How much public liability cover do I need?

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The amount of public liability insurance you need will depend on the type of work that you do and the risks your business faces.

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If your work involves with lots of interaction with members of the public or business visitors, it’s likely that you’ll need a higher level of cover than a small business with limited interaction with the public and other third parties.

Cover levels

Most insurers offer public liability cover starting at £1 million and going up to £10 million. Your cover level is the maximum amount that your insurer will pay out if you make a claim.

Remember that public liability insurance is there to cover you if someone sues because they’ve been injured or their property has been damaged by your business.

Claims can be made by a customer or client, a supplier, or another member of the public who comes into contact with your organisation. If you face a claim from a member of staff, this falls under your employers’ liability insurance instead. 

Public liability cover levels are in the millions because compensation figures can take into account things such as the third party’s loss of earnings, medical costs and ongoing care costs, so the amounts can be very high. Your insurance can also cover legal fees.

Check your contracts

Another factor to take into account when you’re considering how much public liability cover you need is client requirements and contracts.

Some clients will stipulate a particular level of cover from the businesses that they work with. This is often the case with public sector contracts: government and local authorities will usually require their suppliers to have at least £5 million of public liability cover. 

Amount of exposure

In summary, when you’re choosing a level of public liability cover, consider the amount of exposure your business has to members of the public and the possible extent of compensation claims. Think about the type of work you do and the way your business interacts with people.

Also check your client contracts and your trade bodies to see if they require a particular level of cover.

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