls represent the leading cause of hospital emergency room visits, perhaps because they can happen anywhere.

So, how do you reduce your risks? First, identify the potential causes for these types of claims in your business. As each industry faces a unique set of risks, pinpoint your exposures and educate your staff on potential hazards. After all, your employees can’t protect themselves and customers against a threat they don’t know exists. Next, develop a plan to respond to these risks.

For example, if you own a restaurant, notify customers and management of the spill, put out a warning sign, and have it cleaned up immediately. If your shop is under construction, block off the scaffolding and materials and ensure tools are kept away from customers. Or, if you own a construction business, you could be at risk for falling debris from job sites. As each industry varies, take some time to evaluate your risk profile.

About Daniels Insurance, Inc.

At Daniels Insurance, Inc., we have a unique understanding of the risk exposures that the small businesses face. With the backing of our comprehensive coverages and our dedication to customer service and quick claims resolution, your business will be fully protected. For more information, contact us today at (855) 565-7616.

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