Business Conference

Public Liability Insurance

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability Insurance helps protect your business against personal injury or property damage claims from your clients, visitors or from the general public. When accidents happen, your business could be responsible for paying compensation under many circumstances. Public Liability insurance can cover the cost of pay-outs and legal fees if your business is sued by a third party

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?

If your business comes into contact with members of the public, it’s likely you’ll decide you need public liability insurance.

You may need Public Liability insurance protection if you come into contact with third parties in one or more of these ways:

  • Customers visit your business premises, for example you have an Office, shop, pub or a restaurant or hairdressing/beauty salon.

  • You work on client sites, for example you are a Surveyor, Architect, Engineer, or tradesman carrying out work on site or in people’s homes or gardens.

  • You work in public areas, for example you’re a builder, and your work could potentially cause injury or damage to someone passing by.

  • You run a business from your home and people visit your home for professional purposes.

Is Public Liability a legal requirement?

It isn’t a legal requirement to have Public Liability Insurance, but you might want this cover if there’s a chance your business will interact with the public.

If you own a horse-riding establishment, you are legally obliged to have public liability insurance. For more information contact your local authority – contact details for your local authority can be found through the GOV.UK website.

Some trade associations will not allow you to register with them unless you have a valid liability policy. Local government or council contracts will usually ask you to provide proof of public liability insurance with a certain level of cover before they will do business with you.

Who does Public Liability cover?

Public liability insurance covers anyone, apart from employees, with whom you interact as part of your business operations such as:

  • people visiting your business

  • customers

  • clients

  • people taking part in events or activities you have organised

  • people watching events or activities you have organised

Public liability insurance does not cover employees, temporary staff, students or people on work placements – for this you need employers’ liability insurance.

What trades need liability insurance?

Types of businesses that would typically have tradesman insurance include:

  • Builders

  • Electricians

  • Carpenters

  • Gardeners

  • Painters and decorators

  • Plumbers

  • Sign writers

  • Hospitality Industry

This is not an exhaustive list as many businesses can require liability insurance.