Public Liability Insurance In The UK

Trailing electrical chord trips a woman resulting Public liability insurance claim
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In the UK public liability insurance  protects businesses against compensation claims brought about by the public.  These claims could be for causing damage to their property or them sustaining physical injuries resulting from contracted works. This legal obligation means that it is down to the business to subsidise the cost of the legal action and the compensation award. Without the protection of a public liability insurance policy these high costs can cause a business to face massive losses. Historically, many businesses have been bankrupted as they were made to pay massive compensation awards as well as the astronomical legal bills that were incurred in defending the claims.

Public liability insurance protects businesses against any damage to property or injury to the public caused through the negligence of a business or its employees. With a public liability insurance policy a business will be covered against the cost of legal fees associated with someone suing it and any awards to third parties for settlement of claims. It is a fact that without public liability insurance cover such payments would have to be met from the business’s own funds or resources.

Currently there is no law that states that a business must have a public liability insurance policy. However, it could be business suicide not to buy the appropriate liability insurance cover for your business.

Another important factor for making public liability insurance a necessity is that some business sectors (e.g local authority work), have a policy that prohibits them from working or employing other companies that do not have this insurance cover.

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The Benefits of buying a public liability insurance policy

Due to the current “claims culture” society we live in today, it has become easier for third parties to claim against your business for incidents like:

  • Accidental damage to property. The claim will be for repairs and loss of earnings.
  • Causing a trip, slip or a fall incident. The claim will be compensation for pain, suffering and loss of earnings.

Examples of public liability insurance claims

Businesses can be held liable for causing injuries to members of the public or customers. Furthermore, they are liable for any damage caused to their property, for example from:

  • An unattended construction site that is not securely closed and a member of the public enters it and injures themselves.
  • A self-employed IT engineer visits a client’s site to carry out maintenance work on some equipment. Whilst undertaking the work he accidentally spills his tea on the client’s main server causing permanent damage to it.
  • A member of the public walking past a landscape gardening company who leave tools out and they fall over them causing injury. Claim successful for not adhering to health & safety rules.
  • A barber who leaves a chair out and a member of the public falls over it injuring themselves, the barber would be sued for bodily injury.
  • A joiner who is working on a commercial property accidentally knocks a nail into a hidden pipe causing loss of power or escape of water. The joiner would be sued for damages caused and loss of earnings.
  • A plumber fitting a pipe to a tank in the loft of a property, incorrectly puts it together and floods the house. The owner would claim against the plumber to repair and replace the damaged property.
  • A mobile caterer whose chillers have become unknowingly faulty and as a result uses ingredients that are now perished and in turn serves a customer who becomes ill. The third party would sue the business for food poisoning.

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Public liability insurance, is it expensive

Public Liability Insurance cover may be a lot cheaper than you think and definitely cheaper than you paying compensation  for property damage or personal injuries from your own finances. The cost of pour policy is affected by the  type of business, the services you offer, existing or previous claims and the limit of indemnity you require. You can get  public liability insurance quotes, compare cover and if you decide to buy online you can then download the policy documents to your computer in an instant.

Furthermore, as a successful business person you built your reputation through hard work, offering excellent services and you do not want to sacrifice this position by failing to get this essential cover because it may be too expensive.

Standard public liability insurance policy covers

A choice of liability limits:  £1,  £2,  £5 or £10 Million.

Optional covers

The policy can be extended to cover some or all of the following items, a sum insured is required:

  • Tools
  • Stock
  • Contract works
  • Business premises
  • Business equipment
  • Business interruption
  • Legal expenses insurance
  • Product liability insurance
  • Employers’ liability insurance
  • Professional liability insurance

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Who can buy  liability insurance

The invaluable public liability insurance cover is available for limited companies, partnerships or self employed sole traders.

Further information

If you require further information or definitions about liability insurance then please check our online guide or the frequently asked questions – FAQs.  However, if you prefer to talk to someone then please either use the Request a call back form or call us on 0121 628 9494,  (Monday-Friday 09:00-17:00), and a member of our professional team will be more than happy to help you with your public liability insurance needs. You can also email us at

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