Professional pride is something you just can’t put a price on, but while most tradesmen will never think of doing anything less than a top class job, there are a handful out there who will lazily attract the cowboy tag with their shoddy practices.
However, with a clued-in clientele and the public expecting a certain degree of quality for their well-earned buck, falling foul of an insurance claim can be a lot more possible than you think.
Some claims will be justified and others can be a bit more on the speculative end of the scale, but the great advantage of public liability insurance is that it gives you the tools to fight any kind of claim. That way you can get on with keeping your business ticking over without having to worry about a crippling claim hitting you out of the blue.
Examples of public liability insurance claims
Here a few examples of the type of claim your public liability cover can help you with:
In hot water
A plumber fits a new mains shower system in a customer’s home. However, due to a faulty fitting, a pipe becomes loose and ends up flooding the bathroom, causing damage to the floor and ceiling below. Not only that, but house is semi-detached so water leaks into a neighbours house as well. The customer claims against the plumber for the damage and their neighbour also makes a claim. The plumber’s public liability insurance covers the cost of the claim, including legal expenses and the compensation which is finally awarded.
Food for thought
A mobile caterer gets a prize pitch to work at a summer fair. They are cooking food for hungry customers when unfortunately a piece of undercooked chicken slips through. A customer gets a very bad tummy bug as a result and is able to identify the caterer’s food as a source of the illness. The customer makes a claim based on the fact that they have been in hospital and been unable to work for some time. They are awarded compensation for their lost earnings and medical bills, the cost of which is met by the caterer’s public liability insurance.
Not a perfect fit
A joiner is asked to fit a kitchen for a customer. This involves making and fitting cabinets to the wall. Not long after he is finished up, one of the cabinets comes loose and falls on one of his customer’s children. The child sustains a broken leg and has to spend some time in hospital. The joiner’s work is found to be at fault and the customer makes a claim. The compensation covers the child’s hospital bills and thanks to his carpenter’s public liability insurance, the joiner is not hit in the pocket, but is extra vigilant the next time he fits a kitchen.
Putting the brakes on
A car valeter is asked to clean a luxury car for a regular customer. While the valeter is washing the outside of a car with a sponge, a small stone gets lodged in the sponge and the valeter ends up scratching the paintwork of the car. When the customer is told about the damage, they decide to persue a compensation claim against the valeter in order to get the car fixed. Fortunately, this is covered under the car valeter’s public liability insurance, which covers the cost of fixing the damage to the paintwork.
In all these examples, compensation can run into tens of thousands of pounds. If, in the rare case that a death has occurred, a company or tradesperson could be liable for millions of pounds of compensation.
With all claims, the insurer will meet the bulk of the cost with the policyholder obliged to pay the an excess, which is usually at least £250. So, it’s easy to see how public liability insurance can help keep your business afloat.