Liability

This page will advise you on:

  • Employers Liability
  • Public Liability
  • Professional Indemnity

Proof of Cover

If you should ever be required to provide proof, to an external client, that the University has Professional Indemnity, Employer’s Liability, or Public and Products Liability, please contact Procurement. 


Employers Liability

Coverage

Cover is for Lancaster University (LU) against legal liability for damages, claimant's costs and expenses and LU's legal fees in respect of accidental death, injury, illness or disease sustained by an employee, arising out of and in the course of their employment.

N.B. It is the responsibility of the employee to prove that LU is liable.

Claims Guidelines

1. Correspondence from an employee or their representative/solicitor must not be acknowledged or responded to. Instead, forward it immediately to Procurement who will take the appropriate action.

2. Any claims investigation on personal injury claims will take place through Zurich Municipal Insurance who will liaise directly with Procurement.

3. In the event of any circumstance likely to give rise to a claim, as much evidence as possible must be kept available for inspection providing this does not itself cause further damage/danger or have the possibility of so doing. Photographic evidence as well as names and addresses of witnesses, together with statements where possible should be obtained at the time of the incident.

4. It is imperative that liability is NOT admitted at any time nor any correspondence entered into with claimants or solicitors. Any writ, summons, notice or other legal proceeding received by your institution must be passed immediately to Procurement without acknowledgement.


Public Liability

Coverage

Cover for Lancaster University (LU) against legal liability to third parties for damages, claimant's costs and expenses and LU's legal fees in respect of accidental death, injury, illness or disease sustained by a third party (not an employee) or accidental damage to third party property.

N.B. It is the responsibility of the third party to prove that LU is liable.

Claims Guidelines

1. Third party/Solicitors correspondence must not be acknowledged or responded to. Instead forward it IMMEDIATELY to Procurement who will take appropriate action.

2. Any claims investigation on personal injury claims will take place through Zurich insurance who will liaise directly with Procurement.

3. In the event of any circumstance likely to give rise to a claim, as much evidence as possible must be kept available for inspection providing this does not itself cause further damage/danger or have the possibility of so doing. Photographic evidence as well as names and addresses of witnesses, together with statements where possible should be obtained at the time of the incident.

4. It is imperative that liability is NOT admitted at any time nor any correspondence entered into with claimants or solicitors. Any writ, summons, notice or other legal proceeding received by your institution must be passed immediately to Procurement without acknowledgement.

5. In the event of any incident where there has been fatality(ies), loss of limbs etc or where a HSE prosecution has been intimated please notify Procurement immediately.

Visitors

Visitors are regarded as third parties and the public liability policy of the University would apply in these cases.

Work Experience

Placement of Lancaster University Students with UK Employers.

Whenever the University places a student in a host company for work experience both parties have a duty of care to that student. It is therefore important that the member of staff responsible for the placement obtains confirmation from the host company that their liability policy’s description of employee extends to include work experience students. Where a host company provides placements on a regular basis then checks should be carried out annually since variations to policies can be made at policy renewal.

It is essential to visit the University’s Manual of Safety where a Policy on Safety Requirements for Placement of Students with Employers has been produced to help placement organisers make informed decisions on health and safety issues affecting their placement students. Placement Policy

Please note that different procedures apply to placements with hosts outside of the UK, due to differing laws and insurance arrangements. These hosts tend to not accept the placement student as an employee.

Any insurance related questions should be directed to Procurement. Any health and safety or risk assessment questions should be directed to the Safety Office on ext. 92017.

Departments Employing Children and Young Persons on Work Experience Placements

Children and young persons (usually school children under 16), on the University’s premises, undertaking work experience are deemed to come within the Employers’ Liability cover in respect of injury caused to them through the University’s negligence.

The ‘University’s Public Liability’ insurance provides cover for injury or damage the employees/students may cause to third parties in the course of their duties in such circumstances that had the claim been made directly against the University, the policy would have responded.

Thus the main issue for Lancaster University is the need for a comprehensive risk assessment.

For help with this, it is essential to visit Section 27 of the University’s Manual of Safety where a Policy on Departments Employing Children and Young Persons on Work Experience Placements has been produced. Section 27, Manual of Safety

For Insurance purposes, please notify Procurement, in advance of the placement by completing the following form. Depts Employing Work Experience Students

Volunteer Studies

Prior to a study starting, there is a need for a clear agreement of where legal responsibility will lie for death or injury to a patient/volunteer as a result of their involvement in a study.

Members of staff should be aware that the signing of an agreement or contract, which has not been vetted, could result in any insurance being invalid.

In respect of studies carried out by the University, it is important that wherever possible legal responsibility should be passed to other bodies involved in the trial. Where patients are involved, the liability usually rests with the NHS if the correct procedures have been followed. With regard to healthy volunteer studies with patients, which do not form part of their treatment, responsibility (unless passed on) will rest with the University.

The new EC legislation makes it necessary for certain trials to have a sponsor before it can commence. Please be aware that this does entail keeping and adhering to specific guidelines and failure to do so could lead to prosecution. It is essential therefore, that before agreeing to a trial this matter is referred to Procurement for confirmation.

Approval of the Ethics Committee should be sought, as one of their duties is to ensure adequate arrangements have been made in the event of the death or injury to a volunteer.

The insurance arrangements need ethics committee approval and anyone who fails to get the approval needed, places themselves and the University in a precarious position.


Professional Indemnity

Coverage

Cover for Lancaster University (LU) against legal liability to third parties for damages, claimant's costs and expenses and LU's legal fees in respect of the following:

  • any negligent act error or omission,
  • breach of warranty of authority,
  • breach of trust,
  • infringement of copyright or patent right or trademark design rights or other intellectual property rights
  • breach of confidential information under section 13 of the Data Protection Act 1998,
  • breach of confidence,
  • any dishonest or fraudulent act or omission,
  • libel and slander,
  • loss of or damage to third party documents,

N.B. It is the responsibility of the third party to prove that LU is liable for their claim to be successful

Claims Guidelines

1) There are no claim forms to complete for this type of claim. As soon as there is a possibility of a claim, please submit as much of the following information as possible:

  • The name of the claimant/s and their relationship with LU (if known).
  • The nature of the allegation(s) made.
  • Summary of the circumstances giving rise to the claim.
  • Your views on the validity of the claim and any investigations conducted.
  • Date of your first knowledge that a claim was being made against you.
  • What is the claim for, e.g. damages, injunctions etc?
  • Any other relevant information and correspondence. Specifically include any Solicitors letters.

2) To satisfy the requirements of this policy, immediate written notice must be provided as soon as you become aware of any occurrence or circumstance which might reasonably be expected to produce a claim against you or loss for which there MAY be liability, irrespective of your views as to the validity of such claim. To assist you, please see the following list of circumstances which MUST be reported to Procurement immediately for a claim to be considered:

  • Any letter or communication from a solicitor representing a claimant.
  • Any formal legal proceeding, e.g. Writ, Summons etc.
  • Any demand for compensation of any sort (specific or otherwise).
  • Any allegation of libel or slander.
  • Any other allegation(s) you think should be reported, specifically cases where negligence is alleged.

In general, where disputes are being handled within LU's formal procedures, our insurers are content to allow us to handle the matter BUT as soon as Solicitors are instructed by any party or the matter moves outside of LU's internal procedures, our insurers wish to become involved in defence of the matter and if necessary instruct solicitors to act for you. If in doubt - act safe and come and talk to Procurement.

Outside Professional Activities

We would draw your attention to the rules governing Outside Professional Activities. These requirements must be strictly adhered to if cover is to be provided under the University's policy.

The policy document can be viewed on Personnel's Web Pages