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The Public Liability Insurance Act,1991 received assent of the President on 22nd January, 1991. This Act was passed with an object “to provide immediate relief to the persons affected by accidents occurring while handling any hazardous substances and for matters connected therewith or incidental thereto” (Shastri, 2015)
The basic meaning of liability insurance is insurance, which is required when someone gets injured in your business premises. Places such as Malls, Factories, Clubs, etc are required to have such kind of insurance. Public Liability Insurance is designed such that it is required to pay compensation for the future loss in earning, present loss in earning and also the damages awarded to the person claiming, in addition to the legal cost of defending the claim as well as the claimants’ legal costs that one incur if found guilty. Public Liability Insurance provides cover against claims made by the members of public who have suffered and/or damage to property in relation with the business. The Act provides insurance to people with damages occurring by any accident as prescribed under the act and is of great help to the weaker section of the society who have to deal with dangerous substances.
Despite of difference of opinion among the judges, it is necessary to lay down the law that the state, in its role as a regulator, should take up the responsibility of providing effective remedies against environmental hazards. There have been recent legislative attempts to fashion the doctrine of strict liability into law relating to handling of hazardous substances and to place the state role of an umpire for deciding upon the disputes to compensate. (Leelakrishnan, 2017) The Act is Consonance with the spirit of principle 13 of the Rio Declaration, in which it aims to provide public liability insurance for the purpose of providing immediate relief to the people affected during the activities taken place while handling any dangerous substances or incidental thereto.
The Public Liability Insurance covers the event of accident of an individual or a company on your premises or their premises. To understand this, lets take an illustration of a small newly opened business at a shopping mall and a customer while trying a dress, trips on one of the dresses that was left on chair and broke his/her wrist while falling. The Public Liability Insurance would cover expenses incurred should the customer pursue a claim against the newly opened business. Similarly Some Movie shooting is going on at a public place or sightseeing place and while one of the tripods of a camera man is lying on the floor and a tourist while walking, falls down due to the tripod and gets injuries, the Public Liability Insurance will ensure that the camera man was covered if the member of public claimed against them.
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