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What’s public liability insurance?

11 April 2013

Win some, lose some

Isn’t You’ve Been Framed brilliant?

All those hapless, clumsy unfortunates, tripping and stumbling their way to hilarious personal injury for our entertainment. Oh how we laugh as we eat our takeaway from the safety of the sofa.

Still, at least they get £250 for their trouble. Everyone’s a winner!

Now consider the same thing happening where you work. Although no doubt equally hilarious, accidents at work are a different kettle of fish.

It’s likely to cost you more than £250 to placate the victim and fix the problem, so what can you do?

Truth hurts

In the world of unnecessary business-world cliches, ‘accidents happen’ is an insurance company favourite. The same goes for the no-win-no-fee solicitors’ platitude ‘where there’s blame there’s a claim’.

Problem is, like most cliches, they’re true. Accidents DO happen, however well prepared and careful you are. And a somewhat unhelpful compensation culture says that accidents ARE someone else’s fault and someone DOES have to pay.

That perfect storm of uncertainty and impending financial ruin means you need protection. That protection comes in the form of public liability insurance.

Safety in numbers

If there’s an accident, and it’s your business’s fault, a third party (a client, a member of the public, anyone else) can claim compensation against you for property damage and bodily injury.

If that happens, your insurer appoints a legal expert to fight the time-consuming and complicated case against you and, if the injured person wins, pays them the compensation you’re liable for.

And your policy isn’t limited to just visitors to your place either. You’re covered if you go out and about and cause problems somewhere else, too. So don’t worry too much if that successful pitch was tarnished by spilling tea on your prospective client’s iMac…

The good thing is, although levels of cover start in the millions of pounds, the insurance usually only costs tens or hundreds of pounds (depending on what you do of course).

So protecting your business shouldn’t cost you an arm and leg. In any sense.

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  1. Thanks for the informative summary of public liability insurance. It’s one of those things that you might never claim on, but if you ever DO need the policy it’s a god send!

  2. I assume, anyone can avail of the public liability insurance coverage no matter if you have a small or big business? What if i have a salon or a small bakeshop, can i avail of the public liability insurance?

    • Avatar for Nick Green Nick Green says:

      Hi Gail. You’re right – company size doesn’t matter. It’s what your business does that makes the difference.

      For example, we don’t cover the kind of retail premises you mention. But that’s not to say they can’t be covered elsewhere. Every broker has its specialism …

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