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Public liability

Public liability insurance covers the legal and compensation costs you are required to pay if a customer or member of the public makes a claim against your business.

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on
0345 301 4827.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance covers the compensation payments and legal fees you are liable to pay in the event that someone makes a claim against your business.

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on 0345 301 4827.

Even if your business is not at fault, the costs of defending yourself in court can still be high; many small businesses may struggle to recover financially if they don’t have insurance in place.

It’s not a legal requirement to take out public liability insurance but many business owners and professionals see it as an essential business expense.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability covers you if:

  • a customer or member of the public becomes ill, or is injured, because of your business
  • property belonging to a customer or member of the public is damaged because of your business

Anyone can make a claim against your business if they believe that you, your employees, or your business activities have caused them harm or damaged their property.

Examples of the types of claims public liability insurance would cover include:

  • a postman slipping down your office steps and breaking his leg
  • a passer-by tripping over your laptop cable and hurting themselves
  • a member of the public suffering an injury due to debris falling from your scaffolding
  • an employee knocking over your client’s expensive sculpture, whilst visiting their property

How much is public liability insurance?

We take several factors into account when calculating your premium. These include but are not limited to:

  • the industry you work in
  • the size of your business
  • where you work
  • any previous claims

Our insurance specialists develop and price our policies based on a detailed understanding of each sector and the risks that come with your line of work.

It’s easy to add public liability to your insurance policy, along with the other covers your business needs.

We include product liability within our public liability cover, so if you make and/or sell items, you’ll be covered if one of your products causes injury or damage to a member of the public or their property.

If you want to get a public liability insurance quote, just use our online quote tool, answer a few questions about your business and we’ll give you a full breakdown of what we can offer you.

Do I need public liability insurance?

Public liability is the most relevant insurance cover for anyone who deals face to face with customers or clients.

You may not think your business needs the protection of public liability insurance but even the most mundane meeting in a coffee shop holds liability risks. If you’re a freelance journalist, for example, and you knock your hot chocolate over your interviewee’s laptop, you could be liable for the cost of their computer.

If you’re self employed, public liability insurance is important as you’re solely responsible for all of your business expenses. So, just one unforeseen court case could leave you in a vulnerable financial position. Even if you work from home you may need cover if customers or clients visit your home office.

In some cases, you may find that you are asked to show proof of public liability insurance before you are permitted to trade. For example, if you are selling products at a craft fair, you may be asked to show your policy documents to the event organisers before you are allowed to set up a stall. Meanwhile, some customers will ask tradespeople to show proof of public liability insurance before letting you work in their homes. Taking out public liability isn’t just sensible, it can actively help you get new work.

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on 0345 301 4827.

At Direct Line for Business, you can instantly download your online insurance documents from the moment you take out cover.

What is proof of public liability insurance?

You may sometimes be asked to provide a public liability insurance certificate. This is to assure your client that you have a suitable level of cover for the work you are being asked to do. As soon as you take out insurance with us, you will be able to download your policy instantly. This means you can provide proof of your cover immediately.

You may also need to provide the schedule of insurance to prove that you're covered for public liability. This is sent out to you when you purchase your insurance policy.

Does Direct Line for Business offer public liability insurance?

Yes. You can add public liability to your business insurance policy, along with the other types of cover you might need.

Our public liability insurance comes with product liability cover. This means you’re covered if something you make or sell causes injury, or damage, to a customer or their property. For instance, if you own a cake-making business and a customer is injured by a piece of plastic in their cupcake, product liability would cover you.

Our public liability cover is flexible. You can choose to take out cover from £1 million to £10 million depending on your budget and the needs of your business.

How can we help?

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on 0345 301 4827.

Visit our contact us page to view our opening hours.