A scenic picture of Southport Pier in Southport. Photo by Andrew Brown Media

Accidents by people walking on Southport Pier have seen Sefton Council paying out over £38,000 to five people under public liability insurance over the past five years. 

The local authority admitted liability for the injuries caused. 

Four further open claims are currently being investigated or negotiated. 

Liability was denied in four cases while two cases were not pursued. 

Southport Pier has been closed to the public since December last year, as Sefton Council seeks to secure the estimated £13 million needed to repair the historic Victorian era landmark. 

The figures were revealed at the full Sefton Council meeting, following questions raised by Sefton Lib Dem Leader Cllr John Pugh. 

He asked: 

With whom is Southport Pier currently insured? 

Does this insurance cover public liability and what is the premium for that public liability cover? How many claims have been made under public liability insurance for accidents on Southport Pier during the last five years and what has been the cost to the Council of settling them? 

What is the Council’s total bill for public liability across all its assets?

Cabinet Member for Regulatory, Compliance and Corporate Services Councillor Paulette Lappin replied: “The Pier is currently insured via Zurich Municipal for Material Damage insurance (fire, storm etc), QBE for Public Liability insurance and Bowring Marsh (Lloyds) for Terrorism. 2) 

“Yes, there is public liability cover for the Pier as well as for all Council’s activities and services. The cost of the insurance premium is seen as being commercially sensitive. The premium is based on the Council’s overall risk/footprint and taking into account the claims experience across the Council, as well as the insurer’s perceived effectiveness of the Council’s risk management process. 

“Claims experience (financial years 2018/19 to 2022/23, plus 2023/24 to date) shows that 15 claims have been received (all personal injury). Of these, eleven have been finalised as below: Liability admitted – five with total payments made of £38,430.20 

Liability denied – four 

Not pursued – two 

The remaining four open claims are currently being investigated or negotiated. 

“All values stated above relate to damages, third party costs and defence costs where applicable. 

“The public liability insurance premium that the Council is charged for all of its assets and activities is seen as being commercially sensitive.”

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