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The Importance of Having Public Liability Insurance

Having the right insurance in place could save you thousands in the long run.

The story of a garage in Trowbridge highlights the importance of being properly covered as a motor trader, showing why Public Liability insurance is important.

A woman has been ordered to pay £70,000 after claiming a garage worker tripped her up with a hosepipe when she took her daughter’s Mini cooper in for an MOT.

MOT tests claims

Yvette Thomas, a 54-year-old mother of two, lodged a £200,000 compensation claim against Southwick Service Centre. As part of her claim she alleged that the supposed fall had left her dependent on crutches and a walking stick, as well as being sacked from her job, forced to cancel a holiday to Gran Canaria, quit the gym and stop salsa dancing.

However, hospital records shed unquestionable doubt on Thomas’ claims that she had suffered any serious injuries, with A&E records revealing X-rays had showed no signs of trauma. In an effort to convince the judge she got family members to back up her claims, however it was all in vein as undercover footage showed her walking with no signs of physical impairment.

District Judge Francis Goddard told Bath County Court: "In my judgement the case that Mrs Thomas puts forward simply does not add up.

“I do not find her story in any way believable notwithstanding that she may well have by now convinced herself that what she said happened did happen.

“Something happened on that day that caused Mrs Thomas to come up with a version of events that, on a hearing of the evidence, is quite implausible.

“It was not a pre-thought out plan. The story put to the court germinated on that day and was elaborated upon over the months and years that followed.”

Car valeter at Southwick, Edward Slow said: “I was rather angry when I heard what she was saying. I remember her coming in.

“She was walking around and she said the hosepipe rubbed against her leg and that it was an accident waiting to happen.

“Then suddenly it became this whole story that I had deliberately tripped her up – something I would never do.”

public liability insurance important information

How Public Liability Insurance Worked In This Instance

Think Insurance Liability insurance specialist, Chris Hasketh explains: “Public Liability insurance is effectively a form of legal defence against claims where the third party are claiming damage or injury as a result of business negligence. Apart from the settlement to the third party, all incidental costs like solicitors, medical reports, investigators and the like that are needed to defend the claim are all covered.

“In the instance shown, the customer would have put a Public Liability claim in against the garage for injury as a result of a loose, or stray hosepipe. The garage’s Public Liability Insurance would have defended them to the best of their ability, appointing a team of solicitors and investigators to verify the incident occurred, the severity of the injury, rehabilitation and all other losses, such as the cancelled holiday, out of pocket expenses, phone calls, lost income, pain and suffering etc.”

Make Sure You’re Covered

If you’ve decided you want to add Public Liability insurance to your Motor Trade insurance policy after reading this article, call 0330 127 4100. Alternatively, if you haven’t got an insurance policy in place with us just yet, you can click ‘Get a Quote’ below to get the process started.