A great deal of jobs across various industries can put others at risk. Dangerous work conditions, potentially hazardous materials, heavy objects, risky tools, faulty craftsmanship and a host of other variables can threaten one’s livelihood, possessions or properties. You may have already thought about insuring what’s yours, and maybe even thought about the well-being of those who work for you. But what happens when others make claims against you?
What is public liability?
When a business is threatening the public, it needs to be held responsible. Accidents happen and sometimes even nature itself is at play. Gusts of wind, water and earthquakes may compromise your work and harm others in the process. While you’re performing your work, it’s legally your responsibility to control the process and make sure no bystander gets injured, and that their property doesn’t get damaged. Should this occur, your public liability insurance will pay out in your stead for any inconvenience you cause to customers, or to any other person who isn’t working for you, such as members of the public.
Does your business need it?
The need for a public liability insurance policy is most obvious in construction work, but it also applies to countless other industries. Any business that deals with the public domain or directly involves the client requires it. For example, let’s take this situation: you sign a contract with a homeowner to build them a home extension. Something heavy may fall off the scaffolds and hit their car, break a window or hurt them. In this particular case, you’re held responsible to pay for the damage. If you have a public liability insurance policy, your insurer will cover the costs of the claim for you instead.
The main question you need to answer when considering to take out a public liability insurance policy is: can your work (or the materials it involves) hurt others? If the answer is yes, then you definitely need to consider a public liability insurance policy.
Do self-employed professionals need a public liability insurance policy?
Yes, they do. Whether you’re leading a big company, a contractor hires you temporarily, or you find work all by yourself as a self-employed professional, you face the same risks. You’ll be the one to blame if you directly, or indirectly, harm others.
How much should you pay?
Deciding how much your public liability insurance policy will cost depends on a number of factors. These include the business turnover and the risks, as well as whether or not you’re employing staff or want additional covers. The costs depend on the level of covered required by your work. There is no fixed price, however here at Tradesman Saver, we offer incredibly competitive rates across a whole myriad of professions, so you’ll always get our best price whether you buy online, or over the phone.
I have employer’s liability insurance. Am I covered?
It’s a common misconception that employer’s liability insurance will cover you when third party damage occurs. Employer’s liability only offers cover if your employees sustain an injury or accident, so any third party damage will still fall to you to pay. The two are very different and you need both for entirely different reasons. Unlike public liability insurance, employer’s liability insurance refers to the responsibility an employer has for their staff. It only grants compensation to workers when they’re hurt at work, for example. Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement for anybody employing staff.
Can I handle public liability claims on my own?
It’s not a good idea, because claims can be very expensive. Plus, it’s hard to foresee what kind of damage might be done. £1 million is considered the minimum when you cover your business for damages. For the public sector, it’s £5 million.
To understand the value of a claim, you need to take into account all the effects of the event. Victims may lose time and work because of the damaged caused; they may have to pay for medication, legal fees and so much more. Compensating them may result in a huge budget hole for your business, which can send it in a downward spiral and even lead to bankruptcy.
Taking out public liability insurance cover can save your business from having to shut down for good. Facing charges without being insured has put an end to many small companies. Don’t contribute to these statistics – choose to be safe instead, and take out your public liability insurance with a reputable provider with a wealth of experience in the sector, like Tradesman Saver.
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