If you’re self-employed or setting up your own business, the different types of insurance options that you can take out can be quite daunting. What exactly do you need to ensure that you are adequately protected? One of the insurance options is Public Liability Insurance.

Unlike Employer’s Liability Insurance, Public Liability Insurance isn’t actually a legal requirement. However, it’s an important cover for any person or business that interacts with the public. Most businesses have some direct contact with customers, suppliers or people passing by, which means they are exposed to a degree of risk.

Public Liability Insurance is offered to protect you if someone is injured or if their property is damaged and your business is faced with a compensation claim as a result. It can cover you at your business premises, when you’re working at a customer’s home or in a public place. This means Public Liability Insurance is particularly important for businesses such shops, cafés, hairdressers and tradespeople, as all these trades have a high level of exposure to the public.

For example, if you run a hairdressing salon and a customer is burnt by equipment that has been left on, or if you run a café and a delivery person is injured if they slip on a wet floor, your Public Liability Insurance can cover the legal fees and compensation costs if your business is sued. The compensation amount can take into account things such as the injured party’s repair or replacement costs, incurred medical fees and lost income, so it can be very high. Most insurers will offer £1 million of cover up to £10 million, depending on the level of Public Liability Insurance your business needs.

Clients may also ask for evidence of your Public Liability Policy before they’ll even consider work with you, and their contracts may require you to hold a particular level of cover. For example, most hotels/venues ask to see a Public Liability Policy from a DJ before they will allow them access. Government and Local Authority contracts in particular usually specify a certain level of Public Liability cover.

Here are some points you should consider when you’re deciding whether your business needs Public Liability Insurance:

  • Do you or your business come into contact with customers or members of the public?
  • Could your business cause injury to someone or damage to their property?
  • Do your client contracts ask for you to have certain levels of Public Liability cover?
  • Are you associated with any professional or trade bodies that require their members to hold Public Liability Insurance?
  • Could a Public Liability Policy help reassure your customers that you’re covered if anything goes wrong?
  • Could you afford to pay legal fees and any compensation costs in the event that a claim is made against you or your business?

You should take into account both the risks your business faces and the expectations of your clients when you’re deciding whether you need Public Liability Insurance, and how much cover you will need.

If you can think of a possible scenario in which a member of the public could sue your business, it’s definitely a cover worth having.

To discuss your Business Insurance requirements, please contact us or call in to our offices, either in Clowne or Ripley. Alternatively, telephone one of our friendly staff on 01246 575 625 (Clowne) or 01773 748 627 (Ripley). They will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.