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What is Public Liability?

Public liability insurance is a type of insurance that covers business owners and professionals in the event that they are sued for negligence or wrongful actions. This type of insurance can cover legal fees, as well as any damages that may be awarded to the plaintiff.

Public liability insurance is particularly important for tradespeople such as builders, as they are often sued for damages that occur as a result of their work. For example, if a builder accidentally damages a homeowner’s property while working, the homeowner may sue the builder for compensation. Public liability insurance can help to protect the builder from having to pay out any damages themselves.

It is important to note that public liability insurance does not protect against all types of lawsuits. For example, it would not cover a business owner if they were sued for slander or libel. It is also important to read the policy wording carefully to ensure that you are fully aware of what is and is not covered.

Public liability insurance is a legal requirement for some businesses, but it is always recommended for tradespeople of any kind. As a tradesman in the UK, you won’t have much protection if your accidental negligence, or a health and safety oversight, results in a member of the public becoming injured. That’s why it’s so essential – public liability insurance coverage is often the only thing protecting you from a potentially ruinous lawsuit.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

Public liability insurance can provide coverage for a broad range of different situations, such as:

  • Property damage: If you accidentally damage someone else’s property while working, public liability insurance can help to cover the cost of repairs. While this won’t protect against damage to our own property, it will help to protect you in the even that you’ve left someone else’s property damaged as a result of your work.
  • Personal injury: If someone is injured as a result of your work, public liability insurance can help to cover their medical expenses. This kind of liability coverage is the most important, as it is typically personal injury claims which can cause serious financial difficulties to businesses of all kinds. Many tradesmen and businesses have suffered bodily injuries liability claims as a result of personal injury on small business premises, or even due to a lack of health and safety in the working environment.
  • Legal fees: If you are sued for negligence or wrongful actions, public liability insurance can help to cover the cost of legal fees. By covering all, or the bulk, of your legal expenses, you’re able to put up a fight against your accusers without struggling to cover the legal costs.

It is important to note that public liability insurance does not protect against all types of lawsuits. For example, it would not cover a business owner if they were sued for slander or libel. It is also important to read the policy wording carefully to ensure that you are fully aware of what is and is not covered.

Public liability insurance, sometimes referred to as general liability insurance, can provide vital protection for tradespeople in the UK, who may be sued for damages as a result of their work. It is essential for anyone who works with the public to have some form of public liability insurance, in order to protect themselves from financial disaster.

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How Much Public Liability Insurance Do I Need?

The amount of public liability insurance that you need will depend on the type of business that you run and the risks that are associated with it. As a general rule, it is recommended that you have at least £1 million worth of public liability insurance. However, you may need more or less depending on your individual circumstances.

It is important to speak to an insurance broker to get a better understanding of how much public liability insurance you need. They will be able to assess your business and give you a customised quote for the coverage that you need, in addition to any other kinds of insurance which might benefit your business.

For example, professional liability insurance, malpractice insurance or even product liability insurance.

Does Public Liability Cover Employer’s Liability Claims?

If you’re a tradesperson with an employee, you’ll need more than public liability insurance covers. You’ll also require employers’ liability insurance, which will protect your business against employee compensation claims. While most tradespeople employing others will require business insurance such as employers liability insurance, it is also likely that you may require other forms of business insurance. For example:

  • If you use commercial vehicles, you’ll need commercial vehicle insurance.
  • If you work from home, you’ll need home business insurance.
  • If you have expensive tools and equipment, you might need tool insurance or equipment insurance.

Speak to us and we can get a comprehensive understanding of all the different types of insurance you may need, in addition to the public liability coverage you’re guaranteed to need.

Public Liability Insurance Explained

Public liability insurance is an important protection for tradespeople in the UK. It can help to cover the cost of damages that may be awarded to someone as a result of your work.

However, it is important to note that public liability insurance does not protect against all types of lawsuits. It is also important to read the policy wording carefully to ensure that you are fully aware of what is and is not covered.

Public liability insurance can provide vital protection for tradespeople in the UK, who may be sued for damages as a result of their work. It is essential for anyone who works with the public to have some form of public liability insurance, in order to protect themselves from financial disaster.

Public liability covers compensation claims made against you by third parties who allege that you have done something or failed to do something that has resulted in them suffering a loss.

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Compensation claims

We live in an increasingly litigious world. There can’t be anyone who has missed the advertising by “no win, no fee” accident management firms who are looking to help people claim compensation.

Compensation claims can be expensive to settle. An injury such as a broken wrist suffered by someone who has slipped or tripped could cost £20,000. A more serious injury could cost ten times that amount.

As well as the compensation awarded for the injury itself, the claimant could also claim for lost wages if they have been unable to work as a result of their injury. There could also be other expenses, such as travel costs that they have incurred, and they will be seeking reimbursement from you.

And even though a relatively minor claim for light skin grazing following a trip might only result in a compensation award of £500, by the time the legal fees and other associated expenses have been factored in, that compensation claim could end up costing considerably more.

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Because compensation claims are expensive to settle, all businesses should have public liability insurance to protect them. Not having public liability insurance could mean that you would be facing a compensation claim that would cause your business to struggle financially, or potentially a claim that could put you out of business completely.

Legal defence

As well as being expensive to settle, compensation claims can often involve complex legal arguments. Because your public liability insurer will have a trained legal team that specialises in handling compensation claims they will be able to deal with these legal arguments on your behalf.

Public liability insurance also includes the legal fees expenses business cover that can be involved in compensation claims. These costs can be substantial.

The policy excess

Like most forms of insurance, public liability insurance tends to have a policy excess. This is the amount that you need to contribute towards each claim.

It’s important to remember that even though your insurer may be able to successfully defend you against a compensation claim that’s been made against you, it’s possible that you may still need to pay the policy excess. This is because a successful defence will normally mean that the insurer will have incurred legal costs.

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Products liability

A public liability insurance policy will cover compensation claims arising out of things that you have done or failed to do, but it won’t cover compensation claims arising due to defects due to products that you’ve sold or supplied.

To ensure you aren’t uninsured if such a compensation claim is made against you, most public liability insurance policies come with a products liability insurance section as standard, or the insurance policies can be extended to provide that cover.

Financial loss cover

Public and products liability insurance only covers you if the compensation claim made against you involves either an injury or property damage. Claims for purely economic losses are not covered.

By making sure that your public liability insurance policy has a financial loss extension, you can ensure that you’re covered if a compensation claim for a purely economic loss is made against you.

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