Public liability insurance covers you for the cost of a claim made by a member of the public that has suffered injury or property damage as a result of your business or a product it has supplied. This means that it protects you against the cost of compensation to be paid out, as well as the legal expenses incurred by the claims process.
This could mean anything from a client or member of the public slipping on a wet floor on your business premises, to tripping over your work equipment when you’re visiting them at theirs. It also covers you for damage to property. For example, if a member of the public were to claim you’d broken their laptop whilst visiting them on business, you’d be covered for the cost of compensation owed to them, up to the limit of your policy.
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.
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, pubic 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.
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.
We want you to understand the public liability cover we offer.
Download public liability insurance summary of cover (PDF)
Download public liability insurance policy wording (PDF)