Public liability insurance vs general liability insurance

Public liability insurance is a business insurance available in the UK to cover third party injury or damage claims. You can also cover employee injury claims with employers’ liability insurance. General liability insurance is the American name for public liability insurance.

What is the difference between public liability and general liability?

In the UK, you won’t find general liability insurance. Instead, if you want liability insurance for your business, the covers available are public liability insurance, product liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance.

Public liability insurance covers compensation claims made against your business by a third party for injury or damage. For example if a supplier trips on a trailing cable in your shop, or if you visit a client and spill coffee on their computer. Product liability insurance - which is often included in a public liability policy - covers compensation claims for injury or property damage that’s been caused by a product you’ve sold. Employers’ liability insurance covers compensation claims from employees for work-related illness or injury.

If you’re based in the USA, it’s likely to be general liability insurance that you take out to protect your business, although exactly what it covers and how it compares to public liability insurance will depend on the insurer and policy you choose. Always check your documents carefully.

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