Public Liability Insurance: Top Things to Know

Whether you have just set your business up or have been established for a few years – the last thing you want to stop you in your tracks is a public liability case. This is why it’s important to consider the relevant financial protection and why you need it.

We have put together a quick list of items to get you thinking:

1. Public liability is worth buying if you expect to be in contact with members of the public on a regular basis - whether clients, passers-by, suppliers or anyone who may enter your place of work - offices, building sites, etc.

Injuries can lead to claims against your business

2. Liability cover can help protect you financially should a third-party make claims for personal injuries or damages to property caused as a result of your business operations.

3. A typical public liability policy can pay for the cost of correcting any damage, medical fees for injuries, legal representation and related expenses.

4. Should an accident happen as a result of your business operations and you don't have the correct cover the impact could be significant. Not only could your business be affected financially but it could give you a bad name in the community and industry you work in - potentially making it far harder to find new business in the future.

5. Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, however, many businesses and clients will insist (or at least expect) you to have this before you can work with them. In fact when it comes to Government contracts - local council authorities usually require you to have a minimum of £5 million public liability cover if you want to put in a tender to work on projects.

Read more about public liability

A Guide to Public Liability  |  Public Liability for Public Sector Contracts  |  What is Liability Insurance?

6. To ensure that your business is completely covered it is vital that you are honest with your insurer about the various aspects of your business. If you fail to divulge important information prior to purchase you may find that you are not covered should you need to claim on your liability cover.

Carrying out risk assessments helps identify hazards

7. You should consider what aspects of your business will affect your insurance premium. In many cases public liability is mainly affected by your company's turnover - the larger the business gets, the higher the premium. Other things that could affect your premium include working at height, in high temperature environments, etc. - i.e. aspects that carry a higher degree of risk.

8. To understand your business' requirements you should carry out a thorough risk assessment of your company and its operations. This will give you a far better understanding of your business' liability insurance needs. To find out more about carrying out risk assessments we recommend reading - Health & Safety: Carrying Out Risk Assessments.

Whilst public liability may seem like a further expense you need to consider the ramifications of not having this form of cover. Should an accident happen and a member of the public get injured or their property damaged you could be liable for thousands of pounds. So the question you should really be asking yourself is: "Can I afford not to have public liability insurance?"