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Employers Liability Insurance Explained

If you are a business owner, then you are probably aware of how important having a workers’ compensation insurance is. This can protect your business from an employee’s injury, illness, or damage claims. Sadly, workers’ compensation insurance won’t be able to cover everything. Due to these exclusions, insurance companies have developed the employers’ liability insurance.

What is an employer’s liability insurance?

If you have a workers’ compensation insurance, then it can pay for your employees’ work-related injury or illness. However, if your employees still decide to file a lawsuit then an employer’s liability insurance can pay for your legal fees. Typically, an employer’s liability insurance can help your company cope up in case your employee will file a negligence lawsuit.

Employers’ liability insurance is one of the most important policies that every employer must have. In fact, in some states, this policy is a requirement. In can cover for the compensation costs and legal fees if ever your employee or ex-employee decided to file a claim for their work-related injury or illness.

What coverage can you get from employers’ liability insurance?

Employers’ liability insurance will pay for the cost of compensation and legal expenses. The compensation will include medical costs, lost income, and other expenses related to the employees’ injury or illness caused by their job.

For instance, an ex-employee of your company suffered from an illness due to chemical exposure while working on a project. One of your office staff was badly injured after she tripped over a cable on the floor. After these employees filed a suit against their employer or former employer, the court ordered that they should be compensated for their injuries, lost income, and other damages. However, this compensation amount can be huge since it includes medical care and lost income. The good news is these expenses, as well as the legal costs, can be covered by employers’ liability insurance.

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What are the claims that can be covered by an employer’s liability insurance?

Third-party action

Employees who are covered by the workers’ compensation insurance are not allowed to file a suit against their employer directly. However, they can still file a claim through a third party. For instance, an employee obtained an injury caused by the equipment malfunction while he is at work. The worker cannot sue his employer, but he can sue the equipment’s manufacturer. In return, the manufacturer will sue the worker’s employer claiming that the malfunction was caused by improper maintenance. This claim will not be covered by the workers’ compensation insurance, but it can be covered by the employers’ liability insurance. This is also known as third-party-over action lawsuit.

Loss of consortium

If an employee was injured in his workplace, then he will be receiving benefits from a workers’ compensation coverage, hence, he can’t sue his employer. However, the employee’s spouse can file a lawsuit against the employer for the losses that they suffer due to the injury. For instance, if the worker was severely injured or worse got killed due to the incident. Employers liability insurance can cover this type of claim.

Dual-capacity suit

This implies to employers who have more than one relationship to their employees. For instance, a worker got injured due to the product that his employer manufactured. In this situation, the employer is liable for the injury being the employer and at the same time the manufacturer of the product that caused the employee’s injury or illness. Also known as the dual-capacity lawsuit. Since this is a complicated case, then it won’t be covered by a workers’ compensation coverage, however, it can be handled by an employers’ liability insurance.

Consequential body injury

This type of lawsuit can be filed if there is consequential damage. For instance, if the spouse of the employee suffered from an injury or illness due to the employee’s injury. Sometimes the worker’s injury can cause stress to his spouse and can lead to high blood pressure, stroke or any other type of health conditions.

Gross negligence

This occurs when the business owner or manager told his employee to do something dangerous that could lead to an injury. In this case, the employer cannot use the workers’ compensation since he is held liable for his actions, being aware of the dangerous activity.  This is one of the most common claims filed by the worker’s spouse after an accident occurred in the workplace due to an employer’s negligence and neglecting his employee’s safety.

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