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Understanding your obligations

Whilst you may be concerned by the possibility of receiving public liability claims, we have found that this often stems from misunderstanding the duties you actually face as occupiers of premises.

What is reasonable?

What is reasonable will depend on: the nature of your premises, its age and the number of visitors it receives. A visitor should not have unrealistic expectations of floor surfaces and surroundings when visiting a heritage property. You are not under a duty to warn visitors of a risk which is or should be obvious to the reasonable observer.

When considering what is ‘reasonable’ the court will consider the risk of injury occurring, the extent or seriousness of any that may be sustained, the cost of implementing preventative measures and the ‘social value’ of the activity or premises concerned.

Whilst it must always be remembered that children are likely to be less careful than adults, you are entitled to assume they will be appropriately supervised by their accompanying parent or guardian.

Attracting new kinds of visitors

Becoming a venue for weddings and business conferences is a great way to attract more funding, but can bring a unique set of issues that need addressing from a risk perspective. You must be alive to the nature of the visitors you are trying to attract and ensure their reasonable needs are met.

The introduction of new attractions, fairground rides for example, can significantly affect your risk profile as well as place you under additional regulatory obligations.

  • Ipwich Institute  

    “Having recently had a claim brought against us by a member of the public, I was surprised by the significant amount of time and resources that had to be expended in defending the claim. Arranging visits from the loss adjustor, preparing witness statements, taking photographs and drawing up floor plans, reviewing and commenting on papers as well as keeping trustees briefed at all times – all this inevitably diverted attention from other responsibilities.”

    Mr Hugh Pierce, The Ipswich Institute

Ecclesiastical Insurance Group plc (EIG) Reg No 1718196. Ecclesiastical Insurance Office plc (EIO) Reg No 24869. Ecclesiastical Life Ltd (ELL) Reg No 243111. Ecclesiastical Financial Advisory Services Ltd (EFAS) Reg No 2046087. Ecclesiastical Underwriting Management Ltd (EUML) Reg No 2368571. E.I.O. Trustees Ltd Reg No 941199. EdenTree Investment Management Ltd (EIM) Reg No 2519319. All companies are registered in England at Beaufort House, Brunswick Road, Gloucester GL1 1JZ. EIO and ELL are authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 113848 (EIO) and 110318 (ELL). EFAS and EIM are authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority. Firm Reference Number 126123 (EFAS) and 527473 (EIM). EUML is an appointed representative of EIO who is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. Firm Reference Number 402228.