What Is Public Liability Insurance?
Public liability insurance covers your business against any public liability claims made due to public injury, illness, accidental death or property damage to a member of the public. Public liability will cover compensation costs (i.e. award for the injury caused, any loss of earnings incurred by the claimant and for any damage to their personal belongings), legal costs (e.g. court cases, solicitor fees and/or barrister fees) and associated claims costs (i.e. medical examination costs, loss adjusters fees and claims handlers costs).
Public Liability Insurance Examples
To provide greater understanding of public liability insurance, here are some examples of when public liability cover would protect you:
- A customer trips, falls and breaks a leg on the premises of a shop.
- A plumber causes a leak due to a burst pipe from not fitting the pipe properly.
- A roofer drops a slate off a roof and it hits a member of public walking by.
- A window cleaner drops a ladder on a customer’s car, and damage occurs.
What Are The Benefits Of Public Liability Insurance?
- Protects your business from expensive court cases, compensation costs and claimant medical bills.
- Provides compensation payments and damages to the individual suing in the event of successful public liability claims, rather than your business having to pay for it. When coupled with legal expenses insurance, it also saves the time and costs involved in finding and using a solicitor to act on the business’s behalf if a legal dispute arises.
- It could spell the difference between business continuity and your business going under. There is no way of knowing when an accident will happen, no matter how small or low risk your business may be. It could be something as small as a loose piece of carpet which could cause a customer or client to fall over and be injured. Would you be able to afford compensation without a public liability insurance policy?
Important Things To Note About Public Liability Insurance:
- Even if a member of the public is on your property or premises without your permission, you could still be liable for any damages they incur.
- You could be liable for an incident that occurs away from your property. For example, if a member of the public falls down a manhole as you have not cordoned the area off correctly or trips over one of your tools left on the pavement.
- Public liability insurance doesn’t cover you if something happens to an employee (even workers who are just helping out temporarily). You’ll need Employer’s Liability insurance for this.
- All public liability policies have an excess – the amount you have to pay yourself towards the claim. For example, if you cause damage worth £5,000 and you have an excess of £250, your insurer will pay out £4,750 when you make your claim.
What happens if I don’t have public liability insurance?
There’s no legal obligation or legal penalty if you’re uninsured, but you may regret it. If a member of the public sues your business and you don’t have public liability insurance, you’ll have to pay for a solicitor yourself. If the financial compensation claims against you are successful, you might have to pay a large settlement and you might even have to cover the legal fees for the person suing you.
Even if you win the case, you could still be left with large legal costs, which can add up quickly. It’s possible to claim back some of these expenses from the person who sued you, but they’re very rarely paid in full.
In other words, it’s always better to have public liability than not.
If you’re looking for a public liability policy, then here at The Insurance Octopus, we can help. We are a reputable insurance provider, and can arrange a great range of public liability insurance quotes that will cover your business against many of life’s expected events, to ensure your business doesn’t suffer in the insured event of one of them. Backed by a team of insurance specialists who are dedicated to client care, we’ll ensure the public liability insurance quotes we recommend are suitable, and that you have the right cover, based on your business requirements. To find out more, and to speak to us today, please get in touch with us on 0161 968 2060.