What is public liability insurance? A quick and easy guide!

Let’s be honest, we don’t all understand what insurance policies are, but we all understand how important they can be. They can save a business time, money, and even its existence. We have prepared this blog to outline ‘what is public liability insurance’, so you can better understand whether your business needs it.

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What is public liability insurance?What is public liability insurance

Let’s start with, what is public liability insurance? Public liability insurance is an important type of insurance coverage available either on a stand-alone basis or included in business insurance policies. Public liability insurance enables you to stay protected if you’re found to be legally responsible for third-party personal injury or property damage cases.

In short, this blog will outline 3 main questions – What does public liability cover? Do I need public liability insurance? And how much does public liability cost? If you have any more questions regarding public liability insurance, simply drop us an email HERE or ask us for a QUICK QUOTE.

Blog: Understanding small business liability

What does public liability cover?

So, what does public liability cover? Public liability will cover all situations where a member of the public, such as customer or visitor, has an accident or is injured on your business premises, and it’s not their fault. This can range from even minor accidents, right through to much larger and more serious cases, even death. Whilst businesses should always act to ensure these situations never arise, even the most concerned businesses can end up in hot water.

But what does public liability cover in real life? In short, any situation where someone is injured, and it is not their fault, they have the right to claim for damages and compensation if your legally responsible. Someone could fall down some stairs, walk into a glass door that was not labelled, or more seriously, someone could slip on a wet floor where there was no signs or prior indication. In all these cases the business could be a fault, negligent and therefor liable. Regardless of the seriousness of the injury, public liability to help cover legal costs and the cost of the damages itself.

Legal costs can be huge! Ranging from a few thousand pounds to millions. According to Howells Solicitors, the largest public liability case was awarded to Maisha Najeeb, for an eye-watering £24 million! Whilst million-pound claims are very rare, all businesses who have members of the public on their premises, customer or visitor, should have public liability in place to cover potential pay-outs.

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Do I need public liability insurance?

We always say, if you are having to ask yourself ‘do I need public liability insurance’, you probably do. If at any time you have a member of the public on your premises, you will need protection. If your business never encounters the public, maybe you’re an office or an online business, you may not need public liability insurance. Some typical businesses who have a public liability insurance policy include plumbers, couriers, taxis, scrap yards and shop owners.

Your need for public liability insurance will directly relate to the risk of someone being injured in your office or business location. Some businesses have a very high risk. A manufacturer will have more risks, as potential visitors could be injured by vehicles or heavy goods. Whereas while a smoothie bar business will still need public liability insurance, the risk of being seriously injured by a cold drink are substantially less.

For this reason, we offer a mix of £5 and £10 million worth in cover. Some of the larger businesses, or businesses with more risk of a serious injury, will clearly need more cover than a smaller business where the chance of a serious is much less likely. Always remember, when you ask yourself ‘do I need public liability insurance’ – public liability claims could put you out of business if you do not have adequate insurance in place as you could be liable to pay the full amount of compensation required to settle any claim.

How much does liability insurance cost?

When people ask us how much public liability cost does, we always get the sense people are grinding their teeth. But there is really no need to. A typical policy can cost upwards of £100 per year. However, costs are calculated directly from risks. Risk can be measured by the chance of a claim and the risks of that claim being serious. The higher the risks of a claim, and the risk of it being serious, the more expensive the premium. Smaller businesses with less chance of a claim, and less risk of a serious injury, the cheaper the policy.

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What is public liability insurance? Well, now you should know. It’s what it says on the tin, it’s insurance to protect you against costs where you are liable for damages caused to a member of the public. We always recommend you contact your current broker, or a trusted broker like 1st Choice Insurance, to get advice on the level of public liability insurance your business needs. Above all, never leave it to chance. If you think you should have it, don’t put it to the back of mind and leave it until tomorrow. It could cost you a fortune!

Talk to an expert

Public liability is a critical aspect of corporate responsibility in the modern world, with a lack of coverage possibly leading to legal problems, lower share prices, and a damaged reputation. If you need a public liability insurance quote, please pick up the phone and give us a call at 1st Choice Insurance. To get competitive public liability insurance quotes from our panel of insurers, we’ll ask you a series of quick questions about the cover you require and then offer you the right policy at the right price. We’ll also explain any optional or extra costs to you to ensure you have all the facts before taking out cover.