Sometimes, as a broker, I get asked why a small company needs to spend its hard earned money on Insurance, when it needs every cent to survive.
To which I always wonder – “can you survive without it?”
The Catering company here were working in the British Museum. A member of the waiting staff bumped their head getting up and knocked off the thumb of an almost 2000 year old statue.
Now a cleaning company in Auckland, or a gardening outfit in Whangarei might not be working in close proximity to such valuable heritage items. But a nudge to an expensive Smart TV, or a Ride On Mower going into a Ranch Slider – stuff happens.
And payouts, or loss of contracts – as happened to the caterers in the story – can hurt a lot more than the few hundred bucks it generally costs a small business to obtain cover.
If a Director or Employee does the damage and are proved liable, the policy will pay. But sometimes it’s another worker; just be aware not all Insurers extend their cover to contractors. So the Employer is reliant on the Contractor having a current Liability policy of their own – adding extra risk.
Most policies also exclude the item being worked on – not handy if you’re a kitchen builder and you smash an expensive worktop whilst installing it. Policies can be often extended to cover this, but you need to make sure they are.
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The Herald reports:
When catering a prestigious event, any waiter may fear clumsily dropping a plate or spilling a drink on an eminent guest.
Few will suffer the indignity of accidentally knocking a thumb off a priceless Roman statue with their head.
The British Museum has admitted to an “unfortunate incident” which saw the thumb of the famous Townley Venus knocked clean off by a member of catering staff.
The caterer, who worked for an external company not regularly used by the Museum, had bent down underneath it and bumped into the marble as they got up again.
A spokesman for the museum said it had taken the incident “seriously”, with the sculpture “fully restored” quietly by conservators.
The thumb was … knocked off during a corporate party at the museum, which rents its gallery spaces out regularly for events.
It is understood that caterers were preparing for the evening in the Ancient Greek and Roman galleries when a member of staff knelt underneath the Townley Venus.
On rising, the caterer’s head hit the protruding marble thumb with such force it knocked it off.
The statue, described by The Art Newspaper as “one of the British Museum’s most important Roman sculptures”, dates from the first or second centuries AD and is a marble copy of a fourth century BC Greek Venus.
It is understood the catering company were new to the museum, and have not been invited back.
A spokesman said: “This was an unfortunate incident. The preservation of the collection is of fundamental importance.
“We have taken the incident seriously and have retrained all individuals responsible for events.”
See the full Herald article here