Public liability insurance, what is it and who needs it?

public liability insurance

What is public liability insurance and who needs it?

Disasters don’t just happen to other people. Well they do, but they can most definitely, happen to you as well, so it’s important you plan ahead should disaster strike. This is why it is important for businesses to learn about the need for public liability insurance.

Public Liability Insurance is not required by law, however, if any injuries were to occur while a member of the public was on your premises then it would be a good idea to have cover. At some stage, any business could be hit with a compensation claim, and if you are prepared as a business owner it could potentially destroy your business or at the very least have a significant impact on the financial health and progression of your business.

Depending on what business you are in, some organisations may require staff members to have public liability insurance before offering any sort of contract or even allowing you to operate on the premises.

As an example, if you have a stand at a market, or attend a fair to sell your wares, the organisers may demand you have public liability insurance before they will allow you to attend, this is to ensure the business is covered regardless of what happens. A public liability insurance policy will cover you for any damages claimed this includes legal representation.

How much public liability insurance do I need?

There is no set level of cover that you need as it is completely dependant on the type of word your business does and also whom you work for. Obviously the bigger the job the bigger the risk and in turn the more cover you will need. Some places such as Governments or councils could have minimum levels of cover that they will insist you are insured for.

Therefore it is important to check how much clients need you to have as part of your contract with them.

How is it calculated?

There are a number of factors that influence your public liability insurance premiums, including:

  • The size of your business, including the number of employees
  • The level of cover that you need
  • The level of your involvement with the public
  • The level of risk associated with your business’s line of work.

If your business involves almost any connection with the public – and most businesses do – you might one day find yourself liable for injury or damage caused as a result of your business activities. The ensuing legal proceedings might run into the thousands or hundreds of thousands – and without public liability insurance, you may be forced to bear substantial costs in compensation.

Public Liability Insurance Tips

To reduce the cost of Public Liability Insurance premiums you may wish to
consider the following:

  • Ensure that staff or volunteers are properly trained or qualified
  • Ensure that you have the right equipment to undertake activities
  • Keep and maintain a risk register – look to minimise risks where possible
  • Ensure that you hold the appropriate licenses for your activities
  • Keep and maintain a list of all the assets owned by the organisation
  • Ensure that your provider is aware of the activities that you undertake
  • Compare the cost of annual and single event cover if you are hosting an event
  • The provision of alcohol and food may increase insurance premiums

For expert advice on Public Liability Insurance call one of our offices on 028 9560 9410 or 028 9521 9351