Understanding public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is available to businesses and self-employed professionals to protect against the cost of compensation claims. It is not a legal requirement, but if you feel your business needs public liability insurance, make sure you get the right level of cover.

Public liability Insurance covers the cost of claims should your business activities result in the injury of a client, contractor or member of the public.

To help protect you, Hiscox can provide small businesses with public liability insurance as a standalone policy or it can be purchased together with our range of business products including Hiscox Employers’ Liability Insurance.

We also offer tailored liability policies to professionals working for themselves, visit our self-employed liability insurance page to find out more.

Call on 0800 2800 351 Mon - Fri, 8am to 7pm, Sat, 9am to 2pm excluding bank holidays.

Get a public liability insurance quote online

  • 0% interest on Direct Debits
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

Who needs public liability insurance?

Most businesses could be exposed to public liability risks and very few would be immune to a claim for compensation being brought against their business. Don’t forget, even unfounded claims can be costly to deal with. 

  • Business owners: Even though we all strive to work with utmost precision, accidents do happen. And if they do, a member of the public (including customers and clients) can make a claim for compensation. So if you’re a business owner, it’s worth considering a public liability policy, which can offer you the peace of mind that you’re protected should something unexpected happen.
  • Self-employed: If you’re self-employed, public liability insurance can also offer essential financial protection against claims made by your customers or any member of the public. For example, if you’re a freelance photographer and a client were to claim that you had dropped your camera on their car, damaging the paintwork, public liability insurance could cover the compensation owed to them by you.

Why is it a good idea to make sure I’m covered?

  • Even if you don’t have visitors to your office or home, you could still suffer a public liability claim against your business; for example, if you accidentally damage a client’s property in their office
  • Easy access to ‘no win no fee’ legal services which help individuals claim compensation may increase the likelihood of a business experiencing a public liability claim
  • Anyone working for you could trigger a public liability claim against your business if their actions at work injure a client or member of the public
  • If a product you supply causes harm or loss, your business could face a claim for compensation
  • Many companies and organisations will also insist on their suppliers having public liability insurance cover in place.
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How much is public liability insurance?

Due to the diverse nature of business, there’s no set answer to the question, ‘How much does public liability insurance cost per year?’, but getting a quote can be quick and easy, and will give you a price that is tailored specifically to you and your business. Contributing factors to the amount you pay for your policy will include the level of cover you choose and the kind of activities your company undertakes.

What cover does it provide?

  • Up to £10 million of cover – gain peace of mind that your business is covered for compensation payable and the costs of defending a claim up to the level of cover you select.
  • Bodily and mental injury and property damage – your business is comprehensively protected against accidents involving clients or members of the public.
  • Criminal defence costs up to £100,000 – get cover for your legal fees if your business finds itself the subject of a criminal claim for breach of a regulation or statute.

Employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement for most businesses with employees and can be bought as a package with our public liability insurance.

Your policy

We want you to understand the public liability cover we offer.

Get a quote for your business in minutes

  • 0% interest on Direct Debits
  • Immediate coverage and documentation
  • No admin fees if you amend your policy

Need more help? Speak to our UK-based experts. Call us on 0800 2800 351

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Public liability insurance cover information

Further information on what your policy covers.

Hiscox Public Liability Insurance is designed to protect your business against the cost of settling or defending a claim for bodily injury or property damage from a member of the public or a client.

Our public liability insurance cover protects you against risks such as:

Risk Example
Injury to the public A client trips over a computer cable whilst attending a meeting at your office and is injured.
Property damage An employee knocks a cup of coffee over a client’s laptop and it has to be replaced.
Legal costs Fees and expenses up to £100,000 for defending yourself against a prosecution for breach of a regulation or statute.

Find the right level of cover for your business

When working out the right level of cover for your business, you should consider:

  • the main risks you face
  • how much the most serious claim you might face could cost (not forgetting legal fees)
  • whether you have any contracts which stipulate that you need to have a certain level of cover in place.

Is this product right for you?

  • Clients, customers or members of the public come to your workplace or premises
  • You or your employees visit clients or customers at their premises
  • You sell a product a customer may claim caused them harm or loss
  • You supply to companies or organisations (many will require you to have this insurance in place).

Existing customer

If you already have a policy with us and need to get in touch, our business insurance specialists are here to help.

Make a claim

When things go wrong, we’re the experts in putting it right. Need to make a claim?

Our claims promise 

Our UK-based claims handlers are here to act swiftly and in your best interests. Find out more about our superior claims service.