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Product liability insurance

We won't be beaten on price. We'll beat your new product liability insurance quote or renewal premium from any other insurer.

New policies only. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Excludes policies with home emergency cover added. Qualifying criteria apply. Terms & Conditions.

  • Product liability cover of up to £10 million, subject to criteria.
  • Covers you if you sell your products online.
  • Annual cover - it doesn't matter when you sold a product. If a claim is made against you for injury/damage while your cover is active, we can help you.
  • Access to our specialist insurance advisors, 7 days a week online and Monday to Saturday over the phone.
  • We're flexible - if your business grows or you start selling in new venues, we won't charge you admin fees to change your policy.

What is product liability insurance?

Product liability cover is essential if you manufacture and/or sell goods. If a product you sell injures someone, or damages their property, you could be liable, even if you didn't make the product yourself.

Examples of when someone could make a claim against you:

  • You run a cake-making business and a customer chokes on a piece of plastic accidentally baked into one of your cupcakes.
  • You buy pin badges from a third party and sell them on. The badges turn out to be faulty, causing injury or damage.

In these cases, product liability insurance would cover your legal fees as well as any compensation you're required to pay. Most small businesses can't afford to take on the cost of unexpected fees, so holding product liability insurance is a really important aspect of protecting the company you have built.

Product liability insurance explained

Do I need product liability insurance?

As a seller, supplier or manufacturer you're not legally required to hold product liability insurance, but you do have a duty of care towards your customers. The Consumer Protection Act requires you to make sure that the goods you supply are safe. If your product causes injury or damage to a customer or their property, you could end up facing legal action.

The burden of responsibility to make sure that a product is safe usually falls on the manufacturer, but each case is different and would be assessed individually. If you do face legal action, you may have to make a product liability claim to gain assistance and help cover your costs and pay compensation.

If you want to get a product liability insurance quote with us, simply answer a few questions about the kind of work you do.

What does product liability insurance cover?

Manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers could all be liable if a product or a component part causes injury or damage.

That's why it's important to have product liability cover in place even if you view your business as a side project or hobby - for example, if you make and sell your own jewellery on Etsy. Although your business may not provide your main source of income, you will still have many of the same responsibilities as a larger company.

Here are some instances in which you could be liable:

  • Your company's name is on the product

    This applies to branded goods that you give away for promotional purposes, like pens and stickers, as well as goods for purchase.

  • Your business has repaired or changed the product

    If you restore a customer's product - like a bike or watch, for example - and end up causing further damage to that product.

  • You import products from outside the EU

    Companies from outside the EU may not fall under consumer legislation. The liability for any injury or damage caused by the product would then fall on you, the retailer.

  • The manufacturer is unknown

    This could apply to you if you buy your products from third party suppliers or you sell second-hand products. If the manufacturer cannot be identified, the burden of liability is yours.

  • The manufacturer has gone out of business

    If the company that made your product is no longer trading, compensation will be sought from you, the seller, for any damage or injury the product causes. This is because it's unlikely you'll be able to recover the costs from the original manufacturer.

How much does product liability insurance cost for a small business?

The cost of product liability insurance will depend on the size and type of business you run. If you want to find out the price of adding product liability to your Direct Line for Business insurance policy, just get a quote. All you have to do is answer a few questions about the work you do and we'll give you a rundown of the cover we can offer.

Our product liability cover is included alongside public liability insurance, which covers the compensation costs and legal fees you're required to pay if a member of the public is harmed, or their property is damaged, because of your business activities. Find out more about public liability insurance.

Does Direct Line offer one-day product liability insurance for an event?

At Direct Line we don't offer one-day or short-term product liability cover. Arranging a one-day policy would only cover you for the day that you sell the product. So, if a customer injured themselves, or their property was damaged, on any day after the date specified on the policy, you would not be covered.

For example, if you held one-day cover and a customer bought a handmade dress from you, they might wear the dress for the first time two weeks after purchase. If they were then injured by a pin left in the dress, you would not be covered for any resulting legal action.

We offer annual product liability cover. So, if someone makes a claim against you because of any products or goods you have sold them in the days, weeks, or months after you take out your policy, you're covered providing your policy is still in force with us.

Frequently asked questions

There's no legal requirement for a seller, supplier or manufacturer to take out product liability insurance, but that doesn't mean it should be ignored.

If your product causes injury or damage to a customer or their property, you could end up facing legal action.

Product liability cover could help cover legal costs and any compensation you would be liable to pay.

The product's manufacturer is usually held responsible for ensuring its safety, but there are scenarios in which the seller or supplier could be held accountable, such as:

  • The product manufacturer is unknown or has gone out of business.
  • The product was manufactured outside of the UK.
  • You've modified or repaired a product.
  • Your name or business name is on the product.

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