Public Liability Insurance

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects your business against compensation claims and their legal costs if you cause injury (including death) to a third party or damage to their property. Public liability insurance covers you on your premises and working off-site. It can cover legal costs defending claims and pay compensation if your business is found to be at fault.

What does public liability cover?

Compensation claims

For injuries to a third party or damage to their property, whether an incident takes place on your business premises, a customer’s premises or elsewhere.

Legal expenses

Should a claim be made against you, cover will be provided to help you cover the cost of any legal proceedings.

Cost of repairs  

The cost of repairing damage (for example, to a client’s carpets if you are a plumber and do something in the course of your work which causes a flood).

Medical fees

The cost of hospital treatment (including the cost of calling out an ambulance), if the NHS chooses to claim against you.

Read our public liability FAQs page for information on what’s not covered. 

What does public liability insurance cover?

Occupations which take out public liability insurance

 

 

 

Do I need public liability insurance?

Unlike employers’ liability insurance, public liability insurance is not a legal requirement. However, it is considered an essential among business owners, and in some professions you may find it impossible to trade without it.

For example, clients may stipulate that you must have a minimum level of public liability insurance in place before you can work for them. If you wish to undertake public sector contract work, you will almost certainly need public liability cover.

It’s even possible you could be pursued by the NHS to cover the cost of medical treatment received by the individual who was hurt. All in all, you could face a bill for many thousands of pounds - potentially enough to put a small firm out of business.

Compare public liability insurance quotes from UK insurers such as:

How can I compare public liability insurance deals?

As with any form of insurance, it’s important to compare a variety of public liability insurance policies from different providers before buying. Check the levels of protection on offer as well as the annual premiums, and consider carefully where you should set your excess.

MoneySuperMarket’s public liability insurance comparison channel will help you gather a selection of quotes within minutes, to help you find the best deal for you.

Which other types of insurance can I get for my business ?

Aside from public liability insurance, you can also find other types of cover for your business:

  • Employers’ liability: Employers’ liability cover is to protect you against legal costs if an employee is injured, gets ill, or their property gets damaged as a result of your business. It’s legally required if your business employs others
  • Product liability: Product liability insurance covers you for any costs resulting from a person becoming ill or injured or having their property damaged by a product your business sells – often even if you didn’t manufacture it
  • Professional indemnity: A professional indemnity policy is useful protection if you give advice to clients as part of your business. It covers the cost of claims made against you if the client suffers any losses as a result of the advice or work you did
  • Business interruption: With business interruption insurance you’ll be covered for at least part of any lost income as a result of an insured event, such as a fire or flood
  • Business property: Also known as business buildings insurance, this is useful if you conduct your business from one or more premises. You’ll be covered for damage done to the building as a result of an insured event
  • Business motor: If your business uses vehicles then you’ll be legally required to take out business motor insurance to at least a third party only level of cover. This protects you against the cost of damage you cause to another person, their vehicle or their property as a result of your driving
  • Cyber: Cyber insurance is a crucial part of modern day business, as it can cover a wide variety of costs associated with falling victim to a cyber attack

Depending on the size and nature of your business you could benefit from some or all of the above – just tell us what you need and we’ll find you the best business insurance quotes available.

Public liability insurance will not cover:

  • Accidents that happen to you.
  • Damage to your own property or accidents that affect your employees or their possessions.
  • Incidents like these should be covered under your general business insurance policy and / or your employers’ liability insurance policy, which is a legal requirement.

What else do I need to know about public liability insurance?

First and foremost, it’s important to note that the complete cost of any claim you need to make under public liability cover is unlikely to be met by your insurer. You are likely to have to pay an excess at a level agreed when you first set up your policy - for example, the first £250 or £500 of any claim.

As a general rule of thumb, if you opt for a higher excess the price of your public liability insurance premium may come down - but it’s important to be sure you could genuinely afford to pay the excess in the event of a crisis.

Do I need public liability insurance?

We’ve teamed up with Simply Business to help you compare a range of quotes from leading insurers. It’s quick and easy to complete a quote and you can buy a policy online in minutes.

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