Public liability insurance

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Essential liability cover for your business

Accidents do happen, from time to time. That’s the nature of running a business. Having public liability insurance in place helps set your mind at rest, keeping you covered if a customer or member of the public suffers a loss or injury because of your business.

You can buy public liability insurance as part of your flexible business insurance policy, or as a stand-alone cover – whatever suits you.

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With Simply Business you can compare a range of leading insurers in the UK, grab your public liability insurance quote and find a policy that fits your own business requirements. It’s quick, easy and specific.

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you if clients or members of the public suffer personal injury or property damage because of your business. It can pay for the costs of subsequent legal expenses or compensation claims and is an integral cover for businesses that interact regularly with customers.

A customer slipping or tripping over is one of the most common accidents in the book and can often result in a public liability insurance claim. Watch our consultant Massimo explain how public liability works and why most businesses need it.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability insurance can cover compensation payments and legal fees if your business is found responsible for injury to a member of the public – such as a client, customer, supplier or passerby – or damage to their property or possessions.

For example, if a roofing company is hired to re-tile a roof but they didn’t use adequate weather protection, resulting in severe water damage, the client could make a claim against them for compensation to pay for repairing the damage. Public liability insurance ensures that the company can meet the cost of the claim, along with any legal expenses.

Read more on what public liability insurance covers.

Do I need public liability insurance?

You may need public liability insurance if your business comes into contact with members of the public. It covers compensation costs and legal fees if you’re sued for injury or property damage, whether the incident happens at your business premises or as a result of your business activity elsewhere.

Read more on who needs public liability insurance.

How does public liability insurance work?

A quick claim example

A plumber is doing repair work on a domestic property, but hasn’t fitted the caps properly. This has caused water damage in the property he’s working on, as well as the property below.

What was covered?

The public liability claim cost of £15,000, for repair of the damage and any inconvenience caused.

What wasn’t covered?

The £250 excess (this is the part of the claim the policyholder pays).

How much public liability insurance do I need?

At Simply Business, we offer a minimum level of £1 million for public liability cover, but how do you choose the right level for you?

Depending on the nature of your business, you may need more than the minimum level of cover, so it’s sensible to check your policy for every new job or contract. For example, companies working on government contracts are usually required to be covered for a minimum of £5 million or even £10 million in public liability insurance. Bear this in mind when choosing your public liability insurance quote.

Read more on how much public liability insurance you may need.

Why is public liability insurance important?

Public liability insurance is an essential cover for most types of business. It’s especially important for customers to be sure that your business has the right insurance.

Even when a business does everything right there is always the chance of an accident happening. With the right insurance, a business can operate knowing that should the worst happen, their customers’ property could be repaired, their possessions replaced and their medical costs paid for.

Any business that has visitors to its premises or involves work on client sites could need public liability insurance. Potential clients may ask to see your company’s insurance schedule and documentation before taking you on.

If you have a website, with Simply Business you can easily grab a proof of policy badge, add it to your site and link to your public liability insurance certificate.

Read more on the importance of public liability insurance.

Watch the details

It’s very important to make sure you understand what you need from your insurance. Use the check points below to get you thinking.

  • Check the policy documents before you buy for exclusions and excesses
  • If you employ people, usually you’re legally obliged to take out employers’ liability insurance. Not doing this could lead to a heavy fine
  • Is your business covered for the right things? For example, if you work at heights above 10m, is this covered?
  • Have you chosen the right level of cover for your business and a level that’s acceptable for your clients?

Selling products online?

We can cover your online trade, with specialist online retailers’ insurance, built for businesses that sell on the web.

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