If you have high aspirations in your trade, you can’t seriously contemplate omitting public liability from your insurance responsibilities. While you wouldn’t be legally obliged to take out public liability insurance in the same way as employers’ liability, the former can often prove practically necessary.
For example, you could be denied particular contracts if you can’t prove that you hold public liability cover, while the cover can reassure potential customers that you will take account of their welfare. Then there’s the simple fact that the cover could get you out of a financially tricky spot…
However, for all of these merits of public liability insurance, you should be diligent in your approach to sourcing a policy, as exactly what comes with the policy can differ between quotes. Choosing the wrong policy could leave you with hell to literally pay, so how can you make the right decision?
What are the core components of a public liability policy?
If you lack experience in fetching public liability insurance, you could be inclined to think that the policies are “all the same, surely?” However, this would be a perilously nonchalant attitude to take, though it’s true that particular features are especially common across otherwise varying policies.
A basic policy can pay out if, due to your business, a customer or member of the public suffers an injury or their property incurs damage. A customer injured as a result of tripping over tools or materials carelessly discarded by your firm, for example, could take legal action.
Similarly, if your business activities lead you to inadvertently damage a vehicle owned by a member of the public, you could soon find yourself fighting a legal case brought by that person. In cases like this, should you need to pay compensation or legal bills, the insurance could help you to foot the bill.
“Would a basic policy suffice in my case?”
You could be excused for feeling hopeful; after all, any opportunity to trim your financial outgoings without handicapping your company’s potential for growth would be welcome. Usually, for a small business, the minimum amount of available public liability insurance will be £1 million.
At Tradesman Saver, we offer a £1 million indemnity limit; an indemnity limit is the maximum amount that, in the event of any sole public liability insurance claim, the insurer will pay. Still, smallbusiness.co.uk warns that “it is not always suitable to take out the minimum requirement.”
Hence, you might want to act on the opportunity that we offer for you to increase your indemnity limit to either £2 million or £5 million. The choice might be essentially out of your hands, anyway, as local authorities for which you could work typically insist on a limit of £5 million.
It isn’t only these hurdles that could dictate the level of public liability you practically need to take out. If you don’t have the appetite or finances to pay legal fees or compensation out of your own pocket, you might need an especially high level of cover.
Remember that different businesses can have different risk exposures depending on the size and work responsibilities of each company. If the idea of calculating the amount of cover you need is beginning to seem like arithmetic, don’t worry. When you apply to us for a quote, our online tool will show you the price of each level of cover, helping you to decide what’s right for what you do.
For instance, if you decide that the worst-case scenario would warrant an indemnity limit of more than £5 million, please let us know by phone; we can act to meet this particular requirement for you.
While public liability insurance can serve as an appreciable safety net, you might need to cast that net surprisingly wide. After all, as Business Matters points out, the insurance can kick in should any third party make a claim against you – and the term “third party” has a broad definition here…
Watch out for any tricky exclusions in your policy
When you are presented with a policy, go through it with a fine comb to check that it offers everything you need. It can be too easy to get caught out by a unique exclusion in a policy, so remember to act on advice from Business Matters that you read your quote documents thoroughly.
Standard policies in public liability insurance will not cover financial losses arising from defects in your workmanship, damage to your own property or deliberate damage or injury. Public liability insurance won’t cover your employees, either. For them, we would allow you to add employers’ liability as an optional cover; we already offer the public liability part as standard.
What will we consider when putting together your quote?
You can start your application for a public liability insurance quote by clicking that link and then the orange “Get a Quote” button on the page that loads up. From there, the process of completing and submitting your application is straightforward, but what happens after that?
We will consider a range of information about your business – including its nature, the amount of cover you seek to take out, previous claims history, and the risk your company poses to the general public. We know that, for your comfort and your company’s long-term financial health, it is important that you are offered a policy touching on all of the right bases.
For this reason, we will endeavour to deliver you exactly such a policy. With our easy-to-use online tool, and the variety of optional covers available, much of the anguish can be removed while you’re decided which policy to choose. We invite you to call us on 0800 121 8748 for more information.
Public liability insurance from Tradesman Saver can come in useful even if you work from home, as a sole trader, or in multiple trades. You can specify up to three trades on our online quote form and let us know of other trades by phone so that we can arrange suitable cover for you.