What does public liability insurance cover?

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Public liability insurance is designed to protect your business from claims made by a client, contractor, or a member of the public for accidental injury or damage to their property. This could arise from an incident on your business premises or as a direct result of your business operations.

Examples of claims are a customer slipping on a wet floor on your premises, without proper warning signs in place; or water damage to a client’s laptop caused by a spilt drink during a meeting. For real-life examples of public liability claims from Hiscox customers, check out our claims stories section.

In the case your business is found responsible, this insurance will cover the associated costs, including compensation pay outs and legal fees such as the cost of defending yourself in court. Without the appropriate cover in place, legal costs associated with a serious claim can be financially crippling for a small business.

While public liability insurance covers negligence, protecting businesses from the cost of claims for injury or damage due to your alleged misconduct, it does not cover personal injury to the business owner. Personal accident insurance, on the other hand, can protect the business financially if you or a key member of staff were to suffer an injury that leaves you unable to work.

Does public liability insurance cover theft?

Public liability insurance is able to help if someone claims that your business is liable for an injury, or the damage or loss of their property. This includes theft. If property is stolen due to a lack of care by you, then the claimant may be able to sue for their loss.

Public liability does not, however, cover loss of your own personal or business property. This can be protected by office insurance.

Related guides & FAQs

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