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Personal accident insurance and personal injury

contractAdvertisements on television and the so called 'no win, no fee' culture has left people with the perception that if they are injured, someone will automatically be responsible, and that they'll be compensated for their injury. However, this is not the case and the area of personal injury is more complicated than that.

Southampton Solent University is required to comply with health and safety regulations, and these are governed under health and safety laws. These cannot be insured against, as they are criminal statutes and our obligation to comply with them is under criminal law. As such, if we failed to comply with a health and safety regulation and were prosecuted we could not insure away any 'fine' received for our failure to comply.

The University also has a common law duty of care to its employees, students, and visitors. This 'duty of care' is the amount of attention that we could 'reasonably' be expected to show to employees, students and visitors; and this is the system under which recompense can be given to an individual injured by another.

In order for an individual to make a successful claim against the University it would be necessary for them to show that we breached that duty of care and as such were legally liable for their injury. This is not under a personal accident policy but under public liability or employers liability in the case of employees. 

There is a personal accident policy for major injuries accidentally incurred by staff whilst carrying out their duties and commuting to and from work. This also covers students whilst on study or field trips.

However, in common with other universities we do not hold 'no-fault' insurance. If staff or students require such insurance then they should obtain it privately.

Employers’ liability vs public liability – what is the difference?

Insurers provide cover for businesses’ legal liabilities by issuing:

  • employers’ liability policies – this covers employers for injury or disease to people they employ; and
  • public liability policies – this covers businesses for injury, disease or damage to people they do not employ, for example visitors.

Claims examples

Incident Cover in place?Insurance policy 
Staff member injured as a result of Southampton Solent University's proven negligence  Yes                   Employers liability  
Student injured as a result of Southampton Solent University's proven negligence  Yes  Public liability 

Visitor to Southampton Solent University injured as a result of Southampton Solent University's proven negligence

Yes  Public liability
Injury to any of the groups above that was not caused by Southampton Solent University's negligence 



Page last updated on Tuesday 8 March 2016 at 2.54pm.


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