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Public liability insurance

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Compare public liability insurance quotes

Get a public liability insurance quote and find a policy that fits your individual business needs. It’s quick, easy, and specific.

Accidents do happen from time to time – that’s the nature of running a business. Having public liability insurance in place can help set your mind at rest.

Cover from £6.81 a month, get insured in minutes. (10% of direct debit customers repay their annual policy in 10 monthly payments of £6.81 or less across all our trades insured. Based on data from 1 July - 31 December 2019, for comparison only. Cancellation charges may apply, please refer to our full terms & conditions.)

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a fundamental type of business insurance, particularly if you have visitors to your premises or carry out work on client sites. It can cover legal expenses or compensation claims if clients, suppliers, or members of the public suffer personal injury or property damage because of your business.

Here's an example public liability insurance scenario: a plumber installed a plastic push fitting which failed and caused a leak. It also affected neighbouring houses. The claim was settled for £160,000, of which the plumber only paid £500.

For more information check out our public liability insurance FAQ pages.

Other covers

  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Employers' liability insurance
  • Commercial insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Stock insurance
  • Business buildings insurance
  • Business contents insurance
  • Tool insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Business legal protection insurance
  • View all business insurance covers

See also

  • Business insurance

We insure a wide range of businesses

At Simply Business we insure all kinds of trades, from hairdressers to builders and even fortune tellers. Check out our list below to read a bit more about some of the businesses we insure.

  • photographers
  • contractors
  • cafes
  • carers
  • private tutor
  • hair and beauty
  • scaffolders
  • roofers

Don't worry if your trade isn't listed above. When running a quote you can choose from over 1,000 trades.

Things to consider before buying business insurance

You should give accurate information when building your quote. This helps make sure you get the right cover for your business. These are some of the questions you should answer when buying insurance:

  • are you a sole trader or limited company?
  • does your business deal with members of the public?
  • do you have a business premises?
  • does your business hold any stock, equipment or tools?
  • does your business employ any other staff?

If you're not sure about the information you need to supply, you can always give us a call on 0333 014 6683 and one of our team can help you with your quote.

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How to check that your business insurance policy suits your needs

Have a think about the answers to these questions to make sure your policy suits your business:

  • do you have employees? If you do, it's likely that you’re legally obliged to take out employers’ liability insurance (not doing so could lead to a heavy fine)
  • is your business insured for the right things? For example, if you work at heights above 10 metres, are you covered?
  • have you chosen the right level of cover for your business, and a level that’s acceptable to your clients?
  • have you checked your policy documents - do any of the exclusions or excesses mean you won't be properly covered?

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Public liability insurance FAQs

This is a key cover for most businesses – our comprehensive FAQs answer some of the most popular questions about public liability insurance.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability insurance covers your business against compensation claims and legal costs if a third party suffers injury or property damage while on your premises, or while you’re working on their property.

Typically, public liability covers:

  • compensation payments for third party injury (or even death)
  • repair or replacement costs, for damaged property or possessions
  • medical fees, if the NHS decide to claim for hospital treatment, or an ambulance call out
  • legal expenses, while you’re defending any of these claims

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How much public liability insurance do I need?

Simply Business offers a minimum level of £1 million public liability insurance. Depending on the nature of your business and client demands, you may need a higher level of cover.

It’s a good idea to check your policy when you take on each 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.

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Do I need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance reassures your customers that you – and they – are properly protected in case things go wrong. While it isn’t a legal obligation under UK law, your clients, industry regulator, or membership body may require you to have it.

Here’s where public liability insurance can be useful: a furniture fitter needed to claim on his insurance while working on a house. A cabinet he had installed fell off the wall and knocked a fellow contractor off a step ladder, causing injury to the contractor’s wrist and back. The claim was settled at £25,235, but the furniture fitter only had to pay the £250 excess.

Check out more public liability claim examples.

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What’s the difference between public liability and general liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a UK cover, which protects against claims from members of the public who are injured or suffer a loss and blame your business. General liability insurance is the name used in the USA for public liability insurance. Learn what the difference is between these two terms.

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Is public liability insurance required by law?

If you have staff, it's likely that getting employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement. But while public liability insurance isn't required by law in the UK, it's worth considering and is an important cover for many businesses. It protects against claims and legal action for injury and property damage.

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What’s the difference between public liability and employers’ liability insurance?

These two covers have similar names but there are important differences. Public liability insurance protects against claims from members of the public, who are injured or suffer a loss and blame your business. Employers' liability insurance protects against claims from employees, who are injured or get ill as a result of working for you.

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How much does public liability insurance cost?

This depends on a number of factors, like the type of business you run and the level of cover you choose. It's easy to find out how much it might cost by running a quick quote online. Usually, businesses who insurers see as risky will pay more for their public liability insurance.

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Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

Businesses can deduct costs when calculating taxable profit. These are known as 'allowable expenses' – and business insurance is an allowable expense. Make sure you keep records of income and expenses, including receipts and invoices, for HMRC. This also means keeping your policy documents safe.

Read more

More covers

  • Business equipment insurance
  • Business interruption insurance
  • Business legal protection insurance
  • Contract works insurance
  • High risk insurance
  • Laptop insurance for your business
  • Office insurance
  • Plant and machinery insurance
  • Charity insurance

Insurance by industry

  • Event public liability insurance
  • Public liability insurance for bands
  • Public liability insurance for crafters
  • Public liability insurance for DJs
  • Public liability insurance for door supervisors
  • Public liability insurance for market traders
  • Public liability insurance for security guards
  • More insurance by industry

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Our score is based on the reviews we’ve collected on Feefo, the independent customer research specialist.

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It is a very good and easy to use service. I've been a customer for several years and the renewal system is very straight forward. I've always found the quotes competitive too. I'd definitely recommend Simply Business.

R Matthews, Handyman

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Sol House29 St Katherine's StreetNorthamptonNN1 2QZ

© Copyright 2020 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.