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Shield your ambulance business with Management Liability Insurance

All businesses carry a lot of responsibility – and independent ambulance companies are no different.  

A claim for wrongful acts can cause a serious dent in your business’ finances, even if they are proven to be unfounded. Legal costs can run into the hundreds, if not thousands, which may then be compounded by compensation payments.

Indeed, in 2021-22, the highest employment tribunal compensation award was £228,117 for a claim of racial discrimination.

And if you’re a director or officer within your business, you may even have to pay out of your own pocket.

But with Management Liability Insurance in place, it’s possible to protect your ambulance business from these costs.

Management Liability Insurance financially protects your business and its senior individuals from legal action. It typically includes Directors’ & Officers’ Insurance, Employment Practices Liability and Company Legal Liability. 

This means that you will be covered for defence of claims of wrongdoing, employer malpractice, bullying and harassment, to name a few.

When you arrange a policy with us, you will also benefit from the experience, knowledge and guidance of legal services provider rradar

Below, rradar explains more about when Management Liability Insurance can come into play using some real-life examples.

Example 1: Road traffic accident

Management Liability Insurance’s Company Legal Liability cover can come into play in cases of road traffic incidents.

In this example, a claim was made when an independent ambulance was called to transport a service user to a medical appointment. While travelling down a busy A-road, the ambulance approached a stationary vehicle parked on their side of the road near to the brow of a hill.

After checking the road ahead and behind, the ambulance driver indicated and pulled out to overtake the car. Another car was travelling at speed down the hill on the opposite side of the road. It collided with the ambulance, causing damage to both vehicles.

No passenger or driver injuries were caused, apart from some minor bruising and whiplash.

The driver of the oncoming vehicle called the police, claiming the ambulance driver had driven straight into their path and they had no time to stop, resulting in the collision.

The ambulance driver was later invited to the police station to attend an interview under caution for an offence of careless driving.

The police were investigating whether the standard of driving of the ambulance driver fell below the standard expected of a competent and careful driver.

The ambulance driver was represented by a solicitor in the interview, who obtained further information about the accident and viewed evidence before the interview.

The driver was legally represented throughout the interview under caution and was able to dispute the other driver’s version of events. Following legal advice, they put forward their defence as well as referring to important witness and onboard camera footage evidence.

This demonstrated they had done all they could reasonably be expected to do to ensure that it was safe to overtake, and that it was in fact the excessive speed of the oncoming driver that had caused the accident.

As a result, the police decided to take no further action against the ambulance driver.

The outcome of the criminal investigation also neutralised any potential civil claim for personal injury.

Thanks to their Management Liability Insurance, the client was able to call on rradar’s legal services to ensure a positive outcome. And if a civil claim had been made, the policy would have also provided financial protection from the resulting costs.

Example 2: Safeguarding investigation

As an ambulance service provider, you and your staff have a duty of care to your service users. If something goes wrong, you could face a claim of wrongdoing as well as a safeguarding investigation.

A claim such as this can lead to a long and expensive legal process. It can also have ongoing financial impacts on your business and its methods of operation.

This was the case with one of our care clients.

A care client was named an Interested Party in an inquest following the death of a service user who died while being transported, and was subject to a safeguarding investigation.

The client involved rradar from the outset in respect of correspondence with the Coroner and documents to disclose. rradar ensured the client was well prepared and in a good position to give evidence at the inquest through well drafted statements and clear representation. This was crucial to the outcome.

Following the inquest, a verdict of accidental death was determined.

This outcome meant that there was no Prevention of Future Death report and no criticism of the care provided by the client.

Had a positive outcome not been achieved, the client may have been affected by:

  • A Prevention of Future Death report could have been made by the Coroner, which would have significantly impacted the client’s business.
  • A Safeguarding Investigation, which could have led to enforcement action against the client.

In this example, the client could have faced extensive costs while the legal proceedings and investigation concluded. If found at fault, it’s also possible that compensation may have needed to be paid.

However, with Management Liability Insurance in place, the client was able to make use of rradar legal services. The insurance also included Legal Liability cover, which financially protects you from claims for wrongful acts, such as corporate manslaughter. In cases like this, it can reimburse your business for legal costs and any subsequent settlements.

Example 3: Unfair dismissal

Claims about employment practices can be financially damaging to all kinds of businesses. For this reason, Employment Practices Liability cover is often added to Management Liability Insurance policies. This cover extension played an important part in the claim below, which had its settlement costs paid by the policy.

A claim was triggered when a senior manager of an insured company within the care sector made allegations of serious bullying and harassment. The employee resigned and subsequently made a claim for holiday pay, which had not been paid, and compensation for unfair dismissal for more than £300,000.

Because awards for unfair dismissal are capped by the Employment Tribunal, the claim had a potential value of approximately £70,000, taking into consideration the employee’s length of service.

The company had sought rradarstation advice through a long grievance process. Mediation between the parties was unsuccessful, and the case details were passed from the rradarstation team to rradar’s Employment Team.

They were able to skillfully negotiate and defend the allegations, resulting in a modest settlement of only £600, plus the holiday pay owed to the employee.

In this instance, following rradar’s assessment of the documents provided by the insurer and of the information gathered by the legal advice line team, rradar’s legal team recommended that the Employment Practices Liability section of the client’s Management Liability policy could respond.

Talk to One Broker Ambulance about Management Liability Insurance

If you’d like to talk to our team about Management Liability Insurance to protect your ambulance business, give us a call on 01603 218295. 

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