Who Needs A Public Liability Insurance?

If you own a business, protection is paramount, and we’re not just talking about the locks on the doors or the security system you use for surveillance. People will need to be protected as well, both the staff you employ and the customers who come through the door and keep your business, in business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance helps protect your business against claims brought against it by third parties. This can involve those who have suffered personal injury or damage to their property due to your neglect or as a result of a mishap on your premises – usually a slip, trip or fall – which can be costly to your business if you’ve not taken precautions.

Who can bring a claim against me?

Customers who have suffered an injury while on your premises, either due to a mistake by one of your staff or as a result of a trip or fall caused by a wet or poorly maintained floor.

Another example could be if a visitor to your site; a salesperson or contractor we’ll say, suffers injury or damage to property due to a trip caused by loose wires or cracks on the floor, which then leads to damage to their person or to the equipment they might be carrying.

In these cases, public liability insurance can help protect your business against costly claims. Depending on the incident, you’re likely to be chased for compensation to cover medical costs or damage to equipment, so it’s worth making sure you are covered.

What protection does it offer?

Public liability insurance will provide cover for a range of different costs brought forward as a result of claims, these can include:

  • Legal expenses
  • Costs of repairs as a result of flood damage caused by your negligence – for example causing damage to a clients’ property or possessions as a result of a mistake during your duties, which may lead to water damage.
  • Costs of compensation brought against you by a third-party for injuries sustained or for damage to property. This can cover your premises, a customer site, or many others.
  • Hospital treatment costs brought against you by the NHS to provide treatment.
  • Other expenses that are deemed reasonable to claim

Is there anything that’s not covered by the policy?

Public liability insurance does not offer the insurer any personal protection, against damage to their own property nor any claims brought against them by their staff members Such claims will be covered by employers liability insurance and general business insurance policies.

Does my business need it?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for your business, unlike employers’ liability insurance, which offers protection against claims brought against you by staff members who may become ill or injure themselves while working for you.

No matter what your business, if your work involves members of the public – whether it’s providing a service or simply performing at an event – public liability insurance can be useful since it would protect you should anything happen during your period of business.

In some cases, it is better to over-insure your business to further protect yourself against future incidents than to leave yourself short in the event of multiple claims.

RELATED: Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

How much will it cost me to cover my business?

There is a wide network of brokers who offer public liability insurance policies of varying degrees of cover to suit your business. Talk to your insurer and discuss in detail what type of cover you want for your business.

All these insurances, which one does my business need?

It can be worth having all three of the insurances mentioned in this guide against your business to ensure all your bases are covered in the event of a claim. Be aware that, while your policy may come down depending on how high an excess you want to set, you must ensure you can cover the cost of the excess should you need to claim.

Our Tips:

  • Public liability insurance covers you against claims made by third- parties.
  • Unlike employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance is not a legal requirement.
  • You decide how much excess to put against a policy, setting it higher could mean a cheaper premium.

What is a Business Insurance?

A business insurance is necessary if you run a company of your own, and you could be violating the law without it. Here is a guide on how business insurance works.

How does it work?

If you experience financial loss while carrying out your business activities, it can pay out a cover for:

Employment disputesStock
Professional indemnityProperty damage

Public liability
Tools and machinery

Legal expenses
Equipment

It decreases uncertainty since your business can continue to operate if something goes wrong.

You can avail basic policies that are designed for self-employed tradesmen or professionals; or more comprehensive cover for bigger companies and franchises.

Think about what your business requires and try to look for a package policy that can cover everything. You can look for a policy by:

  • Going directly to an insurer
  • Using an online comparison
  • Discussing your needs with a broker

What types are there?

The different types of insurance that safeguard your liability as a business include:

  • Employers’ liability: Pays out if you need to compensate your employees, if they die or if they are injured as a consequence of working for you.
  • Public and product liability: Pays out if a third party or their property is damaged or injured because of your business activities.
  • Professional indemnity: Pays out if a client accuses you of damages that result from your professional advice (e.g. if you are an accountant or a solicitor).
  • Legal expenses: Covers legal fees for court proceedings including tax disputes with HMRC, or employment tribunals.

The types of insurance that safeguard your commercial premises and its contents include:

  • Business interruption: Covers any financial losses that you experience as a result of not being able to trade, due to property damage. For example, if your store is flooded.
  • Commercial property cover: Covers damage to your building, contents and any stock that your business owns.
  • Goods in transit: Covers damage, theft, or loss of your business property while it is being transferred from one place to another.

You can avail package policies that allow you to combine various types of business insurance, and you can choose to cover more than one business on a policy.

Do you need it?

According to the law, you need to have certain types of business insurance. For example, if you employ voluntary or paid staff, you must have an employers’ liability insurance policy.

There are also some professions where it is mandatory for you to have a professional indemnity insurance, like insurance brokers and financial advisers.

Other types of business insurance are voluntary, but you should examine property cover if you have a mortgage or long-term lease on commercial premises.

How much does it cost?

The price you pay for business insurance will depend on:

  • Your annual turnover
  • The type of business you run
  • The size of your premises
  • How many employees you have
  • The level of cover you need

Once you have determined what cover your business demands, shop around and compare quotes to discover the most competitive policy.

How to make a claim

If you wish to claim on your business insurance, immediately contact your insurer and give them as much information as possible.

Most business insurers run a 24-hour claims helpline. However, they may wish to visit you before they settle your claim to discuss the matter in detail.