Public Liability Insurance

What is Public Liability Cover?

Public liability insurance sounds alarming, but it is very important to have for companies that engage with members of the public. This is because it protects against the cost of legal claims for incidents that happen in connection with your enterprise.

Put simply: if a customer or client can sue you as a result of your business’ activities, it is worth having public liability cover.

What does it protect against?

Public liability protection covers against compensation given to members of the public for personal injuries, damage or loss of their property, and even death.

If an incident occurs on your business premise or at an event or activity your company has organised, your policy will cover you for any legal action taken against your business.

For example, if you own a shop and an item falls on top of a customer causing them injury, they may decide to sue you. Public liability protection will cover any compensation you have to pay to them.

Do I need public liability cover?

If your business interacts with members of the public, it is likely you require this form of protection. For instance, if you own a business premise that customers or clients visit, you organise events or activities that are engaged in or watched by members of the public, or if you run your business from home and people visit for professional reasons, you should buy a policy.

Therefore, if your company is often used by members of the public, for example you own a beauty salon or are a music teacher working from home, you will require public liability cover.

However, if your business does not involve customers or clients entering your premises or interacting with activities you’ve organised – such as if you’re an artist – then you do not need it.

How much cover do I need?

Most insurers offer public liability cover of up to £1 million. However, those whose premises are visited regularly by the public, such as a pub, will need far higher levels of protection.

If you work closely with the local authorities, you will often find public liability cover worth a minimum of £5 million is required, which is likely to be more than enough to protect against any legal action taken against your business.

The cost of the policy will depend on what your business is, how many members of staff you have, and if you have a strong insurance history.

Not covered by public liability insurance

No matter how high a level of public liability insurance you have, there are some things it won’t cover. This includes any lawsuits made by employees, students, temporary staff or people on work placements who become injured or ill as a result of working for you. To protect against this, you need employer’s liability insurance.

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