Statutory Liability

Across all industries, companies are expected to comply with a variety of statutes. These laws created by government are not easy to understand, or are quite onerous but ignorance is no excuse. A breach of a statute could result in the company facing an investigation or prosecution by a regulatory body and subsequently the imposition of a fine or penalty.

We recommend setting internal policies in place. Despite this, there remains an ongoing risk that a company may face exposure due to unintentionally breaching a statute. Such exposures can arise not only from the actions of the company itself but also from the acts of its directors, officers and employees.

A Statutory Liability policy is designed to protect the insured company and its directors, officers or employees from an insurable loss incurred as a consequence of a wrongful breach of statute.

Who needs it?

Any company in any industry is exposed to regulations relating to workplace safety, employment law and environmental regulations, to name only the most commonly cited ones.  An unintentional breach of these statutes can result in costly fines and investigation costs.

Insurers will consider a range of professional risks, but they are not meant to be a replacement for internal controls and procedures. They will want to see a genuine focus on safety at work, employment practices and environmental compliance. Where a risk is perceived to be higher, Insurers may seek extra information and may choose to decline insurance or restrict cover for higher risk segments. Management of the risks must be demonstrated

What can it cover?

The cover provided will include statutory fines or penalties (where they can be indemnifiable by law)  and the legal costs incurred in defending a claim which alleges a wrongful breach of statute. In addition, cover includes the costs incurred attending any regulatory investigation.

Further the policy can include features such as:

  • Advancement of defence costs -  advance payments even before it has been established whether the company is liable to pay a statutory fine or penalty.
  • Reputational crisis containment - in the case of an investigation or prosecution by a regulator, public relations expenses to assist in protecting a company’s reputation.
  • Costs related to workplace audits - will pay for workplace audits carried out by the regulator.
  • Experienced claims specialists - respond appropriately to investigations and workplace audits in the event of a claim.

Who can help?

Statutory Liability insurance can be taken as a “stand alone” cover or included within a Management Liability policy. These covers are affordable and may even be paid monthly for a small extra cost. If you want to know more about these policies and conditions relevant to your profession, contact a specialist insurance broker such as CPR Insurance Services.We can be contacted on 07 3123 1137 or 0439 530910. Email is enquiries@professionalrisk.com.au.

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