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Public Liability Insurance

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¹10% of customers paid up to £ 41.28 for public liability cover

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Compare public liability insurance from 14 leading insurance providers:

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1According to Simply Business data, 10% of customers paid up to £42.11 a year for public liability insurance policy with Simply Business. Figure based on annual quotes purchased in March 2024.

*The Association of British Insurers (ABI) UK business insurance market statistics 2022 

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a type of business insurance. It provides financial protection to business owners facing legal action from third parties due to injuries, deaths, or property damage caused by their business activities.

This coverage is crucial for managing the costs associated with legal fees and potential compensation payments.

While public liability insurance is not legally required, unlike employer’s liability insurance, it is often deemed essential by many businesses for its role in safeguarding against unforeseen liabilities.


What does public liability cover?

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    What’s covered?

    • Compensation claims for injuries or property damage to third parties, regardless of where it occurs

    • Legal expenses for any resulting legal proceedings

    • Cost of repairing property damage caused by your work

    • Medical fees if the NHS makes a claim against you

    • Accidental damage to client's property. You will need employers' liability insurance to cover any employees

    • Injury claims on your business premises

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    What's NOT covered?

How much is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance cost varies based on:

  • Claims history: Past claims may raise premiums

  • Business size and value: Larger businesses may face higher premiums

  • Nature of your business and associated risks

  • Excess amount: Higher excess can lower premiums

The average annual cost is £64.422 according to Simply Business data from April 2024.

2 51% of customers paid £64.42 for public liability insurance based on annual quotes purchased with Simply Business in April 2024.

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How much excess should I pay?

When purchasing public liability insurance, consider the excess—the amount you are willing to pay before the insurance covers the rest of the claim.

Choosing a higher excess can lower your overall cost, but ensure it's a sum you're comfortable paying if needed.

How much public liability cover will I need?

Consider your business risk when determining required public liability coverage.

High-risk or government-related businesses may need up to £10 million, while smaller, less public-facing businesses might suffice with a minimum of £2 million.

Why might I need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement, but is crucial in certain business contexts, especially when dealing with government contracts or when clients request proof of coverage. It's particularly important for tradespeople, like builders, who frequently work on clients' properties.

Key business types and examples of the protection public liability insurance can offer your business:

For example, if your cleaning staff unintentionally damages property in a client's office. Public liability insurance for a cleaning business can offer protection here.

It's beneficial to have coverage in case scaffolding collapses and damages property, such as a vehicle

Picture a situation where someone slips and gets injured just before you manage to put up a 'wet floor' sign

Despite adhering to safety regulations to prevent electrical hazards, unforeseen accidents can still occur

A roofer might accidentally drop tools or materials from a height, potentially causing injury to someone below or damaging property

A customer could slip on a wet floor or trip over an obstacle within the retail space, leading to injury

Spillages or broken glass could result in a patron's injury, for which the establishment could be held liable

A client could suffer a reaction to a hair treatment or slip in the salon, prompting a claim against the business

During a photoshoot, equipment might fall and injure someone or damage property

Suppose you're catering a wedding and a guest alleges they got food poisoning from the food you provided

Consider the scenario where a bucket of water falls from a height onto a busy street, ruining a pedestrian's clothing and phone

Carpenters: Envision a client tripping over an unsecured cable during a visit to your workshop

Jake Edmonds

Our expert says

If you have any contact with the public as a business owner, then public liability insurance should be a top priority. Accidents can happen, and if they result in injury or more severe consequences to a third party, the compensation claims could be financially devastating. 

According to the Association of British Insurers, the average UK business insurers paid out in 2022 was £22 million per day, of which £7.6 million accounted for business liability claims*.  A robust public liability insurance policy provides crucial protection if anyone tries to make a claim against your business.

- Jake Edmonds, Insurance Expert

How does it work?

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    Choose how much cover you need

    Determine your needed cover based on your business's risks. Coverage usually starts at £1 million.

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    Notifying your insurer of claims

    In the event of an incident, notify your insurer of any claims, providing necessary documentation like photos or witness statements.

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    Negotiation of settlement

    Your insurer will assess coverage and either negotiate a settlement or defend your business in court.

What other types of business insurance should I consider?

Why compare business insurance with MoneySuperMarket

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    Save money

    Easily compare quotes from top providers to find affordable public liability insurance.

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    Save time

    Get tailored quotes in one place, eliminating the need to research and contact multiple providers.

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    Explore policies conveniently and make informed decisions on the best coverage for your business.

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Public liability insurance isn't legally required for all UK businesses. However, it's highly recommended for those with public interactions as it provides crucial protection against injury or damage claims.

Instances where it might be needed:

  • Regulated Professions: Certain regulated professions may require it as part of their regulations.

  • Contractual Obligations: Contracts with larger entities or government bodies might stipulate its necessity.

  • Trade Associations: Membership in some associations may mandate it.

Though not obligatory, lacking this insurance can pose financial risks.

While not compulsory, it's essential for those interacting with the public. Self-employed individuals might find it particularly valuable due to potential full liability and lower premiums.

Cost varies based on event type, attendees, duration, location, coverage level, and special considerations. Small events may cost a few hundred pounds, larger ones substantially more. Getting a bespoke quote is advisable.

While not legally mandated, it protects against venue damage or accidents involving guests. Many wedding insurance policies include it.

Policies typically last 12 months with an option to renew.

It financially safeguards against claims for damage or injuries caused to others outside of business contexts.

Public liability protects against claims arising from business interactions with the public, while product liability covers issues with supplied, sold, or manufactured products.

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