Public liability insurance 101: Your common questions answered

public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is a vital part of your insurance cover when setting up a business.

This sort of insurance cover is necessary if you’ll be working in the vicinity of the general public or entering the homes of your clients and customers where work will be completed.

This guide offers the most extensive solutions to your public liability insurance queries, offering the facts and dispelling the fiction surrounding your insurance policies and providing you with the clarity to help move your business forward.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance will cover the costs for your business in the case of a claim made against you by a third party in relation toyour work. Thisincludes injury to a third party while entering their home completing work or injury to the public due toyour building site or public construction project.

A third party is simply anyone not related to your business or your insurance provider; i.e. the general public and your customers. Your public liability insurance will help to cushion you from NHS medical bills and transportation costs that arise from the third party claim. Therefore, this insurance could save your business huge long-term expense.

Is public liability insurance a legal requirement in the UK?

Unlike employer’s liability insurance, public liability insurance is not legally mandatory in the UK, but you’d be daft not to include it in your insurance policy. Tradesmen insurance ensures you’re coveredwhilstworking and that yourself, your employees, third parties, your equipment and your product are all protected in the event of injury, theft or damage.

Although public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, it’s important that your business is protectedin the event of a claimmade against your business by a third party. There are two standpoints to take when considering your liability insurance…

The first is from a financial perspective; let’s consider that there’s an accident around your building site, involving multiple members of the general public, or a customer of yours has been injuredbecause of work you’ve completed in their home. Failure to fall back on adequate insurance means that you will need to pay for their expenses out of your ownpocket, which could mean financial ruin for your business.

Secondly, we must look at insurance cover from a moral standpoint. Possessing all the legal and necessary insurance shows that you’re dedicatedto ensuring the safety of your employees and the general public, setting you out as a respectable and trustworthy business. Thiscan go a long way in helping you gain lucrative projects and contracts.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Statistics from the Health and Safety Executive show that, across 2017/18, there have been 38 fatalities coming from the construction industry, the most deaths out of any sector in the UK.

These statistics aren’t meant to strike fear in you as a tradesman but, instead,emphasise the importance of suitable insurance cover. Public liability insurance, which can be sourcedfrom a broker such as Be Wiser, covers you from any claim made by a third party against your business.

This insurance does not, however, cover you for any insurance claims made by employees or injury to yourself; this is where employer’s liability cover comes in.