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Public liability insurance explained

29 June 2012
Creative Commons warning sign for trip hazard by Frank Kovalchek_Flickr

Damage limitation

A frequent source of delicate confusion is the difference between professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance.

Wires get so crossed that, instead of public liability, 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, you might want to read on …

What is it?

Public liability insurance covers you if a third party (not an employee) claims for property damage and/or bodily injury against you.

Obvious claim examples include a visitor to your office slipping on a loose step, 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 are 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 (and pay for them) and stump up for any damages or compensation if things don’t go your way.

In simple terms, you don’t have to lift a finger. A potentially disastrous 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 it?

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).

For more information call us on 0345 222 5360, click here for a quote or email

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