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JIS News

Some 70 per cent of pest control operators now have liability insurance since it became mandatory in 2006.Registrar of the Pesticides Control Authority (PCA), Hyacinth Chin Sue Walters, told JIS News that since the start of the registration process back in 2001, the PCA has stressed the need for all operators to get insurance.
In fact, a pest control operator can no longer re-register if his or her company does not have the required insurance or a bond.
“We gave them a grace period of about three years to get insured and last year, we insisted that all pest control operators must come within or fall under a company that has insurance,” she said.
“I believe everybody can comply with the rules, so that the people who have not secured any kind of liability coverage at all, we do not think they should be out there working at this point in time, because it is important that they can demonstrate that they have liability coverage,” Mrs. Chin Sue Walters insisted.
For those pest control operators expressing difficulty in obtaining insurance, the Registrar said that the PCA provided assistance in getting some type of coverage. “We have worked with some of them and have helped them to get a bond in the case where they could not afford or could not get insurance and that is very lenient,” she said.
Explaining the bond alternative, Mrs. Chin Sue Walters noted that pest control operators are required to give the PCA a deposit. “If what they have is $100,000 for example, they will give us the money, which we will be put into an account and in the event of anything, it would be paid out of that money,” she added.
“What I want consumers to do is this, when they employ a pest control operator ask them which company they are attached to and that company liability insurance should be presented as a guarantee to get the job,” the Registrar stressed.
Liability insurance has become necessary as specific violations are outlined under the Pesticides (Amendment) Regulation 2004 and the PCA along with affected persons are empowered to expedite the sanctions through the judicial process.
For example, the legislation now states that if a person uses pesticides in a negligent manner that endangers humans or animals he/she is liable to be fined $35,000 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five months. This particular clause will be used to take persons to court.
In addition, complaints filed with the PCA or the Consumer Affairs Commission form the basis of monitoring offenders. Therefore, when a complaint is lodged against a pest control operator, this is the point where the PCA comes in and investigate the complaint and make an assessment.
Based on the assessment provided by the PCA, persons have the option to sue the pest control operator to pay for all the damages that are caused to them as well as property.

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