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Product liability

You need product liability insurance if you manufacture or sell products. If a product you supply causes injury to a member of the public, or damages their property, they may make a claim against you.

  • We guarantee to beat your new business quote or renewal premium from any other insurer.

    Excludes van. Cover on an equivalent basis to ours. Qualifying criteria apply. Terms & Conditions.

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.

Someone could make a claim against you if:

  • you run a cake-making business and a customer chokes on a piece of plastic accidentally embedded in one of your cupcakes
  • you buy pin badges from a third party, sell them on and they 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 are 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.

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or call us on 0345 605 9168

Do I need product liability insurance?

You’re not legally required to hold product liability insurance, but as a seller, supplier or manufacturer, 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 provide assistance and help cover your costs and pay compensation.

If you want to get a product liability insurance quote with us, just use our online quote finder and 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 is unlikely you will be able to recover the costs from the original manufacturer.

Get a quote
or call us on 0345 605 9168

How much is product liability insurance 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 public and 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.

I want one day product liability insurance for an event - will you cover me?

At Direct Line for Business, we don’t offer one day or short term product liability cover. Product liability covers you for claims occurring within the specific period of insurance. 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 product liability cover on an annual basis. So, as long as your cover continues with us, and you don’t let your cover lapse at any point, you can make a claim during this period regardless of how long ago you sold the product in question.

Does Direct Line for Business offer product liability insurance?

You can add public and product liability to your insurance policy along with any other cover that’s appropriate for your business.

We offer public and product liability together, so you’re also covered if a member of the public is injured or becomes ill because of your business activities. For example, if someone trips on your clothes rail as you set up for a craft fair, or if an employee spills scalding coffee on someone’s lap.

Here are some of the key features of our product liability cover:

  • We offer cover of up to £10 million, depending on the type of business you run
  • We can cover 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 occurring while your cover is active, we can help you
  • You have access to our specialist insurance advisors, 7 days a week, either online or over the phone. See our opening hours here
  • 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

How can we help?

Get a business insurance quote by searching for your profession above or calling us on 0345 605 9168.

Visit our contact us page to view our opening hours.