An employer’s liability for injuries to employees is mainly defined by the Workers’ Compensation Act of BC. This act usually requires that employers carry a workers’ compensation insurance policy, purchased either privately or through the government.
Worker’s compensation policies cover losses that arise from an injury to an employee while in the course of their duties. On a no-fault basis, injured employees do not need to prove negligence and sue in order to get paid. Once an employee accepts compensation from worker’s comp, they lose the right to sue.
However, if the claim is denied or at the employee’s choosing, the employee can sue the employer for damages. Coverage against this risk is usually attached to a business owner’s commercial general liability policy as employer’s liability coverage.
Employer’s liability insurance protects employers from negligence claims brought on by injured employees (or their spouses and dependents). In this case, an employee would need to show that the injury would not have occurred if it had not been for the negligence of the employer. For example, an employee can bring a lawsuit for hearing damage as a result of an employer’s failure to provide adequate hearing protection.
Employer’s liability coverage offers payment to protect employers against things like:
- Cost of legal defense
- Out of court settlements
- Damages or other judgments (note that this insurance only covers compensatory damages, not nominal or punitive ones)
- Other court costs, including interest and loss of income as a result of court appearances
This article was originally written for Insuranceopedia