A guide to public liability insurance

What is public liability insurance?

A momentary slip, a lapse in concentration. It can all go wrong in an instant. But if an accident does happen, and you or any of your employees cause injury or damage to a member of the public or their property, you could face a lawsuit. And if that happens, public liability insurance (PL) could save you a lot of time, money and hassle.

It's pretty straightforward. If your business causes an injury or property damage to a member of the public – that includes clients, suppliers, contractors or anybody else not employed by you – PLI will cover you for the resulting legal and compensation costs.

1

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance covers legal and compensation costs in relation to a claim against your business from a member of the public - whether it's a customer, supplier or contractor (basically anyone who isn't an employee). It's an important cover for all businesses to consider - freelancers included. Find out more about what PL covers.

2

Do I need it?

Although public liability insurance isn't a legal requirement in the UK, it's something that most businesses consider, as most SMEs can't afford the risk of paying a large claim.

Furthermore, if you're working with other companies, many will insist on you having public liability cover. So you could also be at a competitive disadvantage if you don't have it. Some bigger clients, particularly government contracts, may request a minimum of £5 million or even £10 million in cover. Find out whether you need PL.

3

How much cover do I need?

This is entirely up to you, but it's worth checking with your clients and potential clients whether they have any restrictions on this. They may require you to have a minimum level of cover.

With Superscript, our monthly public liability cover gives you the option of £1 million, £2 million or £5 million cover - and you can update this if your needs change, through your online account, no admin fees. If your business requires a higher level of cover, you'll need to speak to our enterprise team.

4

How much does it cost?

As with all insurance, the cost will depend upon the amount of risk you need to insure. With Superscript, public liability cover starts from £5.13 per month. Find out more about the factors that influence the cost of PL.

5

Does it cover employees?

Public liability does not cover claims from employees against your business. To cover yourself for these, you'll need employers liability insurance, which is a legal requirement in the UK, for all companies with employees. Find out more about employers liability insurance.

6

What's the difference between public liability and professional indemnity?

While public liability covers compensation and legal costs if you're sued by a member of the public for injury or damage, professional indemnity insurance covers compensation and legal costs if you're sued by a client for a mistake that you make in your work. Find out more about professional indemnity insurance.

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