What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability (or PL Insurance as it is sometimes known), covers your liability for any damage you may do to another person - or property - accidentally whilst undertaking work. This could be a simple accident such as someone falling over your computer cable through to more serious issues that could leave people scarred or disabled for life.

Public Liability Insurance should be considered essential if members of the public or customers visit your premises or you travel to your customer's premises. The risks of not having PL Insurance are not worth it due to the substantial costs you are possibly liable for. Click here to read more further down the page.

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How bad can it get if I don't have any public liability cover?

The short answer is very bad. I believe there was a case not so long ago that demonstrated this, where a photographer was undertaking work for a Local Authority – luckily he had £5 million public liability cover. As he was taking pictures of the mayor shaking hands at a Civic ceremony, he stepped back and knocked an old lady who was behind him on the pavement. She wobbled and fell, hitting her head on the corner of a paving stone. The accident left her severely brain damaged and she required constant care 24 hours a day. The business owner was taken to court and the family won £3.1 million in damages to ensure her care for the remainder of her life. This was a case in the UK!

Courts take a dim view of some accidents now, and with the growth of the "where there is blame there is a claim" culture, it is very important that you arrange suitable cover.

Surely, I can get away without it?

Still not convinced? The other thing PL covers is 3rd party property damage. This would cover you if you damaged someone else's property whilst conducting some work. For example, you could lean against a wall and knock part of it over with your weight! The fact that the wall was not "secure" enough is no protection in law. You would be responsible for the repair to it – after all, the property owner would argue that the wall was fine before you leaned on it! A simple accident like this could cost in the region of a £1,000. Or, a more common claim, would be knocking over something in a client's house whilst you were there on business. There is usually an excess, so it is worth remembering to try and be as careful as you can when your dealing with others!

What level of cover do I need?

Packages are available offering £1 million, £2 million and £5 million PL cover. If you are working in hotels, restaurants, for a Local Authority or in a shopping centre then the chances are you will be asked for the £5 million option. As with anything, the more cover you require the more expensive it becomes, but £2 million seems to be a popular starting point.

What shall I do next?

Contact us of course! We offer very competitive and specilist Public Liability insurance quotations for over 200 trades, professions and contractors, including builders, hairdressers, carpenters, decorators and gardeners. What's more - buy your business insurance from our website and get £20 off your premium*!

If you would like to know more about this insurance, or are unsure about what policy is right for you, one of our friendly team will be happy to help you.


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