Public liability insurance

Compare public liability insurance quotes and get the right cover for your business

What's public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a type of business insurance. It can help cover the cost of paying compensation if a member of the public claims against your business for:

  • Personal injury
  • Damage to their property in your workplace
  • Injury or damage caused during the day-to-day running of your business

You’re covered whether you’re at your premises or working off-site.

Public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement (unlike employer’s liability insurance), but many business consider it an essential.

Other businesses or clients you work with might also ask that you have it.

public liability insurance

What's covered

  • Repairs – including the cost of labour and materials
  • Medical fees – including the cost of calling out an ambulance, treatment and a stay in hospital for the claimant
  • Personal compensation – including loss of earnings and future loss of earnings
  • Legal costs – including the cost of defending you against a claim and the claimants' legal costs if you're found to be at fault

What’s not

  • Accidents that happen to you or damage to your own property – protection for yourself or your premises is usually covered under a general business insurance policy instead
  • Accidents that affect your employees or their possessions – if you employ anyone, you're legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. It's there to cover anything that might happen to your employees

How much does public liability cover cost?

The cost of a public liability policy depends on the size and type of your business, and how risky the work is.

The type of business you run, and how much risk you pose to the general public make a difference. You’ll usually pay more if you have a manual-labour business, rather than a clerical one, or if you’ve made any previous claims.

Other considerations when you purchase public liability insurance

As with most types of insurance, if you claim on your public liability insurance policy you’ll need to pay an excess. 

You can select your excess when you compare quotes. The higher your excess, the lower your premiums might be. But you do need to be able to pay the excess you've chosen if you do need to make a claim.

You also need to know that your public liability insurance will only pay out if you’re found to be legally responsible for paying compensation and claim costs.

How much public liability cover will I need?

It depends on the risks involved with your business. If it’s high risk, or you’re involved with government contracts, you might want to look towards the higher-end – around £10 million.

Minimum cover levels start at around £2 million, which is more suitable for smaller businesses with less contact with the public.

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