An Introduction To Public Liability Cover & How It Affects Small Business, Sole Traders, Employers and Events In The United Kingdom
There are numerous elements involved with running any business and so much to think about on a daily basis. If you, as a business owner, have previously been in direct employment for another company, you will continually experience new learning curves as the Proprietor of your own company.
Things that you might have taken as read, or never even thought about during your previous employment, might now present real issues that need tackling head on. If you have run your own business for some time, you will by now have mastered many of the skills required to work for yourself. Whatever your circumstances are, it remains wise for you not to overlook insurance.
No business can predict when accidents and damages might occur for which blame might be apportioned to them. Likewise, there are no crystal balls available for businesses to look in to the future and foresee accidents and damages that they might personally have the misfortune to experience.
In either set of circumstances, you can probably see the sense in being safe rather than sorry. Should claims arise against you, or should you ever need to make a claim, public liability protection offers you peace of mind that you are covered in a vast array of eventualities.
So, whilst it is not necessarily a compulsory part of running your business, it offers a common sense financial and reputational safety net. If you are in doubt about the necessity of liability insurance to your business, this site features a range of articles and guides designed to assist you to make an informed decision.
What is Public Liability Cover?
Public liability is a business insurance policy offering companies of any sectors and sizes cover against injury or damages claims. Such claims can arise if your customers or members of the public come to your premises to do business with you. If they should suffer personal injuries or damages to their property whilst on your premises, you might well find yourself faced with a claim against you.
When referring to your premises, this also includes self employed people who work from home. If you fall in to this category, your home constitutes your workplace in the same way as an external office would.
Public liability cover also covers reverse situations, when you are working at the premises or sites of your customers. If your lack of due diligence causes injury to any of their personnel or customers, or damage to their property, they are likewise entitled to bring a claim against you.
Do I Need Public Liability Coverage?
The necessity and legal obligations for businesses to have a public liability policy can differ dependant upon your individual circumstances and the sector in which you operate.
If you are self employed, providing products or services to either other businesses or the public, you are not obliged by law to have the insurance. You are, however, advised to give the matter serious consideration, as your business would be liable to cover the full costs of any claims successfully brought against you. In the cases of many self employed people, the business is often you personally.
As an employer, you are required by law to have employers liability insurance, which covers you in cases of your staff suffering injuries in the workplace or as a direct result of work resulted duties. This does not, however, extend its cover to members of the public, for which public liability is additionally recommended.
Most types of events insurance policies available include public liability cover. If you are an event organiser, you have a plethora of things that could go wrong to take in to consideration, such as cancellation, equipment, inclement weather, travel, technical issues – but to name a few and in addition to the generally understood cover provided by a public liability policy.
For tradesmen, the stakes are also potentially higher than in other sectors. Due to the physical nature of the work, coupled with the use of potentially dangerous equipment, accidents frequently occur in this sector. If you own a business carrying out work related to building, electrics, plastering, plumbing or roofing, you are strongly recommended to take out a public liability policy.
It exists to protect you against potential claims made by your customers, members of the public, staff and sub-contractors. Many customers also require proof of certification when awarding work, making public liability a matter of commercial savvy besides purely insurance cover.
How Much Does This Type Of Public Insurance Cost?
The cost of the insurance policies differ dependant upon the nature of your business and the risk factors apportioned to your line of work. A variety of different polices are offered by insurance providers, who will assess your Limit of Indemnity. This term relates to the amount of insurance cover your business is likely to need and that would be covered on your behalf by your policy in cases of claims being brought against you.
As with many types of car insurance, % no claims discounts can be applied to policies. These discounts recognise businesses that manage potential risks well and adhere to health and safety regulations, resulting in a lack of claims.
What Does The Insurance Cover?
Public liability protection covers injuries and damages claims brought against your business, either at your own workplace, at a customer’s workplace or elsewhere when you are carrying out your business. Protection against these claims is at the very heart of this type of insurance.
It also covers other mishaps that you might encounter, such as damage to or loss of equipment that you own or have hired from third party suppliers. Equally, it covers damages to or loss of goods in transit.
Putting a financial value on the cover provided by this form of insurance, average policies are based on Limits of Indemnity up to £1million, £2million and £5million. Employers liability, however, which you are legally obliged to have if you employ staff, covers up to £10million.
For instant gratification, policy quotes are available from a variety of providers online. If you would prefer to discuss your requirements on a face to face basis, you can speak to a local Insurance Broker in your area. Brokers have extensive knowledge and experience of a variety of different Insurers and their policies, thus enabling them to offer you bespoke advice.
Or you might decide to cut out a middle man and purchase your policy directly from an insurance company of your choice. If opting for the latter, it is worth checking that your chosen provider is a member of the Association of British Insurers, which guarantees their authenticity.
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