Public liability insurance Public liability insurance

Fast, flexible and affordable cover for any business working with third-parties.

Get a quote in 4 minutes from £5.00 per month.

Not sure where to start?

Find out what covers businesses like yours choose

Find your cover

Public liability insurance quote

From£
5.00
per month

Why buy public liability insurance?

A changing and unpredictable business landscape demands a fresh, innovative and adaptable approach to business insurance. Say goodbye to inflexible year-long contracts, and hello to the insurance solution built around your business needs.

Our highly flexible public liability insurance (PL) is designed to provide cover for legal and compensation costs relating to any claim made against your business due to injury or property damage inflicted on a non-employee.

10% of businesses paid £5 a month or less for their public liability cover between July and September 2022.

With our trusted and affordable insurance policies you’ll enjoy benefits such as:

  • Fully flexible and adjustable cover
  • Compensation and legal fees
  • Monthly subscription, no long-term commitments
  • Option to choose from £1m, £2m or £5m of cover

Get liability insurance in less than 10 minutes

Flexible monthly subscription. No fees to change or cancel your cover.

Public liability insurance explained

Our public liability insurance guides answer the questions you may have about this cover in detail, so you have all the right information before you buy.

Do I need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement in the UK. However, this doesn't mean businesses don't need it. Without adequate cover, the unexpected legal and compensation costs associated with a claim (e.g. someone suing your business for injury or property damage), could bankrupt a business.

What's more, the people that you do business with may require public liability cover in order to work with you. This can range from trade associations to clients and even customers.

A public liability claim could happen in almost any situation, even if you work at home or go out occasionally for meetings, so it's worth considering.

To find out more, check out our 'Do I need public liability insurance?' guide.

Why would I need public liability cover?

There are a few reasons why public liability insurance is a good idea for most businesses:

For protection against compensation culture

The rise of 'no win, no fee' legal services has caused an increase in public liability claims and although PLI isn't a legal requirement in the UK, it's particularly important if your business involves interaction with members of the public, suppliers or contractors.

To cover damage at your office

Unlike some policies, our liability insurance covers your liability to your landlord if you accidentally damage the premises you rent or hire (including fixtures and fittings). If you've ever rented a property, you'll know how quickly this can add up by the end of your tenancy, when trying to get back your deposit!

To stay competitive

Companies often insist that suppliers have public liability insurance, so you could be at a competitive disadvantage if you don't. Some industry regulators and membership bodies also insist on public liability - sometimes with specific amounts of cover, so it's worth checking yours.

How much public liability cover do I need?

It's not a clear-cut answer, but this is up to you! Our cover starts from £1 million and goes up to £5 million of public liability cover.

If you're a member of a professional or regulatory body, you may find that a minimum level and type(s) of cover are required. If you're a freelancer or contractor, you may find that clients typically require certain cover(s) and levels of cover before working with you.

It's worth checking your contract to see if there's a minimum level required by your employer. If this isn't specified, you can work how much you need by looking at what risks there are to you and assessing the extent of the claims if one was made.

When should I buy public liability insurance?

While there is no set time that you might buy PL cover, if you work with customers, clients or professional bodies, some may insist that you have public liability cover before you can work together. This may mean you might think about buying public liability cover when you are setting up your business.

We've made insuring your business simple. Get started.

What's included in our public liability cover?

Accidental damage and injury claims

Public liability insurance is designed for claims made by third parties in relation to accidental injury or property damage as a result of your business.

Legal expenses and compensation cover

If a claim is made against you, public liability will cover the legal fees and compensation costs associated with the claim, including court appearances and defence fees.

Multiple cover options

Choose from £1m, £2m or £5m of public liability cover. If you find that you have too little or too much cover for the type of work you do, you can change the level of cover you have through your online account, free of charge.

Employee injury

If an employee was injured as a result of your business or while working for you, this would not be covered by public liability insurance.

Recalls and refunds

If a customer or supplier is requesting a recall or refund of products or materials, public liability insurance does not cover the loss to your business.

Defective, harmful or unsuitable goods

This includes materials, work or processes that your business uses as well as activities that you offer or conduct.

We offer PL to over 1,000 industries

From cake makers to caretakers, dog walkers to decorators, we insure a wide range of businesses to protect them from the risks associated with public liability (PL).

While most could benefit from PL insurance, here are few industries where it's the most popular cover, including the percentage of customers who included it in their policy:

To check if we support your trade, simply click 'Start your quote'.

Public liability claims

Public liability claims are different for every type of business, but here are a few examples of claims where the business could be liable.

Slippery floors

A customer in your cafe slips on a wet floor and injures themselves, even though you put a wet floor sign down. You could face legal and compensation costs.

Unfinished construction

You're laying out a new front path and one of the slabs is slightly uneven so your client trips on it. You can't control acts of clumsiness but you could face legal action.

Damaged laptop

One of your employees gestures during a pitch, spilling hot coffee over the client's arm and laptop. You may have to replace the laptop and pay their medical bills.

Ruined carpet

You’re cleaning a client’s house and you accidentally use the wrong chemicals. It damages their carpet and they want you to cover the costs to replace the whole thing.

How do claims work?

1

You make a claim

Log in to your online account and go to the ‘Make a claim’ section. There, you can make a claim directly – there's no need to call us.

We'll ask you for some details about your claim, including a crime reference number (if applicable), the date of loss, type of claim and its detailed description.

You can also attach any relevant supporting documentation like proof of loss or proof of purchase.

2

We'll get on the case

Once submitted, your claim will be assessed.

If the claim is large, we may need more information from you. Or, if it's small, our team may be able to settle it within a couple of days (or hours, in some cases).

Either way, we'll keep you regularly updated and you'll be able to see the status of your claim on our customer portal.

3

Your claim is settled

After it's been assessed, we'll let you know if your claim has been successful or not.

If items have been lost, stolen or damaged, we might arrange for the items to be replaced or make a payment to you.

Public liability insurance FAQs

Public liability insurance is an important cover for most businesses. We've tried to answer the most common questions surrounding PL below, but if you have any more please don't hesitate to contact our customer success team via the web chat in the below right-hand corner, email or phone on 0333 772 0759+31 10 8080 889.

Is public liability insurance required by law?

Public liability isn't mandatory by law in the UK. However, the unexpected costs of a claim against your business could be devastating, so it's important to weigh up the relatively small cost of public liability versus the potentially devastating costs associated with a claim.

How can I buy public liability insurance?

Purchasing public liability insurance is easy. Simply click 'Start your quote' and work your way through the questions. You'll be asked to disclose your business type, the type of work you do, your turnover and whether you have employees working for you.

Our quote builder will then display the covers that are most applicable to you, including public liability cover.

This process takes only a few minutes and you could be covered with public liability insurance in just 10 minutes.

What's the difference between public liability and general liability insurance?

You may often see public liability insurance and liability insurance used interchangeably. That's because they mean the same thing, but public liability insurance is the term most widely used in the UK, while liability insurance is generally used in the US and occasionally in the UK.

Both terms refer to insurance that protects against claims of accidental injury or property damage to third parties.

What risks does public liability insurance cover?

Accidents happen. Whether it’s a slip, trip, fall or someone injuring themselves using your equipment – it could lead to a lawsuit. There are many ‘no win, no fee’ services these days, which means you can still face a liability or compensation claim even if it wasn’t your fault. Public liability protects you should a claim be made. Find out more about what liability insurance covers.

What to look for in a public liability policy

Check your client contracts to see whether they require a minimum level of cover before you choose your plan. When you’ve found an insurer you’re considering signing with, make sure they are aware of the risks that employees face while working with you (heavy lifting, working with chemicals, etc.).

Does public liability cover damage or injury to employees?

Public liability does not cover employees - it's designed to cover third parties and members of the public. Basically, anyone who isn't an employee. To cover employees, you'll need to have employers liability insurance, which is a legal requirement in the UK if you have one or more employees.

What’s the difference between public liability and employers’ liability insurance?

These two covers are similar in what they cover, but with a few key differences. Liability insurance covers injury and property damage claims made by a a member of the public (e.g. anyone from a customer to a complete stranger) as a result of your business.

Employers liability insurance covers injury claims made against you by an employee as a result of your business.

Another key difference is that employers liability is a legal requirement in the UK for any business that hires people, while public liability is not a legal requirement but protect businesses from large legal and compensation costs if a claim was made against them.

Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

Yes. Public liability insurance is considered a business cost which counts as an 'allowable expense'. This means that you can deduct it when calculating your taxable profit and therefore tax deductible in the UK.

When calculating your taxable profit, you should keep a record of your business income and expenses, not only so that you can calculate it accurately but also as evidence in case HMRC wants to check on your business. For business insurance, this means your invoices and policy documents.

My business doesn't involve much interaction with members of the public - do I need public liability insurance?

Even if your business is office-based, you’ll no doubt have clients or members of the public visiting you from time to time, or your staff will spend time out and about at events. And if an accident happens, either on your premises, or as a result of your activities elsewhere, you could be held liable, with serious financial repercussions for your business.

What are the benefits of buying public liability insurance by monthly subscription?

As a business, you'll likely be monitoring your incomings and outgoings, which is all the more reason to make sure you're protected against the unexpected costs that can arise from a claim made against you.

Monthly business insurance helps you spread the cost of your cover over the year, as opposed to paying a large lump sump annually. This can be especially helpful if your turnover is quite unpredictable.

Paying monthly is also flexible, allowing you to easily adjust your cover and therefore only pay for what you need.

To find out more, check out our blog post on the benefits of monthly business insurance.

We insure thousands of innovative businesses

Check out our latest posts

Authorised by the FCA

The FCA supervises UK financial services firms to protect consumers. We are directly authorised and regulated by the FCA and our Firm Reference Number is 656459. These details can be confirmed on the Financial Services Register at www.fca.org.uk or by calling the FCA on 0845 606 1234.

A-rated financial strength

Our insurance products are underwritten by Standard & Poor’s A-rated financial strength or higher. This means the underwriter has been independently assessed by the world’s leading credit rating provider and found to have a strong capacity to meet financial commitments (pay claims).

Protected by the FSCS

If you are a business with an annual turnover under £1m, charity with an annual income under £1m, or trust with net assets under £1m, then you will be entitled to compensation from the FSCS in the unlikely event we cannot meet our obligations. Full details and further information on the scheme are available at www.fscs.org.uk.