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Public Liability Insurance

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Get a quick quote to protect you, your business and the general public, from as little £54* per year!

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a type of business insurance which covers your business if customers, suppliers, or members of the public suffer property damage or personal injury as a result of your business’s activities.  This can include things like a client tripping over tools or building materials, or a member of the public’s vehicle getting damaged in the course of you conducting your business activities.

This type of insurance provides financial protection in the event that you are taken to court over these instances. While not a legal requirement, public liability is often viewed as essential by small business owners and tradespeople as a way to cover the cost of legal fees and compensation claims. With Tradesman Saver’s insurance cover under your belt, legal costs and compensation claims are covered for accidents that occurred on your premises, on-site and off-site.

This makes liability insurance the cornerstone of any tradesman insurance.

Why do you need public liability insurance?

Though public liability cover is not a legal requirement in the UK, it is considered a necessity amongst tradesmen and anyone working in high-risk industries. Accidents are always possible if your business involves direct contact with others, especially if your work is often carried out on client sites, or you frequently welcome visitors to your premises. Therefore, it’s sensible to be prepared for the worst by protecting your business financially.

What’s more, some clients may require you to have liability cover in place before you can conduct any work for them – in these cases, the right insurance can help to land big clients and businesses.

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Your 60 Second Guide To: Public Liability Insurance

Tradesman Saver’s Public Liability Insurance

 

Includes four more Tradesman Saver covers as standard


Our liability insurance cover includes:

  • £1 million public & products liability insurance (with an option to increase to £2 million, £5 million or £10 million)
  • £10,000 financial loss cover (with an option to increase to £50K)
  • Worldwide liability cover for temporary work abroad for up to 14 days (excluding the USA and Canada)
  • £250,000 legal cover + 24-hour legal helpline

Get cheap liability coverage with Tradesman Saver, as our standard package comes with four other covers:

Products Liability

Our products liability cover safeguards you against damages or injuries resulting from a product you’ve sold, supplied, or installed for a third party. 

Financial Loss

We cover any financial losses suffered by a third party that haven’t been directly caused by an accident. This means we will meet any costs if another business claims they have suffered financial loss as a result of your actions. 

Accidental Death

Meanwhile, our accidental death insurance will protect your business if the worst happens to you or your staff.  

Legal Expenses

We include up to £250,000 cover for legal expenses with every policy. This provides access to a 24-hour legal helpline for addressing any queries and a wealth of useful online legal resources.

Get in touch with our team for a comprehensive insurance quote today.

Cost of Public Liability Cover   Scenarios Requiring Liability Insurance

How much does public liability insurance cost?

The cost of your liability will depend on a number of different factors such as:

  • The indemnity limits you’ve chosen for each cover
  • Whether you’ve selected any additional covers and the indemnity limits of these
  • Your particular trade or profession
  • Whether or not you have made any claims in recent years

With Tradesman Saver, our liability policy includes lots of extra covers as standard including products liability, legal expenses, financial loss and accidental death cover.  This gives you some of the widest coverage available at a price that you’ll find hard to beat elsewhere.

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Prices start from £53.76

Public liability insurance quote examples

£53.76 / year A builder working on domestic and small commercial properties less than 10 metres in height, including new builds, alterations and repairs
  • Sole trader
  • No employees
  • 5 years experience
  • Based in Surrey
  • No claims

Automatic Covers

  • Public Liability £1,000,000
  • Financial Loss £10,000
  • Products Liability £1,000,000
  • Legal Expenses £250,000
  • Accidental Death £10,000

Optional Covers

  • Business Contents Not Insured
  • Personal Accident Not Insured
  • Employers Liability Not Insured
  • Tools / Equipment Not Insured
  • Contract Works Not Insured
  • Professional Indemnity Not Insured
£51.49 / month £580.16 / year A carpentry and joinery business working on all property types
  • Limited Company
  • 2 Employees
  • 5 years experience
  • Based in London
  • No claims

Automatic Covers

  • Public Liability £5,000,000
  • Financial Loss £10,000
  • Products Liability £5,000,000
  • Legal Expenses £250,000
  • Accidental Death £10,000

Optional Covers

  • Business Contents Not Insured
  • Personal Accident £50,000
  • Employers Liability £10,000,000
  • Tools / Equipment £2,000
  • Contract Works £50,000
  • Professional Indemnity £50,000

The above quote examples were taken from our online system on 30/01/24 and include insurance premium tax but exclude our £5 admin charge.  These are real quotes but your own personal quote will vary dependent upon your circumstances and the level of cover you require.

What is the excess under a public liability insurance policy?

When you consider insurance of any kind, it’s important to know about “excess”. Essentially, this is what you’ll pay out of pocket before the insurance begins to cover the rest of your claim. You can often decide how much you want your excess to be.

Typically, the higher your excess, your actual policy cost will be lower. However, it’s important you find the right balance for you and your business.

Detailed below are the standard excesses under a Tradesman Saver policy but you should check your own quotation to see exactly what excesses apply to your policy as these may vary dependent upon the type of work you do.

Insurance coverExcess
Public Liability£250
Products Liability£250
Employers LiabilityNo Excess
Financial Loss10% of claim value(£2,500 minimum)
Professional Indemnity£250
Contract Works£250(£500 Theft/Malicious Damage)
Tools / Equipment£100(£250 Unattended vehicle)
Legal ExpensesNo Excess

Chosen by over 5000 businesses and counting *

  • Online & Anywhere

    Online & Anywhere

    We like to keep things simple. Your quote, purchase and documents are all available online, anytime.

  • Monthly Instalments

    Monthly Instalments

    Cashflow is important to every business. Spread the cost by paying in easy monthly instalments.

  • Instant Cover

    Instant Cover

    No need to wait for your documents. Our tradesman cover starts from the date you select.

  • Added protection

    Added Protection

    Public liability, products liability, financial loss, legal expenses and accidental death cover as standard.

* Total number of live policies as of 31/01/2024

How do insurers calculate the cost of public liability insurance?

Insurers calculate the cost of your cover based on the likelihood of you making a claim, as well as the cost of any possible claim. This means that your premium might vary depending on the level of risk posed by your business.

For instance, if you or your employees work in high risk locations or your job could potentially cause a lot of damage if it went wrong, it is likely that your policy will come with a higher premium. An example would be a plumbing and heating engineer where the cost of damage caused by a leak at a customer’s home following an incorrectly fitted radiator could be very large.

However, if your trade is relatively low risk, such as a painter and decorator or a carpenter, you will typically pay less.

When would liability insurance be required?

Some examples of when liability coverage could come in handy include:

  • If a customer slips on a wet floor and injures themselves.
  • Should a builder puncture a water pipe, causing flooding which results in substantial damage to the property.
  • If somebody spilled hot coffee over a client while having a consultation.
  • If a caterer caused guests to contract food poisoning at a wedding reception.
  • Should tools or scaffolding malfunction, causing accidental damage to a property or bystander.
  • Should a painter accidentally knock paint over a customer’s expensive carpet.

Here are a few more examples of public liability claims.

Public Liability Insurance: Frequently Asked Questions

Why is public liability insurance important?

Having the right insurance could be the difference between your business flourishing or going bankrupt. There’s no telling when an unpredictable accident will take place, and if your company has to pay damages for causing injury or damage, you could be put in serious financial trouble. Tradesman Saver’s liability coverage is very important as it protects your business from such unforeseen expenses.

For example, public liability protects your business or trade, and can even cover your legal fees, any compensation payments or medical fees you might be required to pay out and any unforeseen costs arising from your negligence or simple accidents, for which you might be liable.

Is public liability the same as business liability insurance?

No, public and business liability insurance are not the same. Public liability provides protection for your business against claims made by members of the public for personal injury or property damage arising from your business activities. Business liability, on the other hand, protects your business against claims made by other businesses for losses they have incurred as a result of your business activities.

In the past, the two terms have been used interchangeably, but they are different policies, which cover different things.

How much public liability insurance do I need?

The amount of insurance your business requires depends on the work you do. When deciding, it’s vital that you consider the size of compensation you could potentially be demanded to pay. For instance, tradesmen need to consider how dangerous the tools they work with are, and how safe their typical work environment is. It’s also helpful to discuss public liability with possible clients to see whether they expect a particular degree of cover.

Here at Tradesman Saver, we offer an indemnity limit of £1 million, which is the most we will pay out in a single claim. However, you have the option to increase this to £2 million, £5 million or £10 million to accommodate the needs of a particular customer — for instance, certain types of business insurance or local authorities typically need £5 million worth of cover. Please contact us if this sum will not be enough to meet your requirements, and we will arrange appropriate cover.

Is public liability a legal requirement?

UK businesses are not legally required to have public liability and you will not be subject to criminal proceedings if you decide against it. Nevertheless, the importance of this cover cannot be stressed enough.

While this insurance may not be a legal requirement, it can still be a good idea to have in place.

Not only will this make your business look far more professional, but it keeps you in the black financially too. Lacking this liability cover may also impact the jobs you are able to do, as many customers will request certain levels of cover before agreeing to work with you.

Will I automatically get public liability with any Tradesman Saver policy?

Yes, all of our policies come complete with public liability cover as standard, in addition to financial loss, products liability, legal fees, and accidental death. You can find more information on the covers we automatically include in the dedicated section above.

If you prefer, we can also provide public liability insurance quotes independent of other insurance policies.

 

Am I covered if one of my employees has an accident at work?

You will need to purchase employers liability insurance to cover any injuries caused to your staff. This cover can be added when you receive a public liability insurance quotation from us.

Employee injuries can be catastrophic as not only will they be out of work, therefore denting your profits, but you could also face extortionate compensation claims from staff members themselves.

Employers liability protects you from these possibilities, as we will be responsible for covering any consequent costs. Please note that it is actually a legal requirement if you employ staff.

Do I really need public liability insurance if I work from home?

Even if you work from home, public liability is a sensible option should customers or members of the public come to your property, or you visit them at their own premises. For example, anything from an accidental spillage in the kitchen to an uneven step on your staircase could unwittingly cause injury or property damage.

The majority of home insurance policies won’t cover business-related claims, and even if they do, the protection may not be enough to keep your business safe. Taking out a public liability insurance policy means you won’t be responsible for the costs involving unexpected accidents in your home.

Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

Yes, public liability can be tax-deductible. This kind of commercial insurance can count as an “allowable expense”, meaning you could potentially offset some of the cost against your taxable profits.

While you’re better off speaking to your accountant if its something you need to take into consideration, most of our clients are able to claim the tax back on public liability cover.

For more information on whether you can make your public liability tax deductible, you can call our free tax and legal helpline. Details of how to access this service will be contained in your policy booklet.

Do I need public liability if I am self-employed?

Public liability is just as necessary for a self-employed individual as it is for a company owner. Just because you work for yourself doesn’t mean you don’t face the same risks as companies, making it sensible to have public liability in place. Otherwise, you could end up in serious financial trouble.

What if I have more than one trade?

You will only be fully protected if you have insurance for each trade you work in. With Tradesman Saver you are able to select up to three trades or occupations when you complete our online quotation form. If you need more than this, simply contact us and we can arrange a bespoke cover to suit you. It’s vital that your insurance policy covers all the business you undertake. 

Is the cost of public liability insurance the same for all trades?

Quotations do vary from trade to trade as some professions involve higher risk than others. Public liability cost also depends on factors including the size of your business, your claims history, and how much cover you require according to your circumstances. This will all be reflected in the price of your cover.

Does liability insurance cover me for any advice I provide through my trade?

If your business offers advice on topics like design or specification, for example, this is covered by professional indemnity insurance. Professional indemnity protects you if your business is deemed professionally negligent, which could lead to claims for things like financial loss, infringement of intellectual property rights, and unintentional breach of confidentiality.

However, professional indemnity insurance ensures that we would cover all the legal costs associated with any of these claims. This can be added when you receive your online public liability quote. If professional indemnity insurance is not available online for your trade, please contact us to arrange a separate insurance policy.

However, by taking out tradesman insurance with a reputable and experienced provider, you can rest easy knowing your business is always protected from any sudden and unwanted costs.

What’s the difference between public and employers liability?

The main difference between public and employers liability is that public liability is insurance for claims made by members of the public, while employers liability is insurance for claims made by employees.

Employers liability is a legal requirement for most businesses with employees who aren’t directly related to the owner. If you’re not certain whether employers liability is a legal requirement for your business or trade, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our experienced team today.

At Tradesman Saver, we’re more than happy to help you to ensure you and your business are fully protected and insured, whether you require employers liability insurance, or any other kind of public liability.

Do I need product liability if I have public liability?

If you already have public liability cover, you may not need product insurance as well. This is because public insurance will usually cover you for any claims made against you in relation to products that you have supplied. However, it is always best to check with your insurer to see if you are covered for product liability before assuming that you don’t need it.

Whether or not you require product insurance will depend on your business type and the kinds of products you supply. If you’re a tradesman, for example, and you offer a service rather than a product, then product liability insurance is likely unnecessary.

Does public liability cover me if I’m working off-site and on business premises?

Your PL cover will cover you whether you’re working off site, on site on a business premises. It’s important to remember that your cover will only apply if you’re legally liable for damages arising from your business activities. If you’re not sure whether your policy covers you for a particular activity, it’s always best to check with your insurer directly.

Can I handle the public liability cost on my own?

This is not recommended, as it can be very difficult to predict how much any given incident will cost you. The value of a claim will depend on all of the implications of the injury or property damage, and could set you back millions of pounds in the worst case scenario.

For instance, victims may not be able to work following a personal injury that your business is responsible for, meaning you’ll need to pay for medication, legal fees and other ensuing costs. This compensation could cause major financial problems for your business and, as accidents can happen without warning, you may not be financially prepared for such huge expenses.

However, by taking out tradesman public liability insurance with a reputable and experienced provider, you can rest easy knowing your business is always protected from any sudden and unwanted costs.

When will I receive my public liability policy documents?

You will receive your policy documents shortly after you’ve signed up for our public liability coverage. We will typically send these to our secure document portal for you to download. We’d recommend downloading and reading through your documents immediately to make sure you’re coverage is correct, and to show proof of your coverage should you be required to.

What are some real-life examples of Tradesman Saver’s public liability claims?

Over the years, we’ve helped thousands of people to resolve public liability claims. We provide specialist tradesmen insurance to those who need public liability insurance to protect themselves, their clients and the general public.

Our insurance team recently provided compensation to a member of the public who tripped and fell due to our client leaving materials on the pavement outside of a construction site.

Our experienced team can not only provide complete support, in many cases we can often liaise directly with the injured party (through their legal representatives) and help to resolve their public liability claims as quickly as possible.

Can Tradesmen Saver also provide health insurance for tradespeople?

While we don’t provide health insurance, we do offer practical personal accident insurance for tradespeople, in addition to accidental death insurance. That means, in most cases, we’re able to provide the compensation you require if you’ve been injured at work.

Public Liability InsuranceRelated Articles

*This indicative price is for £1m public and products liability, £250,000 legal expenses, £10,000 financial loss and £10,000 accidental death insurance cover for a sole trader. The price includes insurance premium tax but excludes our admin charge. 13% of new customers paid less than £54 between 1st January 2024 and 30th January 2024. The actual price you pay will depend upon your specific business requirements and will be affected by your trade, your claims history and the optional covers you select which are all priced separately during the quote process. This website is intended for customers based in the UK and is therefore subject to the UK regulatory regime(s) © Copyright 2024 Tradesman Saver | Tradesman Saver and Henry Seymour & Co. are trading names of Barkdene Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 303965) for our insurance distribution and credit broking activities. Barkdene Limited is a credit broker not a lender. You can check our financial services registration status on the Financial Services register.
Registered in England No 1842617. Registered Office – Chancery House, St Nicholas Way, Sutton, Surrey, SM1 1JB. All rights reserved.
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