Accidents will happen
Our basic policy provides "public liability" cover for residents' associations and management companies responsible for private roads and estates. If someone claims compensation from the association or company, the insurers will deal with the claim. That is, they will either settle it or dispute it, as they think best; and if they dispute it they will pay any compensation awarded by the court, and legal costs.
The causes of accidents are many and various; but the most common are those caused by defective road surfaces, and branches falling from trees.
Private roads and estates are not particularly risky places. But it's important to bear in mind that accidents will happen and that:
- Legal liability may arise without moral fault. Even though a residents' association has not, by ordinary standards, behaved irresponsibly or carelessly, they may still be held legally liable to pay compensation in the event of an accident.
- Even bad claims - those which seem bound to fail - need to be dealt with. If they are ignored the result may be legal proceedings, and ultimately an adverse decision by a court. In the absence of insurance, the cost of dealing with the claim will fall on residents.
Public liability insurance thus make sense.
Scope of basic policy
Our basic policy offers levels of public liability cover of £2M or £5M. Also included is £25,000 of property damage cover, with a single item limit of £10,000, designed to protect signs, gates, fences, security equipment and street furniture. These limits can usually be increased, for an additional premium, if an association has property of greater value which it wishes to protect.
The policy doesn't cover damage to trees and plants, nor to the road surface - this is bound to wear out eventually, and wear is therefore not a risk to be insured against. Underground pipes, cables etc are covered if the residents' association is responsible for them, though this isn't usually the case (the exception is surface water drains) since they are generally the responsibilty of the appropriate utility company.
Finally, our basic policy policy also includes £100,000 of legal expenses cover. These "extras" are bundled with public liability insurance because it's much cheaper to provide cover in this way - separate property damage and legal expenses policies would typically cost much more.
Our scheme is flexible. We can (for example) offer higher property damage cover limits if needed in relation to electronically-controlled gates or barriers. And if, as sometimes happens, a private road has both a dormant registered company (to own the road) and a residents' association (to maintain the road) we can cover both bodies in the same policy, at no extra charge.
Please see the next page for additional cover we can offer.