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Public liability insurance for accountants – why you need it

30/05/2019

Public liability insurance for accountants can help if someone points a finger of blame in your direction

Numbers are fairly predictable. Treat them right and they’ll usually do what you want them to. They’re not known for going rogue without reason.

Not so humans. They make mistakes and suffer mishaps with alarming regularity. They make bad judgements, cut corners and accidentally damage themselves, others and inanimate objects on repeat.

It doesn’t seem to get any better with age, either. Those childhood scraped knees segue seamlessly into broken bones and slipped discs. While the broken toy becomes an expensive laptop rendered useless by spilled coffee.

The thing is, these random things happen. And much as they can leave you gnashing your teeth in frustration, sometimes there’s just no stopping them.

Or stopping them costing you money.

Because if the harm happens to someone else and they say it’s your fault, they can sue you for damages. And that's not exactly unheard of in the UK’s modern-day ‘compensation culture’. In fact, it’s increasingly common.

Fall guy

‘So? What’s all this got to do with me?’ you might be thinking.

Well, everything if you:
1. Visit your clients at their premises
2. Have clients come to your office or home.

Because the same trips, slips and silly accidents that plague everyday life can hit your business too.

And it’s the same story whether a client falls down some stairs, slips on a rug or gets their foot tangled up in a power cable. If it’s on your premises and they’re injured as a result, they can claim compensation.

The same applies if you cause any unintentional damage when you’re out and about. If you visit clients at their business address, there’s always the chance of an embarrassing incident. Like you knock their top-of-the-range iBook off the desk, smashing it.

Clients who’ve taken a hit, either in person or to their property, are going to want payback. Someone who’s got a bad back injury and can’t now run their own business after falling awkwardly at your offices will demand compensation. Quite likely £thousands.

The same goes if a client’s possessions are damaged or broken because of something you did – no matter how much of an accident it was. They’ll expect you to pay for repairs at the very least. Or more likely to replace the item altogether.

Public liability insurance for accountants

If someone makes a claim, you’ll have to deal with it regardless. And that’s not only time consuming but extremely tricky unless you happen to be a legal expert. So, you’ll have to hire a lawyer – and we all know the kind of money that involves.

That’s where public liability insurance (PL) for accountants comes in. It picks up the tab for unpredictable events like these and takes care of all the hassle too. So it saves you both time and money.

First, it pays for a solicitor to represent your interests and fight your corner. It also covers any other legal expenses like court costs. And in the meantime, you’re free to keep running your business rather than tearing your hair out trying to navigate the legal landscape.

Second, public liability insurance for accountants covers whatever compensation you’re obliged to pay. And let’s not forget that such sums can run to many £thousands. So, it can be a business-saver in that respect.

And even while all that is going on, your PL insurance is working hard to preserve your reputation. Because if there’s any question concerning your willingness to deal with a claim or ability to pay, word will quickly get round to your clients. And do you no favours whatsoever.

Numbers game

Accountancy is all about keeping the numbers under control. Public liability insurance for accountants can help do the same for your bank balance if there’s a claim against you.

It helps you stay professionally accountable in the face of life’s more random moments.

Image used under license from Shutterstock

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