Halloween’s fast approaching. So, here’s some scary scenarios for small businesses, that could result in a claim.
In the foyer of your client’s building, is a beautiful aquarium filled with tropical fish. One evening, you perch an open bottle of cleaning fluid on the shelf above the tank.
Thinking all the firm’s staff have left for the day, you’re startled when a security guard appears. And jump. Knocking the bottle into the aquarium. Almost instantly, the fish find themselves in a watery grave.
Because those fish were your client’s property, you can now be sued for damages. Not just for the cost of replacing the fish, but for cleaning the aquarium so it’s chemical-free, ready for its new occupants. You’ll also be liable for compensation to your client. Who’s distraught. He loved his fish.
The Lawnmower Man
It’s late on a fall afternoon. The light’s fading as you trim the long grass alongside your client’s property. Hearing shouts, you look up. Your clients are running from the house, which has been plunged into darkness.
Of course it’s not that slasher film cliche, when a serial killer cuts the power before going on a rampage. It turns out you didn’t notice a power cable and cut through it with your trimmer.
The cost of putting it right, is down to you. Plus nightfall’s approaching and your client now has no heat or light. So, they might need alternative housing while they’re home’s made safe and the power restored. Which means more expense for you.
The Lovely Bones
On a wet, windy day, you’re cleaning the corridors of an office building. They’re caked in mud. In your haste to clean up, you forget to put a wet floor sign out. You’ve nearly finished, when you hear a blood-curdling scream. Then a crash, behind you.
One of your client’s employees has slipped on the wet floor. It’s a nasty fall, resulting in 3 broken bones.
There’s a good chance you’ll have to pay their medical bills. You might also have to cover the cost of hiring a replacement while they’re at home recovering. And on top of that, your client’s employee may seek compensation for your negligence. You didn’t tell them the floor was wet.
Everyone makes mistakes – it’s human. Being tired is human, too. And sometimes that means you end up going to work feeling a bit zombie-like.
One day when you’ve slept badly the night before, you move all your client’s ornaments from a shelf onto a table on the other side of the room.
Having dusted, you’re too tired to replace them all individually. Thinking you’ll save yourself some time and effort you decide to carry the entire table towards the shelf. It tilts. And all the ornaments come crashing down to the floor, smashing to bits.
You’ll be left picking up the pieces. Literally, and financially.
It’s bad enough breaking a plate. Or worse, smashing a family heirloom. But imagine breaking an urn? The horror!
It’s safe to say that in that instance, your client would seek more than the cost of replacing the urn..
Attack of the Killer Tomatoes
The sun’s shining. The 3-day conference you’re working is going to be a busy one. You set up your food truck and start selling your extra-spicy chilli to queues of hungry customers.
At the end of the day, you’re exhausted. You head home to get some rest before starting over next morning.
Overnight, you get a number of calls and emails from the event organiser. They claim you’ve given a number of delegates food-poisoning.
At first, you think nothing of it. Maybe they just couldn’t handle the heat. Then you go to stock your fridge for the second day and realize it isn’t cold. Some of the food’s been spoiled.
The ill delegates want a refund because they had to miss day 2 of the conference they paid for. Plus, the event organiser’s expecting compensation. They had to find another food service at short notice.
All these examples are made-up scenarios, of course. But they show how quickly a mistake, or accident, can become a horror story.
And the cost of defending and payouts for claims of this kind is all too real. Without insurance, they could kill off your small business completely.
Don’t put your business in a frightful situation. Protect it with general liability insurance coverage today.