Plymouth City Council has recently revealed that since it took over all city-wide services in 1998, around 1,531 compensation claims for pavement trips and falls have been made. This equates to a huge public liability bill of £4.8 million.
This is not even the total figure either, as there are a further 107 claims for pedestrian injury still to be settled. This could add around £1.4 million to the total amount paid out to pedestrians over the last twelve years.
Unfortunately for Plymouth City Council, it is required to pay the first £100,000 of any compensation award out of its funds.
Whether this is down to the terms of its public liability insurance policy or other legal stipulation, it means that the local authority has had to find new ways of keeping costs down. In the last few years, council bosses implemented policies where they only paid out compensation where liability could be securely established, rather than agreeing on a settlement simply to keep costs down.
Although professional insurance products may not always be suitable for local authorities, these recent figures show just how important public liability insurance is for any company or organisation in today’s aggressive ‘compensation culture’.