What is the difference between Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance?

What is the difference between public liability and professional indemnity insurance? We define PL and PI insurance to help you decide if your business needs them.

Public Liability Banner

What is Public Liability (PL) Insurance?

Public Liability Insurance covers you against material damage (i.e. product, equipment, property, etc.) and injury claims that result from negligence on behalf of you or one of your employees. If a third party experiences property damage, bodily injury, or is killed while completing your work, Public Liability Insurance can help you cover the cost of the claim as well as court and legal fees (depending on the terms of your policy). That's why public liability insurance is often referred to as third party insurance. 

Prof Indem

What is Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance?

Professional Indemnity Insurance covers intangibles, such as financial loss due to faulty design, poor advice, data leaks, or unintentional copyright infringement. Also, if you face legal action after a client finds custom-made content or software unsatisfactory, you'll be glad for professional indemnity cover. Professional Indemnity Insurance helps you cover legal fees and the cost of the claim and will also help you cover compensation you may owe due to damages (again, please check your cover details to establish exactly what you’re covered for).

Do I Need Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability Insurance is especially important for businesses that work with physical products or directly interact with the public, such as tradesmen and manufacturing companies. That said, many businesses will not work with you unless you can show them proof of Public Liability Insurance, making it a valuable asset for most businesses. Those who manufacture products or sell food should also consider products liability insurance which covers businesses against damage caused to their customers or their property by defective or dangerous products.

Professional Indemnity Insurance is essential for businesses such as professional consultants, architects, lawyers, accountants, digital agencies, software developers, business analysts, and marketing companies. However, even tradesmen will want Professional Indemnity Insurance to cover accidental loss of sensitive documentation, information leaks and the risk of giving poor advice.

We cover these types of insurance as a package under the title of Professional Liability Insurance, which also includes libel and slander coverage and product liability coverage. Our policy also protects businesses that work from home within the UK. In all cases, your claims are handled by our experienced in-house claims team.

For more information please visit our Simple Guide on Professional Liability or visit our page on trade-specific insurance advice. If you have any questions, we're happy to help.

Want to find out more about our Professional Indemnity Trade Insurance?

More details

Do you want to read more?

We've got loads of business articles, tips, guides and videos. Take a look below for more content based on what you've been reading.

Istock 000038552080 Full

Turning Your Hobby into a Career

Nearly two in five employees (39%) are so fed up at work that they’re thinking of leaving their job to start their own business. New research out today from Towergate Insurance...

View article