Simply Business homepage
  • Business insurance

    • Business Insurance FAQs

    Business insurance covers

  • Support
  • Claims
  • Sign In
Call Us0333 0146 683
Chat With UsChat support 24/7

Public liability insurance vs employers liability insurance

Start your quote

The difference between public liability and employers’ liability insurance is that public liability insurance can cover your business in the case of third party compensation claims, while employers’ liability insurance can cover you in the case of employee (or ex-employee) injury compensation claims.

At Simply Business we insure all kinds of trades like:

Is your profession not listed? When you run a quote you can select your trade from over 1,000 options.

What is the difference between public liability and employers' liability?

Both public liability and employers’ liability insurance are business covers that can pay out if your business faces a compensation claim for injury. The difference is that public liability insurance covers claims made by a third party (i.e. a member of the public like a client, customer, supplier or passerby), while employers’ liability insurance covers injury claims made by an employee.

Public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement, although it may be required by your client contracts. It’s particularly important for businesses that come into contact with the public, for example shops, restaurants, tradespeople and salons. If someone blamed injury or damage on your business and sued, you could face hefty legal fees and an expensive settlement. Your public liability insurance could help pay this.

It’s important to understand that public liability insurance won’t cover compensation claims made by employees or former employees for injury that they’ve suffered in the course of their work. To cover this risk, you need employers’ liability insurance, which is a legal requirement for most businesses with employees. Some types of subcontractors count as employees for the purposes of the legislation, and part-time and temporary workers are also included. For more information, see: Do I need employers’ liability insurance?

In terms of cover levels for public liability vs employers’ liability insurance, Simply Business offers between £1 million and £10 million of public liability insurance. For employers’ liability insurance, £5 million of cover is the legal minimum, but Simply Business offers £10 million as standard.

You can buy both covers in a single business insurance policy.

Does public liability insurance cover employees?

Public liability insurance doesn’t cover claims made by employees. It’s designed to cover compensation claims made by a third party - for example a client, a customer, a supplier, or another member of the public - because they’ve been injured or their property’s been damaged by your business.

Public liability insurance is designed to cover members of the public rather than employees. Employers’ liability insurance is the insurance you need to cover injury or damage claims made by a member of staff. This insurance is a legal obligation for most employers.

Going back to public liability insurance, a ‘member of the public’ could mean pretty much anyone your business comes into contact with, from a customer who enters your shop to a pedestrian who passes your construction site.

You can buy public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance together as part of a tailored business insurance policy from Simply Business. Get a quote now.

Ready to set up your public liability insurance?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we protect more trades than anybody else. You can get your public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance in one policy.

Start your quote

Keep up to date with Simply Business. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter and follow us on social media.

Subscribe to our newsletter
Public liability insurance vs employers liability insurance


Public liability insuranceBusiness insuranceProfessional indemnity insuranceEmployers’ liability insuranceLandlord insuranceTradesman insuranceSelf-employed insuranceRestaurant insuranceVan insuranceInsurers


About usOur teamAwardsPress releasesPartners & affiliatesOur charitable workModern Slavery ActSection 172 statementSocial mediaSite map

Customer support

Contact & supportPolicy renewalMake a claimProof of policyComplaintsAccessibility


6th Floor99 Gresham StreetLondonEC2V 7NG

Northampton 900900 Pavilion DriveNorthamptonNN4 7RG


Careers at Simply BusinessTech careersCurrent opportunities


BenefitsRefer a friendFinance


Terms & conditionsPrivacy policyCookie policyVuln Disclosure policy


Knowledge centreOpinionsMicrosites

© Copyright 2024 Simply Business. All Rights Reserved. Simply Business is a trading name of Xbridge Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Financial Services Registration No: 313348). Xbridge Limited (No: 3967717) has its registered office at 6th Floor, 99 Gresham Street, London, EC2V 7NG.