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Do I need a public liability insurance certificate?

When you take out cover for your business, you will receive insurance documents detailing how your policy works and what you are covered for.

From time to time, your customers may ask you for proof of the public liability cover you have arranged. However, providing the full policy suite of documentation may be too long-winded and include other cover information which is irrelevant or confidential.

So acquiring a public liability insurance certificate which offers a summary of your policy is a great way to show that you’re covered and put your clients’ minds at ease. Some insurers provide these as standard, others may provide on request or refer to them as a ‘Verification of Insurance’. If you have any queries, call your insurance broker and they will provide the paperwork you need.

What is a public liability insurance certificate?

A public liability insurance certificate is simply a legal document that summarises the key details of your public liability insurance policy and proves your business has the right cover. Certificates can be obtained for many types of insurance such as motor or employer’s liability, but public liability insurance certificates include more details as different insurers can offer different levels of coverage.

What should a public liability insurance certificate include?

A public liability insurance certificate should contain the following details:

  • Who is insured under the policy
  • The insurance company
  • The policy number
  • The insurance period
  • A description of your business and the activities that will be covered
  • The indemnity limit, which is the most that the insurer will pay out in the event of a claim
  • Any major cover exclusions (for example, a territorial limit that means you are not covered for work outside of the UK)

Is having this certificate a legal requirement?

By law, you do not need a public liability insurance certificate, but it makes doing business a lot easier - clients and contractors will often want to see proof of your cover before they hire you, and so having a certification handy can quickly assure them that you are adequately covered and prepared for the job.

Where should I display my public liability insurance certificate?

As a public liability insurance certificate is not a legal requirement, you do not have to display your certificate publicly, but it is advisable to do so as it quickly lets clients and potential clients see that you are covered. You can obtain a hard copy or digital copy from your insurer, so you can display it in your office space or on your website.

About the author

Mike Stephens is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.

This is a marketing article by Towergate Insurance.

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