Public Liability Insurance
What is Public Liability Insurance?
Public Liability Insurance is one of the main types of business insurance. It provides cover against claims made by members of the public who have suffered injury or damage to their property, due to your negligence in connection with your work.
Accidents happen, think about these examples; a customer in your shop slips on a wet floor and injures themselves, you spill a hot drink on a client’s laptop during your meeting, a visitor trips on a loose carpet or tile in your premises, debris falls from a property you’re working on and injures someone walking below, or an employee damages the inside of a customers house whilst working on it. It doesn’t matter what industry you work in, if you work with members of the public then the list of possible accidents is endless.
Public Liability is designed to pay costs which can include; loss of earnings, future loss of earnings, medical bills, damages awarded to the claimant, legal costs incurred defending the claim, and the claimants’ legal costs that you incur if you are found to be at fault.
What can Public Liability Insurance cover?
Compensation payments if found responsible for injury or property damage to a client, contractor or another member of the public.
- Medical costs.
- Legal costs and Court attendance costs incurred whilst defending the claim.
- Cost of damage to property
- Legal helpline assistance.
What else do I need?
- Employers Liability: If you employ staff, subcontractors, temp staff or volunteers.
- Tools cover: If you own tools required to do your job.
- Company owned plant and hired-in plant: If you own or hire in any plant equipment
- Contract Works: Cover for any work that’s in progress if it’s damaged by an insured event.
- Stock and Contents: If you have stock or contents you want cover for
- Goods in Transit: If you do deliveries or transport items from one place to another in the course of business.
- Directors Insurance: Covers the individual and their personal assets from claims made for actual or alleged wrongful acts.
- Corporate/Company Legal Liability: Covers the business from claims made for actual or alleged wrongful acts.
- Employment Practice Liability: Covers the business against employment disputes
- Cyber Insurance: If you hold client data (paper or electronic), use emails, have a website, take online transactions.
Why do I need Public Liability?
We’ll let you into a secret, you don’t legally need it… but you should have it. The only insurance that is mandatory is Employers Liability, if you have staff. So, if you’re fortunate enough to have surplus cash to cover your worst case scenario and the time and expertise to sort a claim, you probably don’t need this policy. But if like most people, you would prefer that a claim didn’t directly hit your bottom line and could do without the stress or commitment to sort a claim, this policy is worth every penny.
If you interact with customers, suppliers or any other third parties then you should consider this insurance.
What is the difference between Public and Employers Liability insurance cover?
Public Liability Insurance protects your business from third party claims made by a customer, client, or another member of the public as a result from injury or damage to them from your negligence.
If you employ more than one person then you are required by law to have Employers Liability insurance, which covers you for claims made by an employee if they are injured, or become ill during the course of their work.
Is Public Liability insurance compulsory?
No, it’s not compulsory to have public liability insurance but it does make good business sense to have it! The cost of a claim could severely hurt your business so it would be prudent to have this in place.
How much Public Liability cover do I need?
Most insurers offer set limits of £1 million, £2 million, £5 million and £10 million, each level increasing in cost. Sometimes customers or local authorities will request you have a certain limit before you can carry out work for them, so you will be governed by that. Otherwise the limit is down to you to choose and it depends on the type of work you do. The more risk or danger involved with your work, then the potential there is for a higher claim against you. For example, a plumber/heating engineer that uses heat works has more potential to start a fire and cause substantial damage to a house and/or customer.
Think about your business and the worst case scenario if things went really wrong; how much damage could you potentially cause? Could you cause injury to someone? you could cause damage to a property? Think about the legal costs of defending yourself and the compensation bill you could be liable for. We strongly recommend minimum cover of £5 million these days.
Types of businesses we can cover
If you interact with customers, suppliers or any other third parties you should consider public liability. The list of trades is a long one! However, here are some of the businesses we typically arrange cover for;
- Tradesmen (including over 300 different trades)
- Retailers and Shops
- Offices and Surgeries
- Beauty Salons and Hairdressers
- Gardeners and Landscapers