What is personal liability insurance?

Personal liability insurance protects you and your family in the event that you are held responsible for bodily injury or property damage to a third party. Personal liability covers the legal costs or damages that you are required to pay in compensation as a result.

The type of liability insurance you need depends on many factors, from your employment status, to your industry, to the country you live in.

In the UK, for instance, it is relatively unusual to take out personal liability insurance as an independent cover, however, it is included within many insurance packages. And with so many different types of liability insurance on offer, it can be tough to understand what you need to protect yourself.


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What does personal liability insurance cover?

Personal liability insurance would cover you if you were personally accused of putting someone’s health or property at risk through misfortune/neglect. For example:

A friend enters your home and slips on a wet floor, injuring their back. They claim that you are responsible because you neglected to make sure the area was safe.

Your children are playing in the garden, and they accidentally break a neighbour’s window with a ball. The neighbour claims you are responsible because you neglected to control your children.

While on holiday abroad, you drop a lit cigarette, causing a fire that damages a business premises. The business sues you for the damages and expects compensation for its lost earnings because it had to close temporarily.

If you’re now asking yourself, ‘do I need personal liability insurance?’, it’s important to note that in many situations you may already be covered by another insurance package.

In your personal life, it’s unlikely that your day-to-day activities will be particularly high-risk. During working hours, however, you may spend more time interacting with the public, increasing the opportunity for accidents – for which you could be held liable – to happen.


Do I need personal liability insurance at work?

While carrying out your duties at work, your business’s insurance policy should cover you for any accidents that may occur.

If you are an employee, your employer should have public liability insurance, which will cover any damage sustained by a third-party through an accident caused by a member of their organisation while at work.

If you are self-employed, self-employed public liability insurance is necessary to cover you personally in the same circumstances.


What insurance packages already cover me against third-party claims?

Other insurance packages that often provide personal liability insurance include:

Be sure to check your insurance policies to make sure that personal liability insurance is included as a feature.


Who needs personal liability insurance?

In the UK, court cases for personal liability claims are rare, and so it’s not a popular type of liability insurance. It’s much more important to have personal liability cover in the US, where it is more likely that you will have a claim made against you personally.

If you’re concerned about the level of cover your insurance packages offer you, get in contact with one of our expert brokers.  Or you can find out more about our range of commercial insurance policies, online today.

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Our FAQ pages provide general information and background around the topic covered. FAQ pages are reviewed and monitored periodically by our insurance experts. But the content is not intended to be read as advice and any material is for general information purposes only. If you would like advice for any content, please seek professional assistance.