What is Public Liability Insurance? What is Public Liability Insurance?

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance provides cover against claims made by members of the public who have suffered injury or damage to property in connection with the business. Read more about it

Public liability insurance covers you for any compensation claims from customers or members of the public that have come about due to the actions of your business. With Direct Line for Business Public Liability Insurance you can get different levels of cover to suit the nature of your business.

Read on to find out more.

Public liability definition explained

Public liability insurance is there in case you find yourself on the end of a compensation claim.

If someone is injured or their property is damaged and you are found legally liable for that, it’s public liability that provides the cover your business needs to resolve a claim.

It’s not a legal requirement to take out public liability insurance but it really should be seen as an essential business expense.

Even if you work from home you may need it if customers or clients visit you there.

What does it cover?

You will probably be aware of the kind of risks your business involves but we all know that accidents can happen to anyone.

A Direct Line for Business Public Liability policy insures you for a range of unforeseen circumstances, this could be serious accidents with tools or equipment or something as simple as spilling coffee onto a client's laptop.

Our standard level of cover is up to £1million. But at Direct Line for Business we understand that every business is different, which is why our Public Liability allows you to increase the cover to up to £10 million for an additional premium.

You can also choose to include elements like employer's liability insurance and cover for subcontractors, tools and equipment.

Who needs it?

Every business could face a compensation claim. As such, every business needs public liability cover.

Even if the business that you run is small, or you're a sole trader working from home, assuming that you can do without public liability could have a significant impact on the financial health of your business.

For example, if a client visits you and they trip on a loose carpet, you could face a claim that could costs thousands if you're uninsured. Without public liability insurance, the cost to cover this claim would come directly from your business. So it's important to make sure that you're covered.

Why do I need public liability cover for my business?

When accidents happen you want to put right what’s gone wrong as quickly as possible. That’s why you need public liability cover.

It means you can concentrate on keeping your business going without the extra worry of a compensation claim or legal fees.

At Direct Line for Business, we have a 24hour legal helpline to ensure you get the right advice at the time you need it.

It's also worth noting that, for some businesses - if you work in the public sector for example,  you will often be required to take out a minimum of £5 million worth of cover to be considered for a contract.

How much does public liability insurance cost?

There’s no standard price for public liability insurance. The amount you pay will depend on many factors such as the nature of your business, your claims history and the level of cover you need.

What is proof of public liability?

If your business involves contract work you will sometimes be asked to provide proof of public liability cover. This is to assure your client that you have a suitable level of cover for the nature of the work you are being asked to do. 

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

How do I get public liability cover?

Direct Line offers you flexible public liability cover to suit your business needs. If you're a sole trader or a small business we can also provide you with the right public liability insurance for your business.

You can apply for Direct Line for Business insurance quickly and easily online. When you apply for a quote you will be asked a few questions about you and your business and a premium will then be worked out from this information.

For public liability insurance quotes, we may consider the type of business you have,  the number of employees you have (if any), what kind of liability claims you have had and your health and safety record.

It's quick and easy to get public liability insurance with Direct Line for Business - apply online for a business insurance quote today to ensure your business is adequately protected against claims from the public.

What businesses does Direct Line for Business cover?

Direct Line for Business currently offers public liability insurance as standard cover under eight of our business insurance products. Some of our products include products liability or property owners liability, as per the list below:

Most of our policies provide £2m of cover as standard except Tradesman Insurance provides £1m of cover. This limit can even be increased to £10m for an additional premium.

What is products liability?

This cover protects you against injury to your customers and damage to their property as a result of a product you sell or supply.

People injured by defective products may have the right to sue for damages. An example of a situation where a products claim might arise is if you run a restaurant and accidentally cause food poisoning by using out of date ingredients, you could be found responsible and have to compensate your customer.

What is property owners liability?

This covers you against injury or damage suffered by third parties whilst visiting the property you own. An example of an incident where a Property Owners claim might arise is where a postman trips on a broken step whilst at your property.

For more information on our public, products or property owners liability cover or on the terms and conditions of Direct Line's insurance, please see the online policy document for each type of cover.

Gary Holmes Tradesmen
Gary Holmes

Gary Holmes
Last Updated: 09 Oct 2019