What is third party liability insurance?

Find a clear definition of third party liability insurance, explained with practical examples.

For any business owner, third party liability insurance is an important consideration, as it covers you for claims made by a member of the public against your business. It’s another way of describing public liability insurance, which is a core cover for businesses that come into contact with clients, suppliers, and other third parties. Since insurance terms like ‘third party’ and ‘liability’ can be confusing, we’re going to provide a definition of third party liability insurance and delve a bit deeper into what it covers and whether it’s right for you.

Definition of third party liability insurance

When you take out an insurance policy, you’re forming a legal relationship with your insurance provider. In this relationship, you’re the ‘first party’ and the insurer is the ‘second party’. The ‘third party’ is someone who doesn’t have any involvement with creating this contract, but could be affected by it. This is usually a member of the public who can make a claim against you.

If you face a compensation claim from a third party, your liability insurance could pay out to cover your legal expenses as well as the compensation payment, up to the limit of your policy.

So, who exactly could the third party be?

In the case of business insurance, the third party could be a customer, a client, a supplier, or just someone who comes into contact with your business on your premises or in the street. If they’re injured or their property is damaged by your business, they could claim compensation from you.

Typical third party liability claims

Imagine you’re a builder working on scaffolding and you drop a brick that damages a car parked below, or you’re a restaurant owner whose supplier trips over a wet floor while delivering ingredients. In either case your business could be faced with a compensation claim.

This compensation payment can take into account medical costs, lost earnings, and the replacement or repair of damaged property. As you can imagine, this means that compensation payments can be huge, so it’s important that you’ve got the right level of third party liability insurance. You can usually choose £1 million up to around £10 million of cover, based on the risks that your business faces and the possible extent of compensation claims. You should also check your client contracts, as some clients will demand a particular level of public liability cover.

Getting covered

Simply Business offers third party liability insurance from some of the UK’s leading providers. You can compare public liability quotes, add any extra cover you need to your policy, and buy online in minutes. Hit the start your quote button below to begin.

Let us know if you have any more questions in the comments section, and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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