Public Liability Insurance Definition
Public liability insurance cover protects business owners and professionals who interact with customers and members of the public. Public liability insurance protects you and your business against claims made for personal injury or property damage that a third-party claim to have suffered as a result of your business.
What is Public Liability Insurance?
Public liability insurance cover can help protect your business against claims made for loss, damage, or injury to the public or their property caused by your company. Getting public liability insurance at the right level of cover is a simple way of making sure that you and your company are protected. If your business is found to be at fault, it will cover compensation claims.
It's one of the most important types of insurance a business should have. Whether you're a self-employed sole trader working at a customer's property, small business owner or large corporation, if you have premises visited by members of the public, accidents that harm people and property can occur. This may lead to expensive and inconvenient fees as well as pose a threat to your professional reputation. Having public liability insurance in place can give you peace of mind that, should an unfortunate incident occur, you'll have it covered.
For example, you may have carried out a repair job at a customer's premise that resulted in accidental damage to their property. In this instance you would need to pay an excess amount previously agreed with your insurer but further costs resulting from the damage and up to the limit of indemnity selected would be covered by your public liability insurance.
If you run offsite events such as craft fairs, public liability insurance ensures that the policy holder is covered against accidental damage, loss of property, injury or death of a member of the public at the event.
Public liability insurance is widely recommended but it is not a legal requirement for most businesses. Certain businesses (those working with dangerous animals, riding schools, nuclear sites, and train track constructors), have specific laws requiring them to have public liability insurance. But for most businesses, the main consideration will be if you employ one or more members of staff.
How does Public Liability Insurance Work?
You select the level of public liability insurance you require ranging from £1 million to £10 million for members of the public that interact with your business. Cover is available for all types of businesses from dog walkers, bands, cafés, carpenters to scaffolders and high-risk businesses.
Public liability insurance covers you from compensation claims made against your business. It can also cover legal fees and costs depending on the specific options you choose. This protects against injury or damage to people's property.
In the event of a claim, you usually need to pay an agreed excess before the insurer will reimburse you. For an additional cost you can purchase an additional policy which will reimburse you for your excess should you need to claim.
What does Public Liability Insurance Cover?
Public liability insurance covers your business in two areas; bodily injury and property damage made to a third party. Insurance cover includes;
- Compensation claims – For a member of the public or their property, when injured as a result of your businesses actions.
- Legal expenses – An optional extra to cover the cost of any legal proceedings, if a claim is made against your business.
- Repair costs – The cost of repairing damage to a customers or member of the public's property.
- Medical fees – To cover the cost of any medical treatments, including the cost of ambulance call outs, if the NHS submit a claim against you.
Your insurance policy will cover compensation claims made against your business along with the associated legal costs to both you and the claimant, should your business be deemed as responsible for the claim.
Compensation payments are calculated taking multiple factors into account, such as the claimants' loss of earning, associated injury and ongoing medical cost, covering the cost of repairing or replacing damage caused to their property. All of these can add up to a scary sum and one that your business may not have the cashflow to handle. If you're covered by public liability insurance, you will have peace of mind that the issue can be resolved in a professional and efficient manner, reducing the impact to you and your business.
Business owners who employ one or more members of staff are legally required to have employers' liability insurance in place. This protects you against the cost of claims for compensation from employee illness or injury that has been brought about as a consequence of working for you. This is critical for the protection of your employees and your business. Employers' liability insurance can also be offered alongside your public liability insurance.
What's not included in public liability insurance?
A public liability insurance policy will not cover;
- Accidents that happen to the policy holder
- Damage to your property or possessions
- Accidents that affect your employees to their possessions
To ensure you're covered against these potential issues, you will need to consider general business insurance and employers' liability insurance.
Who needs Public Liability Insurance?
SME business owners who work offsite or have members of the public visiting their premises, should strongly consider having public liability insurance cover.
Ask yourself the following questions;
- Are customers visiting my premises at risk?
- Do I carry out work at customers' properties?
- Could I afford to pay compensation directly?
- Do I employ staff I need to protect with insurance?
If you answer yes to any of these questions, compare public liability insurance cover online and obtain a free no obligation quote.
Do I need Public Liability Insurance?
Legally, no. You do not need public liability insurance, however, for peace of mind it is advisable to have a policy in place. Public liability insurance protects you if someone decides to sue you for damages or if an injury is incurred because of a fault of your business.
It's readily available for all business types including sole traders, self-employed or a director of a limited company. All trades and professions should consider having public liability cover. Whether you're a hairdresser, plumber, retailer, wedding photographer, manufacturer or event organiser – protect your business.
Many professions considered it an essential business insurance to have, as working without it, can prove difficult. Clients that you decide to work with, may stipulate that you have a minimum level public liability insurance policy – without it, there's no moving forward.
Can I arrange cheap public liability insurance?
So, how much is public liability insurance? The price you pay for your insurance will depend on the details of your individual business, so the cost does vary. However, here at BusinessComparison we can help you find the most competitive public liability insurance quote. As with all forms of insurance, it is advisable to compare a range of policies before buying.
We have partnered with One Insurance Solution, a broker which works with a wide panel of A rated insurers. This means you can quickly compare business insurance deals from the most comprehensive and competitive insurers. Combined with the knowledge of our dedicated specialist insurance service team, we can help you save money when you switch.
What level of public liability cover do I need?
We can help you find the best public liability insurance, regardless of your business size. It is possible to arrange up to £10 million worth of public liability cover, for every type of business. Whether you are a small café or a large high-risk business, our team can help you compare options and secure the best deal.
The level of cover you require will depend on the risks your business faces each day. In general, there are minimum standards which are applied to each industry, or they may be specified by your clients. These can help advise you on the level of cover you should take out. For example, if you are working on a public sector contract, the minimum level of cover will usually fall between £5 and £10 million.
How much does Public Liability Insurance Cost?
The cost of public liability insurance will depend upon a number of factors, including the size and nature of your business, the excess you're willing to pay should a claim arise and the level of cover you require.
The main factors that affect the cost of your policy are;
- Profession or trade
- Your annual turnover
- Your premises public footfall
- Whether you have a stall in public or private
Premiums can start from as low as £50 a year, offering up to £10m of cover. Policy prices vary quite a bit from company to company and can also reach in the £100s mark.
Why Compare Public Liability Insurance?
Comparing public liability insurance with BusinessComparison offers many benefits, including:
- Up to £10 million worth of cover
- Option to add employers' liability insurance
- Optional extras including tools, contract works, plant, personal accident and more
- Suitability, if your business doesn't tick all the usual boxes, we will do our best to find you the right solution
We compare cover up to £10m across the market, providing you with the best deals. What's more, you can add optional extras such as employer's liability or tool cover to provide cover for your needs. We work with market leaders such as AXA, NIG, Eaton Gate and more. Once you've found the quote that works for you, review, confirm and complete. Your insurance certificate will then be sent to you.
Compare and find business insurance online with our easy to use insurance finder service. Tell us a bit about your business and what you need, and we'll work out the best business insurance for your requirements.