Large business manufacturers produce goods at a massive scale every day, and there are always products that will have defects that cause malfunctions and a decrease in quality. Because of this, production lines always include a quality testing stage in the whole process to ensure that all products are tested and Inspected for any type of defects. After a product passes quality control, it can now be packaged and shipped to outlet stores and distributors. Still, some products get damaged during transport, and these can still make it to the store shelves and the consumers. When consumers purchase a defective product while being unaware of its condition, it may cause serious harm to the user if an accident occurs due to the malfunction of the product. These situations usually lead to lawsuits being filed against the company, and the consumers may sue them for the damages caused by their products. Lawsuits regarding defective products and damages to customers usually lead to million-dollar lawsuits that can greatly affect the company’s sales and reputation, leading them towards bankruptcy. To avoid such situations, manufacturing companies can avail product liability insurance that can protect them from lawsuits and damages to their company’s name and sales. The next part of this article will cover the basic knowledge that one must know regarding product liability insurance.
1. What is product liability insurance?
Product liability insurance is a type of insurance package that companies and manufacturers can avail to protect their companies from lawsuits and claims of personal injury or property damages from their customers. Companies take time to set up product liability insurance since this can help them cover the legal costs brought by lawsuits. The insurance package can also cover costs of medical damages and property damage. Insurance companies offer different insurance packages depending on their client’s business scale, which ranges from small business owners to large conglomerates.
2. How does product liability insurance work?
Whenever a malfunction occurs on a product purchased by a customer, the product liability insurance package of the company will help pay for the damages done by the malfunction of the product. An example of this occurrence can be observed on a Samsung Note 7 lawsuit that happened on a flight of Jet Airways.
In October 2017, a female passager was boarded on a flight to India on Jet Airways when suddenly, her phone burst in flames while stored in her handbag. The passenger observed smoke coming out of her handbag approximately 15 minutes after boarding the flight. A flight attendant immediately responded to the situation and tried to use a fire extinguisher on the device, but the fire extinguisher failed to operate. The attendant then submerged the device in a tray full of water to prevent any possibility of fire or explosion. Fortunately, the device stopped smoking, and nobody was harmed during the incident. In the aftermath, the female passenger was furious over the lack of preparation of the airline’s safety precautions and was planning on filing a complaint against the company as well as the phone’s manufacturer.
In this incident, the phone company was expected to pay for the damages caused by their product. This was not the first time that Samsung has encountered smartphone problems as they had to recall some of their products in the past year. The company did not have product liability insurance, and they also had to recall the note 7 series products in the previous year due to other claims of malfunction and exploding batteries, so they were expecting a loss of over $17 billion in total revenue.
Had they availed a product liability insurance for this product, they could have lessened their losses significantly. They could have avoided a product liability lawsuit that could affect their resources and brand reputation.
3. How much is product liability insurance needed?
To decide how much a product liability insurance package will cover, the scale of the business must be considered. A large-scale business will typically produce a thousand units of products in a single day, which means there is a larger possibility of occurrence of defective products. A larger yield will mean more defective products, so the insurance must cover the majority of the price of production to avoid major losses in case of a recall or a lawsuit. Smaller business owners will only need to avail a basic package for product liability insurance since their production rate is less than that of large-scale companies.
4. What is the difference between general liability insurance and product liability insurance?
General liability insurance is a type of insurance purchased by businesses to protect their companies from all types of claims and lawsuits that may affect their sales and profits in any way. This type of insurance covers all types of services provided by a company. The difference between general liability and product liability is the range of the compensation that the insurance will provide. General liability insurance can cover all the services provided by a company, which includes consulting, estimates, and customer service. In contrast, product liability insurance only covers the products sold by the company to its customers.