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Ask James Mather Your Own Question
James Mather
James Mather,
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 22629
Experience:  Senior Partner at Berkson Wallace
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Can a business extend its Public Liability Insurance cover

Customer Question

Can a business extend its Public Liability Insurance cover to cover another business on its own, or does it have to ask its broker/underwriter?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

Hello, I am Law Denning and I am a practising solicitor in a High
Street practice. I have been an expert on this website in UK law since 2008.
During that time, as you appreciate, I have answered thousands of questions
from satisfied users on a variety of subjects.
Because we are all in practice with clients and court and other
users, I might not always respond in
minutes, particularly evenings and weekends. Please bear with me in that

It is my pleasure to try and assist you with this today. Please bear with me
while I gather some further information from you in order for me to be able to advise you fully.

-Could you explain your situation a little more?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

A professional body, of which I am an officer is organising a track day at Rockingham. colleagues believe Rockingham can "extend" their PLI to cover us, I have said I doubt this and that we need to see a cover note or letter from their insurers to show we are fully PLI covered. I have seen their policy document for PLI and it says "Bona fide sub contractors working at Rockingham must prove they have £10,000,000 at LEAST of PLI" of their own.

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

I would want a letter from their insurers or brokers too.

The request is not unreasonable or unusual and insurer and brokers do it all the time.


that answer the question? Can I help further? Can I answer any specific points?

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

With respect "I would want" is not a good law answer. Is there something in statute or contract law covering this? Something I can quote to my committee to say "No, their word is not good enough - we HAVE to have it in writing from their broker at least if not their insurer BECAUSE of............."? Can you give me something to quote, please?

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

cannot give you the answer that you want because the answer that you want is
not the correct answer.

I am
afraid that that is as good an answer as I can give you.

you want me to say that you are entitled to it which I cannot because you were
not entitled under any law. That is why I said that is what I would ask for/want.

can only give opinion because the law is rarely back and white.

If it
was black and white, nothing would ever go to court. No one ever goes to court
expecting to lose and get one party always does.

is no onus on them or you to have any insurance at all for this. There is
nothing in statute and the contract is whatever is agreed between you. You are
free to enter into this contract or not as you wish.

you do not have any statutory right to have the letter.

it would be reckless to enter into this kind of venture without suitable
insurance cover and indeed it would be reckless of you to proceed to do this
without confirmation of that insurance cover.

By all
means say that their word is not good enough and if they do have insurance cover
and they want this event than getting a letter is simple enough and a mere

is no statutory duty that you can quote with regard to insurance in respect of
events because this is not an employment issue.

If they
will not provide the necessary confirmation of cover, I would not proceed with
the event. If you do, and something goes wrong, the officers of the club or
organisation or whatever it is that is organising it, may be on the hook.

you can contact your organisation's own insurance company and ask for
confirmation from them that this event is covered.

If all
the other officers of the organisation want to proceed regardless, I would ask
for a without limit of indemnity from them, that they will indemnify you in
respect of any claims made against you by anyone who is injured as a result of
any negligence on the day.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

Fair enough.


Had expected you to quote UCTA thought, and the illegality of attempting to exclude liability for death or personal injury through negligence.......

Expert:  James Mather replied 4 years ago.

haven't said that they are trying to exclude liability. And, as you are aware,
they are unable to do that under the Act regardless of what disclaimers anyone

thought the issue was that they are saying that their insurance covers it.

think the wording of "bona fides subcontractors etc" is extremely vague depend
on whether your organisation was classed as a subcontractor or not and if you
are classed as subcontractor then you have to provide your own insurance.

even though they may be liable for any acts of negligence, you need to make sure
that you want not on the hook and if someone is killed or maimed, you want to
make sure that they are insured for the incident and that the money is not
going to come out of their own coffers which they may or may not have.

I get confirmation from the insurance company (far better than from the broker)
that the risks you are enquiring about are covered, I would not be going ahead.

just injury claims in isolation, claimant's solicitors will cast the defendant
to net far and wide and they would usually bring anyone in to the action who is
a potential defendant and that would be whoever is negligent and if that is in
dispute or is not clear, then it would be your organisation and Rockingham.

foregoing aside, there is always a claim for loss against any defendant resulting
from any negligent act