The average insurance payout for a customer slip and fall injury on their property is $30,000. In addition, slip and trip insurance claims are one of the top 5 most common claims. An act under Canadian law, known as occupiers liability, can make businesses liable for such accidents. This act can also be found under the similar name, “Premise Liability”, in the United States. The origins of the Occupiers Liability Act come from the United Kingdom in 1957. The act introduced laws explaining the responsibilities & due diligence that property owners & landlords have to those who entered their property. Failure to upkeep premises poses a major risk to both tenets and the general public, as serious injury or death could occur. What does this mean from a risk reduction standpoint?
In Canada’s Occupiers Liability act, it is stated that:
“An occupier (Property owners, landlords, and property management companies) of premises owes a duty to take that care that in all the circumstances of the case is reasonable to see that a person, and the person’s property, on the premises, and property on the premises of a person, whether or not that person personally enters on the premises, will be reasonably safe in using the premises.”
What this means is that, any landlord, property owner, or property management company, as there can be more than one) is responsible for the condition of the property, the activities that take place on the property, and the conduct of the individuals on that property. Owners have a duty of care to the tenant or persons entering the property, as they are able to assume that it is reasonably safe to enter your property. This means that it is the responsibility of the owner to take steps to ensure the tenants safety.
Not adhering to this act makes the landlord, property owner, or property management company liable for any injuries or damages that occur on the property. If reasonable due diligence is not established, the negligence act can also apply. The negligence act states:
“all cases where damage is caused or contributed to by the act of a person even if another person had the opportunity of avoiding the consequences of that act and negligently or carelessly failed to do so.”
Again, this means that any landlords, property owners, or property management companies can be found liable, if they are found to have either directly or indirectly caused or contributed to injury or damages. This is because owners themselves have neglected their responsibilities.
Common Insurance Claims In Canada
Should you be found responsible for an issue that occurs on your property, you will be financially responsible for any compensation required. This is why companies will typically purchase adequate insurance. As a property owner, the most common types of claims you will encounter are: slips & falls by customers, water damage, fire damage, customer injury, and property damage. According to the insurance company CapriCMW, the minimum claims for a slip and fall alone can be $30,000 CAD.
Along with these costly payouts for damages and compensation, insurance rates will typically increase. This increase will affect a property owner’s bottom line, as well as make it more difficult to purchase new or extended insurance premiums in the future. As a result, it is extremely important that owners demonstrate their efforts in executing an acceptable amount of due diligence to upkeep & maintain their properties.
How To Avoid These Claims
According to Pallett Valo Lawyers, the best way to demonstrate the required due diligence as an owner is through an effective inspection or maintenance system. In their article, they outline two personal injury cases where a member of the public was injured on the property of a business. Both cases were dismissed, as each defendant had solid inspection processes in place for both keeping up with property inspections and overall maintenance. This system provided records for each, including dates and times, as well as detailed records to ensure that appropriate maintenance measures were being enacted.
How Onsite HQ Can Help Property Owner’s With Risk Reduction
As a property owner, you may be asking yourself, “how do I ensure I am reducing my risk?” As a minimum, property owners should be conducting monthly property inspections to review common building issues such as: trip hazards, leaking fittings, expired fire system testing, and incomplete or missed work by maintenance contractors. Onsite HQ allows you to reduce your risk through our customizable risk inspection software. Our software allows for owners and their team to conduct, keep track of, and record inspections all through our easy to use mobile app. Not only does our software provide insightful analytics to management on how their properties are performing, but so does our Onsite HQ team. Onsite HQ’s team has 28 years of engineering & construction experience. Onsite HQ will help you walk through your property and identify potential issues, or areas of concern.
If you have any questions about Onsite HQ, or would like to learn more about what actions you can take to make your properties safer, click the button below and book a demo today.