A simples guide

What is public liability insurance, and do I need it?

Running your own business means you need to be prepared, even for things that you can’t always foresee. And if you’re dealing with the public, you’ve got to expect the unexpected because accidents do happen. So making sure someone’s got your back just in case should be a top priority, but what exactly is public liability insurance and do you really need it? 


What is public liability insurance?

It covers you if a member of the public makes a claim against you because they’ve had an accident, sustained an injury or have had their property damaged because of your business or any perceived negligence. Having public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement unless you own certain businesses such as horse riding establishment; but if you deal with the public, then you should probably consider it. You may even find that the council for your area insists on it.

You might think someone having an accident on your premises is far-fetched and ‘it’ll never happen’ but accidents have a way of surprising you when you least expect them. Having public liability insurance means that you’ll be covered for any incident that happens on your premises such as if a customer tripped on a broken step, fell and broke their ankle.

Does my small business need public liability insurance?

It’s certainly worth thinking about, especially if:

  • You have an office or business premises where members of the public visit
  • Your business organises or hosts events and activities
  • You work from home and customers come to see you there
  • You work anywhere the general public have access to, such as the street or at someone’s house

Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that because you’re a small business, you don’t need public liability insurance. Accidents could be as simple as spilling water onto someone’s laptop or phone or dropping equipment onto someone’s foot or car and causing injury or damage. It’s easy to underestimate the cost of legal fees, specialist medical treatment or any after care that might be required.

What do I get with public liability insurance?

Policies will vary between providers but in essence you’ll be covered for any compensation claims made by the public if they’ve been injured or had their property damaged because of your business. You should also usually be covered for legal fees (normally defence costs) such as if you need a solicitor (and bear in mind their fees can spiral).

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What’s the average cost of public liability insurance?

Cost will vary depending on provider and also the nature of your business and your previous claims history. Your insurer will need to assess the likelihood of you making a claim and how much of a risk you are based on the information you’ve provided. It’s important to be upfront with your insurer, skimping on the truth will only comeback to bite you if you ever need to make a claim.

Where do I sign up?

If you think better safe than sorry and that public liability insurance is something you need then you can start comparing the market right now. Alternatively, if you want to talk through any concerns or uncertainties with a real human being, you can request a call back. Just give us some details and we’ll make sure that one of our experts gives you a ring. We’re here to make your life as simples as possible, leaving you time to crack on – those millions won’t earn themselves will they?

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