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Public liability is essential for many businesses as it covers them against damages to another’s property. Many businesses will not work will not sign contractual work with out a public liability insurance policy covering the business and work.
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance covers you and the public when you are at your premises or when you are completing work at your customers premises or public land.
What does public liability insurance cover?
Public liability covers you for a number of different scenarios, the most common are:
A compensation pay out for a public liability policy will cover injuries and losses suffered which are accountable by the business. In the case the business is taken to court, legal fees would also be covered.
Damage to property
If you leave your business premises to carry out work e.g. at a customers home, damage to property will be covered the business weather to the premises, property or content (house, car, someone’s watch). The claim may pay out for repairs or they may replace the item completely if it is commercially unviable to fix.
If your business is found to have practiced with negligence or malpractice, medical fees cover will cover the cost of medical treatment. Even in the UK paying for someone else’s medical fee’s can cost a business £1000’s.
Injury or death
In the unfortunate scenario you or an employee injures or causes death to themselves or another individual, your business may be held accountable. This will cover the costs of compensating these individual or there next of kin. It’s worth this should usually be thought of as 3rd party for most policies unless your policy specifically includes employee liability cover.
Public liability insurance will not cover:
Cyber Insurance – If you deal with customers details electronically weather that be with an online portal or a database of customers details, it would be advised to consider getting a cyber policy which would cover you for events such as data breaches. The
Injury on the road – In the UK, it is required by law that every bike, car, van, lorry or other vehicle is covered by a third-party motoring policy. If as part of your business you drive cars which do not below you, by law you need a road risk motor trade policy.
Does my business need public liability?
It is not essential by law to operate with a public liability insurance, but every business should consider buying one if they deal with the public in anyway.
Recommended businesses to take a public liability insurance policy include:
Builders & Construction Businesses – Anyone working in construction should seriously consider getting public liability due to the hazardous zone building sites can be by nature. If a contracted member of staff it may be you limit your opportunities without having a live public liability policy.
Carpenters / Joiners – A lot of the work by carpenters are to other people property weather that be in their homes or items of theirs, customers will expect carpenters to have a public liability insurance policy and many contractors will not deal with a business without a public liability policy.
Electricians – Electricians work can be risky with issues potentially ending in death or fire. Claims can be extremely high from one small mistake.
Events – With the number of people at events it can be hard to predict everyone’s actions which is why event public liability is strongly recommended.
Gardeners – Working as a gardener means there are lots of tools including potentially lethal power tools. Gardening is seen as a high risk trade and public liability among other trades should be considered.
Manufacturers – There are lots of moving parts for manufacturing businesses and large production lines which could cause large scale damage if there was a malfunction meaning it is critical get get manufacturers liability.
Painters – Working on customers home can lead for the potential to damage or ruin others property (furniture) with paint.
Plumbers – A loose bolt could lead to a leak and cost thousands in repairs.
Shops – With the large numbers of foot fall for shops it could be a costly claim without a public liability policy if anyone was to injure themselves.
Taxi Drivers – if you’re involved in an accident which is your fault and injure someone it’s likely you will need to pay compensation. Most local authorities will require you to have public liability to operate under their licensing.
Tree Surgeons – Forestry work is rated the most dangerous in the UK (as of Aug 2017) with the risk of damaging a persons property with one wrong measurement and can even lead to death.
Pubs – A customer injured on a pubs premises is much more likely than other businesses with many having merry spirts. Claims may also rise from a customer falling ill after eating at the pub.
How much public liability insurance do I need?
Bigger corporations will want greater coverage, however a great place to start for small firms is £1M. Local council jobs will generally require at least £5M before awarding you the business.
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