Do I need public liability insurance?
Although generally not compulsory, public liability insurance protection is a good idea because it provides your business with cover against legal claims.
If you are a small business or self employed sole trader, a company director or an employee then you could all potentially be blamed for injury to a third party ie, a member of the public, or damage to property.
Although tradesmen are not required by law to have public liability insurance, a lot of trade associations stipulate it as a requirement of joining.
Also, it is generally good for the reassurance of your clients. It will cover you if someone is injured or if their building becomes damaged due to work carried out by you.
Usually a public liability policy will cover you for costs such as legal fees, damages liability and expenses for defending a liable claim.
This means that if electrical wiring causes a fire, the contractor who installed it could be held liable for negligence during installation. If it is found that the damage was due to the contractor’s work, the public liability insurance would pay out to cover the cost of the damage, to the policy limit.
Obviously this is an extreme case but it does highlight the importance of liability insurance. How much a policy will cost you depends on your business circumstances, the size, type and nature of your business.
Even though it is not required by law, every tradesman / contractor should get themselves set up with insurance to ensure that they are fully able to cover the cost of any possible claims or eventualities.
Businesses which must take out public liability insurance
Generally speaking, public liability insurance is not compulsory, but horse riding businesses must have public liability cover. You will also find that many of your customers or potential customers will want to see proof of adequate insurance cover before they will let you work for them.
Why your business may need public liability insurance
1. You have visitors coming into your workplace – whether it’s your home, your office or a site where you are working.
2. Your business takes you to other people’s property – a public liability claim could be made against any member of your business if they accidentally cause damage to anything which doesn’t belong to your business.
3. A client insists your business has this insurance before they offer you any work.
4. Anybody working for your business or the work your business carries out puts any other person at risk of injury.
Nowadays even minor injuries and property damage can lead to major compensation charges. Where there’s blame, they say, there’s a claim. If one’s ever made against your business by a third party, you can cover your legal liability up to the cover levels you choose.
Examples of trades for which public liability insurance is available:
aerial erectors and satellite installers
hired in plant
loft conversion companies
cleaners and cleaning companies
dog grooming businesses
dry lining and plasterers
electrical contractors, sub-contractors and electricians
flooring businesses & contractor
foods being transported
garage door installers
landscape gardeners and tree surgeons
hairdressers and hairdressing salons
pet sitting business
plumbers and plumbing companies