A few years ago (ok maybe a few more than a few)  Pati was working for a company who was not required to carry Workers Compensation and opted not to purchase it . One of her co workers went into the storage/mail room to get some supplies. The room was over crowded and there were several boxes stacked on the floor. She had to reach a high shelf to get the supplies she required and although she used the step ladder, with the boxes on the floor she could not set it up properly. While on the ladder she leaned too far over and fell. She shattered her elbow on the cement floor.

After many surgeries she was off work for more than a year and when she did finally return to work it was on very limited duties. Her arm has never been the same since.   Due to the employers negligence, they were legally obligated to pay compensatory damages to Pati’s co-worker for her injuries. Fortunately, the employer had purchased Employers Liability as an extension to their Commercial General Liability insurance so they put a claim in and the insurance company paid her damages.

Under the Commercial General Liability policy there are limitations, conditions and exclusions relating to Employee injuries in the workplace. There is a specific exclusion relating to Employees covered by Workers Compensation. However, in the event  cover or benefits have been denied by any Canadian Workers’ Compensation Authority, the standard wording can offer coverage under an   extension called Contingent Employers Liability.  This is only available when workers compensation is purchased.

Some type of industries are not required to carry Workers Compensation and can choose to purchase it or not, while other industries are required to by law in Canada.  Please visit your local Worker Compensation website to determine if you are exempt from carrying Workers Compensation or not.  If you are one of the industries not required to carry this and choose not to purchase it, you should consider carrying Employers Liability. This coverage will protect you as an employer if an employee is injured in the work place due to your negligence.  This extension can usually be added to a Commercial General Liability policy for a small additional premium.

While the industries that are exempt from Worker’s Compensation may feel that their workplace is not an inherently dangerous work environment, we hope you will reconsider given the example above.

The information provided is an overview only, it is important to read your policy wordings and talk to you broker about coverage, conditions, limitation and exclusions.

Alternatively, feel free to “Collis” we would be happy to discuss your business insurance needs!

Andrea & Staff

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