How liable are you if a
visitor slips or trips when entering your property?
VERY LIABLE according a Victorian Supreme Court decision
of Scott v Wanklyn.
Of course, liability is not automatic. The property
owner/tenant must be at fault (i.e. negligent) in some way.
There is little or no liability if the visitor is at
fault, for example, if they are not looking where they are
stepping because they are texting on their phone or are
wearing slippery footwear.
But if the owner has done something like digging a
shallow trench which is hidden by fallen leaves (as in the
Victorian decision) or has not repaired a wobbly step or
uneven paving, then they are liable.
Public liability insurance covers owners and occupiers
liability for injuries to visitors. It is often called the
forgotten insurance because it is packaged into the main
- For home owners and landlords, it is in their home
- For business owners, it is in their business
- For tenants / renters, it is in their contents
With court awards of hundreds of thousands or even
millions of dollars, if a visitor is seriously injured and
loses their income, it is public liability insurance that
could save your house and save you from bankruptcy.
To read my summary of the Victorian decision, click:
Occupier's liability - Aged visitors
and uneven access ways are a recipe for injury