From Authors to Window Cleaners: Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

From Authors to Window Cleaners: Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?


You’re a business owner and you’re proud of the business you’ve built with your own two hands. The last thing you want is a random accident to dismantle your hard work.

But that’s what will happen if you’re caught in a personal injury case without liability coverage. The bills rack up faster than you think.

You might be wondering, “Do I need public liability insurance?” The answer is probably yes. Keep reading to find out more.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance is one of the most common policies taken out by small businesses. So…what is it?

Public liability insurance is a fundamental type of insurance if you have visitors on your premises or complete work on client sites. It can cover compensation for legal costs if someone sues your business after being injured or experiencing property damage. This could be a customer, a supplier, or even a passerby.

It’s often confused with general liability coverage, which protects against a broader range of potential incidents than public liability insurance.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

Generally, public liability insurance is designed to address one of two scenarios:

  1. If someone is injured by your business
  2. If you damage someone else’s property while carrying out work

So it isn’t just protection for you–it’s protection for your customers and the people who do business with you.

Let’s say you’re an accountant. You’re visiting a client’s office to go over their finances. It’s also first thing in the morning, so you have a cup of coffee. Except that the coffee spills all over their computer.

Public liability insurance is what protects you from having to pay for a new computer out of pocket.

How Does It Protect Your Customers?

That said, public liability insurance isn’t just about protecting you and your business. It’s also about protecting your customers.

Think about it. If a customer or visitor came to do businesses and was injured while on your premises, you would want to be able to compensate them for that loss.

But if you’re a small business on a tight budget and the injury was severe, you may not have the means to do so even if you want to.

This is where public liability insurance can step in to make up the difference. It helps provide everyone with a little more peace of mind.

Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

So you’re probably wondering whether you need public liability coverage.

Sure, you could see it being beneficial for a construction company or a commercial property owner, but you’re neither of those things.

You’re a printer, a hairdresser, or a florist. You don’t need public liability insurance, right?


If you need to legally protect your business, you need coverage. Here’s who needs public liability insurance and why they need it.

Trades That Need Public Liability Insurance Coverage

Public liability insurance covers more trades than you might think. Here are a few trades that need this coverage:

  • Accountants and bookkeepers
  • Architects, land surveyors, and consultants
  • Builders
  • Cafes
  • Carpenters
  • Caterers
  • Cleaners
  • Computer repairmen and maintenance
  • Engineers
  • Florists, garden designers, and gardeners (yes, really)
  • Hairdressers and beauticians
  • Gravediggers
  • Painters
  • Plumbers
  • Estate agents
  • Roofing contractors
  • Tax agents
  • Welders
  • Window cleaners

And trust us, that’s not even close to an exhaustive list.

Remember, public liability insurance isn’t just designed for big accidents in obvious places like construction sites. Recall our earlier example of a tax agent spilling coffee on a client’s computer?

What about someone tripping on a freshly-dug grave? Or someone who gets a massive allergic reaction to your food? What if you accidentally burn a client while curling their hair? Did you check for loose nails someone could accidentally step on?

Any accident, big or small, could easily turn into an expensive personal injury case. Public liability coverage picks up where you leave off.

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What If You’re Self-Employed?

Before you can ask: yes, you do need public liability coverage if you’re self-employed.

If you meet members of the public during your line of work and there is any possibility they could be injured or experience property damage, you need coverage. If anything, people who are self-employed need coverage most of all.

Think about it: you’re self-employed. All you have is your own resources. You don’t have a big company backing you, so legal fees, damages, and compensation could easily wipe out everything you have.

Risk Exposure

It all has to do with risk exposure.

Public liability insurance is essentially designed to cover you against the risk of potential accidents that could occur on your premises, particularly if your business has a high exposure to the public. These accidents are totally outside your power, but you can still be sued for them.

If an accident does happen, then you know your insurance will cover the cost of compensation and legal fees, including medical bills, repair or replacement costs, and lost income.

Need Public Liability Insurance?

You know the answer to the question, “Do I need public liability insurance?” is yes.

So what are you waiting for?

We provide top value, low-cost insurance to a range of trade businesses from artists to locksmiths to music teachers to pet sitters, even wedding planners.

If you’ve got a trade business that needs protecting, we want to help you keep it safe. You worked hard to build that business, and you shouldn’t have to pause for bad luck.

Need a quote? Follow our simple process to get an instant quote and get in touch to see how we can help protect your business today.  

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