A hazy mist of confusion seems to surround the question 'what does public liability insurance cover?'
That's not entirely surprising, because insurance can be a slippery subject to get to grips with. It may also help explain why the mist turns to dense fog when it comes to understanding the differences between professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance.
Wires get so crossed that, instead of public liability cover, we’re often asked for something called ‘public indemnity insurance’ (see also: personal indemnity, professional liability and even private indemnity insurance).
If any of these sound familiar, or you can feel the fog settling on your own brain, you might want to read on …
What does public liability cover?
Public liability insurance covers you if a third party (not an employee) claims for property damage and/or bodily injury against you. We're talking primarily about slips, trips, falls and other unforeseen mishaps.
Obvious claim examples include a visitor to your office tripping over a loose floorboard or slipping on an unsecured rug and injuring themselves. Also the classic cup of tea split over a client’s laptop, or your burst pipe flooding next door’s office.
What’s in it for you?
Claims for bodily injury can prove particularly expensive and time-consuming (that’s why levels of cover start in the £millions rather than the £thousands). They’re problematic enough for experts to deal with, so what chance do you have?
Having public liability insurance means your insurer takes the hit instead. They appoint legal experts to fight your corner (and pay for them) and stump up for any damages or compensation due if things don’t go your way.
In simple terms, you don’t have to lift a finger. A potentially ruinous situation is resolved with expert attention and, with any luck, you get to keep both your client and your good relationship with them.
Do you need public liability insurance?
If you have visitors to your office or workspace, or you go out and about and visit clients at theirs, then we’d certainly recommend you have it.
You could be forgiven for thinking that we’re bound to say that. And to a certain extent you’d be right. But there is a risk there and it’s worth safeguarding your business against it – if only because premiums are so low (from a mere £3.53 a month in fact).
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