What does public liability insurance cover?

13 March 2019

Take a moment to think about what you do for a living. Does it ever involve coming into contact with members of the public, whether by visiting a property, receiving visits from people at your place of work, or simply working near other people who aren’t colleagues? Indeed, together, these instances cover almost every line of work that you can imagine.

Public liability insurance is there for protecting your business from the near-limitless number of accidents that can occur as you come into contact with members of the public. While policies will differ based on the sector, size and type of business, they typically cover you in the event of the following...

Man sat at desk against wall

Compensation costs

The fees incurred from personal injuries or loss of or damage to property can be exorbitant. Even if you work from home, as soon as somebody visits your property for work, even if only to deliver something, you could be liable for any accident that occurs.

Once a claim is made by a member of the public, public liability insurance covers any payout you may otherwise have had to cover yourself. Helping business owners to continue working without having to worry about dishing out extra costs, public liability insurance provides not only cover, but also peace of mind.

Legal fees

In the event that your business is sued by a third party, which could be a customer or client but not your staff, the cost of the entire process can be covered. Indeed, as Business Matters acknowledges, public liability insurance is designed with third parties in mind.

Essentially, this means that, even if a claim is rejected by the courts and no compensation is due, you won’t have had to fork out a penny other than towards your ongoing insurance premiums. These reasonable monthly or annual fees will depend on the size of your business, the work you do and the likelihood of risk.

Business premises

If you’re leasing your workplace from another business, or in a shared workspace, you should check with the property owner on their level of cover. However, if you own business premises, no matter what the size of your operation, you’ll need to look into your own policy.

According to smallbusiness.co.uk, only four in ten businesses operate with insurance in their first three years, meaning that the majority don’t bother. This is because public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for some businesses, only a recommendation.

Outside events

Does your business organise off-site events or activities which involve members of the public? Something as simple as a fundraiser, organised with the very best of intentions, can become a genuine hive of potential hazards and accidents.

This is a particular area where public liability insurance can be overlooked; after all, what could possibly go wrong on a peaceful village green? Actually, with children running around, drinks being served and activities taking place, many things. In fact, even professional drone users have begun taking out cover for their businesses, acknowledging the need to protect their burgeoning enterprise.

Minor damages

Even something innocuous, like a small scratch to personal property, can lead to hefty payouts in some instances. This is a problem for many tradespeople, who may quite innocently make a small mistake, or be falsely accused of something, before a communication breakdown occurs.

Disgruntled customers then choose to sue, leading to legal fees being incurred, at the very minimum, before compensation is potentially decided. By this time, that tiny scratch has become an enormous, business-crippling bill that would have been avoided with public liability insurance.

Get insured today

While the initial outlay of public liability insurance can seem daunting, particularly as it involves yet another monthly or annual fee of some kind, it is often avoided. Most business owners know the risks they face on a day-to-day basis – and, especially if none of those risks have ever transpired, will know that they are unlikely to need public liability insurance today, tomorrow or any time soon.

However, this insurance wouldn’t be available – or such a popular option for businesses – if it was never needed. It’s there to take care of your business so that you can run it without worrying about encountering extortionate, unnecessary fees.

With public liability claims so diverse and unpredictable in nature, it pays to be prepared for the unexpected. If you have any questions about the type of cover you need, the costs involved or any other queries related to cover, give us a call.

Call today on 0333 999 0802