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Public liability insurance

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Accidents do happen, from time to time. That’s the nature of running a business. Having public liability insurance in place helps set your mind at rest, keeping you covered if a customer or member of the public suffers a loss or injury because of your business.

You can buy public liability insurance as part of your flexible business insurance policy – combining it with other covers such as professional indemnity or employers’ liability insurance, for example – or just get public liability as a stand-alone cover, whatever suits you best.

With Simply Business you can run a quote comparison across a range of leading insurers in the UK, grab your public liability insurance quote and find a policy that fits your own business requirements. It’s quick, easy and specific.

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you if clients or members of the public suffer personal injury or property damage because of your business. It can pay for the costs of subsequent legal expenses or compensation claims and is an integral cover for businesses that interact regularly with customers.

A customer slipping or tripping over is one of the most common accidents in the book and can often result in a public liability insurance claim. Watch our consultant Massimo explain what public liability insurance means and why most businesses need it.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability insurance covers your business against compensation claims and legal costs, if a third party – such as a customer, supplier or member of the public – is injured or their property damaged while on your premises, or while you’re working in their property.

For example, if a roofing company was hired to re-tile a roof but their weather protection failed, resulting in water damage, the client could claim for compensation, to pay for repairs. Public liability insurance would ensure the company can meet the cost of the claim, along with any legal expenses.

Typically, public liability covers:

  • compensation payments for third party injury or even death
  • repair or replacement costs, for damaged property or possessions
  • medical fees, if the NHS decide to claim for hospital treatment, or an ambulance call out
  • legal expenses, while you’re defending any of these claims

Do I need public liability insurance?

You may need public liability insurance if your business comes into contact with members of the public. It covers compensation costs and legal fees if you’re sued for injury or property damage, whether the incident happens at your business premises or as a result of your business activity elsewhere.

Is public liability insurance required by law?

Although public liability insurance is not compulsory under UK law, it may be required by your client contracts. Also bear in mind that some companies are obliged by their regulator or membership body to take out a certain level of business insurance.

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