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Does my business really need public liability insurance?

No matter how prudent you may be in the running of your business you can never plan for everything.

However astute you are in protecting your customers and everyone else you may come across in the date-to-day running your business, the reality is that no business is infallible to all potential claims.

  • Forgotten tools as a result of rushing to another job?
  • Electrical cables left unattended for a minute too long while children play nearby?
  • Spilling your much-needed drink over your customer’s computer?
  • A customer that slips on a wet shop floor?

The list of potential claims – including some you might think improbable – is endless.

In the building trade having public liability protection for the business and employers liability for me is really important. Customers these days also look out for it in my experience. made finding a policy easy as cake. Rather than just getting a quote from one insurer at a time like I used to, they’re comparison page showed me all the quotes at once from a load of insurers!

All very easy and straightforward which suits me down to the ground!


Builder, Essex

Working with clients on a daily basis, having public liability protection in place just gives me and the client that added bit of piece and mind. Being a sole trader and often having client meetings “off site” and even in some cases working on clients laptops and pc’s, there’s always the worry that something could happen and I’d be liable!

I took out a policy to cover me for 2017 and into 2018 from the guys at Public Liability Experts, it was the easiest way really. I hate those big long winded forms you sometimes have to fill in online, but theirs was just the standard contact info and some specifics on your occupation and needs then voila! A big choice of insurers all with prices pops up. Fab!


Accountant, Hull.

What is Public Liability Insurance?


In a nutshell, public liability insurance will provide a safety net, so if anything goes wrong and someone claims against you or your business you do not have to worry about unnecessary legal expenses and the compensation sought from you.

People have become more risk-aware and jump at the opportunity to get compensated. Unfortunately, we live in society where compensation has become routine. TV and radio advertising have no doubt encouraged and proliferated a compensation culture.

You can barely watch a commercial TV channel without being bombarded by adverts from law firms or friendly-sounding ‘helpline’ services promising to seek compensation for injury or loss, without any cost to the individual.

How much does Public Liability Insurance cost?


The cost of public liability insurance depends on a number of factors, mainly being what industry or profession you work in and how much coverage you need exactly.

The best way to know for sure is to invest a few minutes and get a quote.

At least see what the cost is before you dismiss it altogether as unnecessary; it might be less expensive that you think.

If you think of it as a necessary and valuable business expense to protect against risk then budgeting immediately becomes easier.

Try and weigh the hassle and disruption of dealing with a compensation claim from a customer, member of the public or supplier on your own compared to when you know you have protection and can call your insurer to deal with the event.

Of course, even with insurance we can’t pretend that you can wash your hands completely of the issue – your input is needed as any insurer will need to your help to find out what happened, to gather the supporting documentation.

Importantly, this overhead is next to nothing compared to the stress of dealing with such a claim solely and unsupported.

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Main Reasons Why Public Liability Is A Must For A Small Business

Let’s face it, times are tough at the moment and running a small business is not easy. When revenues are under pressure, making a profit means keeping costs down by cutting all unnecessary expenses out of the business.

This, together with finding cheaper suppliers, ways of delivering products and services while cutting transport and postage costs, is no mean task! On the face of it, another easy way to keep costs down is to avoid paying for any non-essential insurance for the business – cover that’s not required under the law, such as public liability insurance.

The law obliges you to take out employers’ liability insurance that will cover you against injuries, damages and illnesses to your employees as direct result of them working for you. So, you are duty-bound to be covered as an employer.

However, your customers, suppliers, public at large are not protected by this policy, leaving you exposed to the risk of any injury, damage or illness caused to them by you and your business. So why should a small business – especially in times like these – still spend money on public liability insurance?

What are the most important reasons to consider, weighing up the benefits of having the cover against the consequences of not having it?

Having public liability can help you win work, and secure it over the long term

Most local government work is now put to tender and it has almost become a prerequisite for bidders to have public liability insurance just to be part of the tender process.

Just imagine the newspaper headlines if a local government appointed a business contractor that did not have the necessary insurance to cover its liability to anything that happened to the public at large!

Work brings work

Winning work through the tender process above or otherwise as a result of a good risk-averse reputation brings work. This is not a cliché; to many small businesses out there this is a fact of life.

Build a good reputation for professionalism and customer care and your business is more likely to attract work. Even in a world of consumerism and compensation awareness, good old fashioned customer care and a solid reputation are still worth something.

Lets you concentrate on what your business is good at

The peace of mind of being covered for unforeseen risks to customers, suppliers and the general public – often for a relatively low outlay – enables businesses to concentrate on their ‘core competences’.

Knowing that you are protected from potentially-crippling exposure to these risks lets you focus on running your business more profitably, both in good times and bad.

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