Public Liability Insurance

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wet floor signWhat Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability protection is also known as third party insurance, because it relates to claims by third parties. In other words, claims for injury or damages from people you do not employ. The most obvious type of claim is by members of the public who have had some form of contact with your staff, their work, or your premises. For example, if a customer has to visit your premises and they fall over or are injured by an item of equipment, they would almost certainly make a claim against you. Similarly, if your business is of a type where your staff have to go into other people’s homes or premises, you need protection against any damage directly or indirectly caused by the work they are doing.

Any type of business which either has non staff members coming onto the premises or which involves staff working away from your own premises would be well advised to have proper liability protection in place. Even just defending yourself against a claim can be an expensive business, and if the claim is found against you, you may well be required to pay the claimant’s costs as well.

Is Public Liability Insurance Compulsory?

Public liability cover is not compulsory for most businesses, but you need to seriously consider whether it is sensible to operate without it. For small businesses in particular a serious insurance claim can mean the end of your business if you are not protected.

Why Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

Whether we like it or not, it is now a fact that we live in a very litigious society and with legal firms now offering no win no fee deals, many people feel they have nothing to lose. The result is that people will make a claim for the slightest thing. Even if you feel there is little basis for the claim, it can be very challenging and expensive to fight a claim where solicitors are involved.

So it really is just a sensible precaution for any business nowadays to have a degree of protection in place. The only way you can consider yourself really safe from claims is if you never have any clients or public on your premises and your staff never work away from your premises. If you business involves bidding for contracts or working on behalf of other companies, you may well be required to have a certain amount of cover in order to undertake the work at all.

What Is Covered By Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability cover is all about protecting you and your business against claims for personal injury or damage to property by members of the public, customers, or anyone who is not employed by you. The most common claims under these policies are for slips, trips and falls. Anyone who trips over on your premises has a potential claim against you, whether you think you are to blame or not. If your team work in public areas or on other people’s property, you will be covered for things such as people tripping over a piece of equipment or tool left by one of your staff, or dropping something from a height and injuring someone.

What Is A Sensible Amount Of Cover?

Most public liability policies will not provide less than £1million worth of cover. This sounds a lot, but it is not really, when you consider how quickly legal fees and claims can mount up. The level of cover will depend on the size of your business and the nature of what you do. Clearly some industries are inherently more risky than others. Many policies for SMEs have a limit of £5million.