Why Worker to Worker Liability Insurance is Important

Worker to Worker Liability Insurance is used to describe insurance where a sub-contractor causes injury or loss to another sub-contractor whilst working on the building site.

Worker to Worker Liability Insurance is not a special insurance, but rather an inclusion (and in some budget insurance policies, an ‘exclusion’) within a Construction and Public Liability Policy Wordings.

Sub-contractors insurance is broadly Public Liability for sub-contractors who are engaged to work on building sites, and protects sub-contractors against personal or property loss or injury against other parties (other than the sub-contractor), including the owner builder, non-employees working on site, neighbours and other parties.

Workers compensation protects Sub-contractors for injuries sustained by their own employees. It does not insure the owner builder from common law claims made by injured employees of sub-contractors. In today’s workplace environment (such as a building site) an owner builder could be exposed, should an injured worker, an employee of a Subcontractor, be able to demonstrate an injury was caused by, or partly caused by a breach of duty of care. In other words the injured person in a common law action (for example jointly with WorkCover, Medicare and the medical health insurers), seeking compensation and costs recovery, including from an owner builder as principal contractor.

It’s worth remembering, Workers Compensation only protects an employer for claims made by their own employees. It does not protect a principal against the common law claims made by injured employees of contractors or sub-contractors.

An owner builder is a site controller, and site owner, and by definition is responsible to ensure all who enter a building site are appropriately qualified and insured for the tasks or works. The owner builder also retains a duty of care to all who are engaged and their employees.

Owner Builder Construction Policies protects owner builders should they be ‘dragged or coupled’ to respond to a third party claim which is caused by a sub-contractor or their employees including claims or legal actions seeking damages (compensation) for personal or property loss.

Owner Builders should check any Construction and Public Liability Insurance Policy wording to ensure:

  1. Worker to worker claims are third party liability claim and made against the insured. Owner builders should check there Policy Exclusion and Condition regarding personal and bodily injury does not restrict their protection.
  2. Review any implication of any exclusions regard breach of law or policy conditions including work place safety and regulations.

All Qtrust insurance partners include this cover as standard.