27/08/2010 Smoke or Fog Generating machines and Public Liability?
Smoke or Fog Generating machines are regarded as an extremely effective way to reduce loss in the event of robbery.
A number of our clients have expressed concerns due to the possibility of being sued for loss or damage following activation of this type of equipment. Their main concern is for those customers who are present at the time of robbery and are injured in the affray consequent upon activation of the smoke/fog.
We have taken advice on this from Insurers and they have confirmed that their view is that Public Liability Insurance will provide indemnity for loss here and associated legal expenses.
By way of explanation they explained it is not unreasonable for a policyholder to take steps to protect their enterprise. The balance would be tipped if the assured took steps that represented an unreasonable danger to an innocent third party. Whilst a smoke or fog generating machines are active protections, so are electronic locks and double door entry systems which all pose some potential threat to innocent third parties, such as customers. Similarly this must be balanced against the assureds' right to trade in a secure fashion. It could also be argued that there is a long term beneficial effect for the assureds' would be customers.