Top 8 Reasons Your Business Might Need Public Liability Insurance

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you from insurance claims made against you or your company while you are going about your business. These types of insurance claims originate from accidents, damage or injury that can happen when your business brings you into direct contact with members of the public, such as your customers or other third parties.

Without public liability insurance in place, you could find that even a minor accident which may or may not be your fault, could end up costing you thousands of pounds, potentially ruining your livelihood.

Top 8 Reasons Your Business Might Need Public Liability Insurance

Accidents can happen and often do. It is important to prepare for the worst-case scenarios to protect yourself and your customers. What follows are the top 8 reasons your business needs public liability insurance.

1. Public liability insurance protects your customers

Public liability insurance offers protection to customers in the case of an accident. Because public liability insurance covers you against compensation claims made against you for injury or damage to property, it reassures your customers that they are covered when things go wrong.

Common scenarios include:

Food poisoning: your customer becomes sick after eating your food and has to take time off work or seek medical treatment.

Slips, trips and falls: for example someone may trip over your equipment or slip on a wet floor during cleaning.

Damage to property:  such as accidental damage occurring in the course of your work. Common examples include water damage, paint spills, or building materials falling onto property.

Damage to personal belongings: if something gets damaged because of your presence, you will be liable to pay for it. Common examples include damage to laptops, antiques, mobile phones or anything else of value in the home or belonging to your customer who may be visiting your premises.

With public liability insurance in place your customers will be confident that you are a responsible professional and should an accident occur, they will be able to receive the correct compensation for their injury or damages.

2. You need public liability insurance to be able to work in certain sectors

In many cases, you will not be able to work as a sub contractor for a major organisation, such as the local council, unless you have public liability insurance in place. This is to protect you as well as to protect members of the public who could be put at risk by your actions.

Most commonly, this is applicable to work carried out in the public space such as gardening or building. However, it can also apply to home visits such as carrying out renovation or cleaning services on behalf of another organisation.

3. Protect your finances

Public liability insurance is very popular with business owners and there are three categories where public liability insurance is essential:

  • Customers visit your business premises , such as your shop, beauty salon, hair dressing salon, tanning salon, pub, bar or restaurant
  • You visit customers in their own homes to undertake services such as cleaning, renovation or repairs.
  • You work in the public space such as a gardener or a builder where passers by may be injured by your activities or your equipment.

An accident or injury does not need to be life threatening or extreme to result in being sued for damages.

Public liability insurance protects your business from the risk of being sued for compensation. Without this in place, even a minor compensation claim could potentially ruin your business.

4. Boost your reputation

Public liability insurance adds an extra layer of trust to your company. It reassures your customers that if things go wrong, there is an insurance policy in place to cover any damages or injury claims.

Many small sole traders fail to consider the legal implications if they carry out work on an individual basis for customers. However, if you tell your customers you are covered for public liability insurance, it demonstrates that you are responsible and trustworthy.

5. Public Liability Insurance protects your employees

Should an accident occur in the workplace, your employees know that they will not be liable for compensation claims, even if the accident is their fault. Accidents can happen and if they do, your employees know they are protected.

Public liability insurance is not the same as employer’s liability insurance which is a legal requirement and protects you from mistakes made in the course of your work. Public liability insurance is there to protect you and your workforce from the risk of having to pay out compensation costs, if someone is injured or damage is caused indirectly by your company’s actions or equipment.

Public liability insurance reassures your employees that should there be an accident while they are going about their work, they will not have to pay for it or face legal action for damages.

6. Public liability insurance is tax deductible

Public liability insurance is not expensive, and this insurance counts as an allowable expense, so is tax deductible.

The amount of cover you need will vary from business to business. If you work alone, self employed public liability insurance is the best choice for your particular business. You can also take out cheap public liability insurance for a limited time, such as if you are planning an event such as a fete or a festival.

7. Protect yourself against compensation claims

Public liability insurance will help you cover the legal costs and compensation should this happen. Without this type of insurance policy you are on your own with a potentially huge legal bill and will have to pay compensation out of your own pocket.

It is important to remember that compared to public liability insurance cost, a compensation claim against you could run into tens of thousands, so it is never worth ignoring public liability insurance in order to save money.

Public liability insurance is affordable and can be tailor made to your specific requirements whether you are looking for self employed public liability insurance or for temporary cover for a one off event.

8. Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, but…

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement but is something you should definitely consider for your own protection if your business involves members of the public or you work in a public space.

If you don’t have public liability insurance in place you could be sued for any damage or injury that occurs as a result of your actions or equipment. Anyone can claim compensation and the costs can run into thousands. For a big company this can be damaging but for a small company it can be catastrophic.

What Happens If You Don’t Have Public Liability Insurance?

Whatever type or size of business you operate, if your line of work brings you in face-to-face contact with your customers or members of the public, you need public liability insurance.

Without public liability insurance in place, the safety of your customers and the public is compromised and the reputation and survival of your business is put at risk too.

Compensation claims are lengthy and expensive so it is important to be covered against random accidents, mistakes and often downright stupidity that can occur in the course of the working day.

Accidents can happen and often do but without having the correct public liability insurance in place, any small incident could potentially ruin your business if the compensation costs have to come out of your own pocket.

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