It’s not just for small businesses with a shopfront
The clue’s in the name – public liability is appropriate if you have any dealings with the public and not just if your premises is a shop. You could be an electrician, plumber or builder – anything where your business comes into contact with the general public.
Say you were a painter and decorator and you’re in a client’s house, your paint tin or wallpaper paste ends up spilled over the carpets – you’d be deemed liable for sorting it out. That could mean the cost of replacement carpets, the labour to fit them and compensation for the inconvenience. If you had public liability insurance in place, it could save you a lot of hassle and a small fortune.
Public liability should also cover you if you take your business on the road – such as if you host events or activities in connection to your work. And if you want to set up a market stall or become a regular at a craft fair then you may well need it before you’re allowed a pitch.
As a small business, chances are your cash flow is precious and there’s probably very little wiggle room in your margins for dealing with damages claims. Whether or not you have public liability cover in place could mean the difference between staying open or shutting up shop – for good.