Public Liability Insurance

Get a cheap public liability insurance quote online to get instant cover for your business to protect you and your company against the cost of injuries to members of the public.

This insurance is critical although not compulsory if you and your staff have dealings with the public. This specialist online guide will help you through the maze of online brokers offering the cheapest online quotes.

Types of Business Insurance

There are many types of insurance businesses should consider from product liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance and employer liability insurance (which is a legal requirement if you employ staff).

It doesn't matter what type of business you run from a shop to a restaurant or if you are a contractor, the fact remains if you deal with members of the public this insurance is somewhat critical so please read our guide as to what is public liability insurance below.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance (or PLI) covers you and your business if you deal directly face to face with people and you or your employees cause injury, death or damage to their property from their actions.

Examples of Claims Covered by Public Liability Insurance

There are many aspects of dealing with others when working for your business where you require insurance. Below are a few examples of why you need protection:

  • You install equipment at your customer's premises that fall down and hits a third-party.
  • Your specialist repair failed after a few months and contaminated a production line.
  • A pipe you installed leaked water over a building causing substantial damage.
  • Your tanning salon machines malfunctioned and caused burning to your clients.
  • While cutting tree branches, one falls onto a neighbours car breaking a window.

What Does it Cover?

The insurance covers the compensation payments and legal fees associated with any claims that are growing due to the amount of daytime TV advertising for no win lawyers taking on cases for even the smallest compensation claims. In fact, over £1 billion is paid out each year in PL claims against businesses. Some businesses fail because they don't have adequate insurance cover and can't pay the claim out of their own funds.

Source: Association of British Insurers

The insurance covers the costs of the following:

  • All legal costs incurred by you and the third-party.
  • Any claimed medical expenses including NHS hospital treatments, consultant fees and drugs.
  • The cost of any compensation or damages awarded by a judge in a court of law.
  • Specific repair or replacement costs if a property is damaged.
  • Costs associated with a claimant's injury or death.

What Exclusions Apply?

This insurance policy will not cover all damage or accident related incidents in your work. Here are some examples:

  • Accidents to you and your employees.
  • Damage to property or equipment owned by your business.
  • Mistakes made by your business.

Your general business or indemnity insurance should cover these types of incidents.

What Businesses Need This Insurance?

If you run a business from home, then it's unlikely you'll need this cover. But, if you travel to your clients' premises, place of work, or travel to their own home business, then it's worth considering because accidents and mistakes happen.

The types of businesses taking out this kind of protection include the following:

  • Home and general builders
  • Manufacturers
  • Hairdressers and beauty salons
  • All types of retail outlets
  • Garden and landscape services
  • Event organisers
  • Tradespeople including plumbers, electricians and plasterers

Premiums and Claims

Your insurance company processes all claims on your behalf and ensures all legal costs and the compensation claimed get paid.

The amount you have insurance for may appear to be excessive, but the actual premiums are quite low. You should be able to get cover for less than £200 for an annual policy. The premium you pay each year is a complex calculation usually based on your turnover, the type of business you run and your industry.

Although having public liability insurance is not a statutory requirement most business owners have this type of insurance due to the increase in nature of compensation claims and usually have cover of £2 to £4 million.

Check Your Trade Membership Requirements

Some professions require their members to have professional liability insurance as part of their membership agreement, and insurance companies may not allow you to have this without first having public liability insurance. That restriction varies between insurers so check with them in the first instance.

You may also find that your customers require you have a minimum level in place before you can bid on contracts or start work. Usually, all public sector contractors, including the NHS, must have public liability cover to carry out work.

Getting Cover and Quotes

It's easy to get a quote and instant cover using the internet using the numerous insurance companies, brokers and providers that you can use. Be sure you don't just buy a cheap policy as it may exclude particular features that other plans include. It's best to use one of the mainstream insurance companies, a broker or an independent financial advisor that you trust.