Who needs public liability insurance?

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If the nature of your business means that you come into contact with members of the public, you should take out public liability insurance to cover you against third party claims for loss, injury or damage.

What is public liability insurance?

A key type of business insurance, public liability cover protects your business if a third party such as a customer, supplier or member of the public sues you for injury or damage. A policy will cover legal costs and any compensation payments that may be awarded if the claim is successful.

What does public liability insurance cover?

If a customer slips on a wet floor in your office and there was no warning sign in place, they could sue your business for compensation for injury. Similarly, if a visiting supplier or potential client is at your office for a meeting and their laptop is damaged by a faulty electrical cable, they could sue your business for damages.

Public liability insurance will cover each of these events, up to the limits specified in your policy.

Do I need public liability insurance by law?

Whilst public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, it is strongly advised that you take out this cover to protect you and your business in the event of a claim.

Public liability insurance is recommended if your business causes you to come into contact with third parties in ways including:

  1. Customers visit your business premises, such as a hairdresser, beauty salon, shop or restaurant
  2. You work on site, such as working as a tradesman or window cleaner, work in homes or businesses
  3. You work in public, such as on a construction site where your work could potentially cause damage or injury to a passer by

It’s ultimately your decision whether you take out public liability cover, although it is worth considering if you could afford the costs of a claim if you were uninsured.

You should also check if your clients – both existing and prospective – expect you to hold this type of cover. Some will expect you to have a certain level of liability insurance.

How much does public liability insurance cost?

The cost of your own individual public liability policy will depend on a number of factors, including:

  1. The type of business
  2. The level of cover you require

Businesses that are deemed as ‘high risk’ will accrue a higher premium.

Does public liability insurance cover business employees?  

A public liability policy does not cover employees – it is a third party cover for members of the public, customers and clients.

You are required by law to have valid employers’ liability insurance if you have one or more employees. This insurance covers you against claims made by employees for injury, illness or damage sustained at work.

Do I need public liability insurance if I work from home?

If you run your business from home – whether that’s a hair or beauty salon or a media company – and you have clients or customers visiting your home business premises, it’s worth considering taking out public liability cover to protect you and your business in the event of a claim for injury or damage.

To discuss your own individual business insurance needs, contact us and we will work with you to find the perfect policy for your individual needs.