Public Liability Insurance for UK Businesses

Public liability insurance will be suitable for you if you run your own business and it is likely that you will come into contact with members of the public.

Contracting trades such as plumbers, carpet fitters, builders, and others; retailers or service providers such as fitness instructors or beauticians should consider public liability insurance against claims of negligence or accidental damage caused by them or their employees.

Cover My Business can provide an individual insurance quote for over a 100 different trades and services that will suit you and your budget providing the right cover requirements.

You also have the option to extend your public liability policy to cover any potential liability to your employees.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Please note: If you have employees, you are required to have Employers
Liability in addition to Public Liability.
Employers are required by law to insure against liability arising from injury or disease caused to their employees as a result of their employment.
Employers are legally responsible for the health and safety of their employees. If an employee is involved in an accident at work, whether on or off the premises, they may seek damages against their employer and as such the employer is required to have sufficient Employers’ Liability insurance cover to pay out any compensation that may be due.
Employers’ liability insurance can be arranged very easily. Premiums may be based on the number of employees; and the nature, type of work.
As an employer you will need to be certain you have adequate cover. We can give you advice and guidance on this.
Employers’ liability cover, where required, is available as an extension to your Public Liability Insurance cover. We regret we cannot offer it as a stand-alone insurance.

Please contact us for further information on 03450 940 505

Public Liability insurance covers your legal liability to pay damages to members of the public (but not to your employees) in the event of accidental property damage, death or bodily injury arising through your business activities.

Some employers, such as Local Authorities, may insist that you have a certain level of cover before allowing you to carry out any work for them. If you do not they may not let you on site. If no limit is specified, you may choose your own level. In doing this, consider carefully the maximum claim that might be made against you.

We would normally suggest £1m to be an absolute minimum. We can also offer increased levels of £2m or £5m for most trades. Requests for levels above £5m are individually assessed.

Generally speaking, no however, sometimes you might not be allowed on site or may have payment withheld unless adequate cover is in force. In any case, it is prudent business sense to make sure you are properly covered.

There are two types of exclusions.

  1. Standard: that apply to most if not all policies.
    Examples include:-

    • Risks that are more properly covered by another policy – such as liability for advice/design or motor vehicle liability.
    • Radioactive Contamination/Asbestos risks – self-explanatory.
    • War & Terrorism – beyond the scope of a Public Liability policy.
  2. Trade specific: These will vary according to your trade or business description.
    We will tell you what they are at quotation stage. For example, cover for a Ground-worker may exclude work below a certain depth.

This depends on a number of factors including business description, indemnity limit and your previous trade experience. If a compulsory excess applies we will tell you what it is when preparing your quote. Compulsory excesses help minimise small claims which may involve your Insurers in a disproportionate amount of work. You may also have the option of reducing your premium by taking an additional voluntary excess.

Quotes are calculated on either a ‘per capita or on a payroll/turnover basis. You tell us how many people are involved in your business and/or the payroll/turnover, the level of cover you require and the premium is calculated accordingly. After the insurance policy has been issued you must tell us about any changes that may affect your policy. When we give you your quote we will tell you whether the premium is on a per capita or turnover basis.

Generally speaking we can still offer Public Liability cover on a multi-occupation basis. It is important that all your occupations are fully disclosed in your application.

Employers Liability Insurance provides protection for the Employer against claims made by employees for bodily injury or illness arising out of the course of their employment. It is a statutory requirement – if you have any employees then cover is required by law.

The definition is a wide one; in addition to ‘on the books’ paid employees other classes of worker such as labour-only sub-contractors, voluntary or unpaid workers and hired-in people are usually included. It makes no difference if they work full-time or just a few hours each week – cover is still required. The situation is currently slightly different for bona-fide sub-contractors (see below).

Cover for certain immediate family members such as Parents, Sons, Daughters, Brothers and Sisters is usually optional. You are advised to think carefully before taking this option because, if you do, then they will not be able to bring a claim if they suffer injury or illness whilst working for you. The advice from Cover My Business is to disclose all employees, including family members.

Generally speaking, bona-fide sub-contractors should always hold their own adequate Liability cover. Whilst this is normally true there may be occasions where either they don’t have adequate cover or their policy contains an exclusion that prevents you claiming against them. It is your responsibility to always satisfy yourself that any sub-contractors have adequate liability insurance cover in force before engaging them. If you use BFSCs you should still disclose the fact to Insurers who may offer insurnace cover on a contingency basis.

The law requires a minimum amount of £5,000,000. All policies offered via Cover My Business provide at least this amount. Requests for higher levels of cover may be accommodated by special arrangement.

The Law allows virtually no exclusions on this type of policy as to do so could seriously prejudice your employees. Although not strictly an exclusion, Insurers often raise the defence of contributory negligence when dealing with a claim. Employees are reminded they should take proper care for their own safety whilst at work. For more information click here to read publications on the Government Health & Safety Executive website.

Company Directors are reminded that, in certain circumstances, they may be held personally liable for injury to their employees (eg corporate manslaughter). Cover My Business recommends that separate Directors & Officers cover is taken to indemnify Directors against these risks.

Generally, No. If an excess does apply we will tell you when quoting, In any case you should always read your policy document.

You will be issued with a Employers Liability Certificate as evidence that cover is in force. This is an important document and should be retained for 40 years after its expiry, in case any claims arise in the future.

Premiums are calculated in the same way as they are for Public Liability (PL) risks. This can either be on a “per capita” basis or on a payroll/turnover basis. You tell us how many people are involved in your business and/or the payroll/turnover; the level of cover you require and the premium is calculated accordingly. After the policy is issued you must tell us about any changes that may affect your policy. When we give you your quote we will tell you whether the premium is on a per capita or turnover basis.

Generally speaking, yes. However, only those occupations disclosed to insurers will be covered.

Call today for a free quote – most over can be arranged within 24 hours.

03450 940 505 or complete our enquiry form.