Public liability insurance is recognised as a necessary tool for any tradesperson, as useful as any hammer, and the yearly payments are generally accepted as just part of the cost of doing business. However, a lot of tradespeople do not know these following ten things about public liability insurance and are bound to be missing something important.
1. It is not technically a legal necessity…
Many kinds of businesses can be legally run without public liability insurance. However, public-facing businesses are less likely to be safe to run this way, and this goes even more so for those which involve running a business for customers who come to a premise, or whose home you go to for work.
2. … but it is a requirement in many industries, including the trades
The realities of the trades mean that having public liabilities insurance cannot be avoided if you want to be hired for jobs. The regulations vary according to industry, situation, and location, but generally you should expect that if there is any risk of an accident for which you could be found liable, you should have this type of insurance. Everyone from builders to musicians are expected to have it to do business.
The minimum amount you are expected to be insured for is often around five million pounds. However, for some jobs, especially if at expensive homes or larger spaces such as offices or churches, you will need a higher level of cover.
3. When you would actually use it
Public liability insurance comes into play when your company has made an error which has led to accident or injury, and you are officially ruled to be responsible. If you are found to be at fault, public liability insurance exists to allows the public to seek compensation for any damages caused, and can save you from bankruptcy.
4. You can combine it with legal Expenses Insurance
If you are in the difficult situation of needing to use your public liability insurance, you are almost certain to have been in court already, which can become very expensive, very fast. However, if you have chosen a public liability insurance policy which offers legal expenses insurance you can feel positive and confident that your insurance will cover your legal fees as well as the cost of the claim itself. This insurance can be incredibly worthwhile as the legal fees involved in even a short case can be enough to bankrupt a small business, without insurance.
5. It covers incidents on your premises, client premises, and public spaces
The excellent thing about public liability insurance, once you have it, is it covers your business for issues not only on your venue but also on the premises or property of your client, an essential asset for tradespeople. However, the cover for public spaces is a further relief as it avoids the question of legal handwringing over injuries caused while on a job off the property of the client. Since it is not necessary to worry about the location that any injuries or damages occurred there is no need for extra legal battles which tie liability to a particular location.
6. It does not cover injuries to employees while working for you.
As stated above, if a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged as a result of your company’s actions, public liability insurance is what you need. However, it is not relevant in cases where an employee of your company is injured. In this case you would instead be looking to rely on your Employees’ Liability Insurance, which covers you for any injury or illness which befalls your employees while they are working for you. This is one kind of insurance which you are legally required to have as soon as you have employees.
7. Customers know to expect it
Customers who do their research will know before hiring you to expect your company to have public liability insurance. Failure to produce evidence for this will make you look less trustworthy in some well-informed customers’ eyes. Public liability insurance is the least that is expected. Contractor’s all-risk cover is another way to show that you mean business, although a not all builders opt for this more complicated option.
8. Tax investigation insurance can be bundled with it
Tax investigation insurance covers you for the time lost to going through tax returns with the government to set the record straight; time is money after all, and investigations can become expensive if they drag over several days or weeks. With some companies, it is possible to purchase this kind of insurance with public liability insurance.
9. Specialist providers can often throw in extra covers for free
There are a lot of kinds of insurance needed to set up a new business, and so some providers, eager to offer the best service possible, often aim to create packages which offer the best of them for a particular customer. When you next have a chance, it can be worth seeking out a specialist provider for your particular trade to see if they offer wider covers than generic insurance providers. These specialists will understand your industry and tailor the covers and prices accordingly. For example, at Tradesman Saver you will get a policy that has been tailor-made to your trade includes extra covers such as products liability, financial loss, legal expenses and accidental death cover free of charge.
10. Public liability insurance is one of your most useful assets and affordably priced.
It is very possible to get through your entire career as a tradesperson and never have to use your public liability insurance once. Indeed, with the prices being so low per each individual user it is clear that many people do manage this. With the lowest prices hovering around £50 and scaling up from there quite gently depending on the size and nature of the company, public liability insurance is meant to be affordable for any new company setting itself up and making even a narrow profit over the course of the years.