Public liability insurance

Specialist public liability insurance (including product liability insurance) from as little as £5 per month.

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Public liability insurance is essential cover for businesses that regularly deal with clients and members of the public.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance covers the cost of claims made by members of the public or external stakeholders, in the event of an incident that causes injury or harm, or damage to property. It’s designed to protect your business against losses that may stem from:

  • Injury you cause to a third party during your business activities
  • Damage you cause to third party property
  • Personal injury to others or damage to their property.

If your business comes into contact with clients or customers, or regularly deals with members of the public - such as an on-site meeting or consultation - you should consider arranging public liability insurance.

Public liability insurance for self-employed workers

As a freelancer, your business may not revolve around members of the public so much as it does your clients or colleagues. But if any aspect of your job involves hosting people – whether that’s in your home, an office building or at a shared workplace - business public liability insurance is an important consideration.

Having public liability insurance in place for your business ensures that you’re covered if the worst should happen. For clients and customers alike, it’s the best way of demonstrating that you’re serious about maintaining a positive professional relationship.

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What does this type of insurance cover?

Public liability insurance claims can be wide-ranging, but the most common ones include:

Slips - a customer visits your place of work (be it your office, home or a hired premises) and slips on a wet floor, breaking their arm. They are unable to work and claim against you for the financial loss they have suffered.

Trips - a client trips over a loose wire plugged into your laptop and sprains their wrist. They make a compensation claim against you.

Falls - a client falls down some stairs following a meeting and breaks a leg. They claim against you for the time they must take off work and rehabilitation bills.

Product liability insurance

Product liability insurance protects businesses from legal costs associated with a personal injury or damages claim, caused by a product your business has manufactured or distributed. In tandem with public liability insurance, these policies protect your business in the course of dealing with members of the public. Our public liability insurance includes product liability insurance as standard.

Is public liability insurance the same as product liability insurance?

There are some similarities between the two types of insurance, in that they are designed to protect the policyholder against legal claims made in the event of accidents or injury. However, public liability insurance covers against injury caused to third parties (or damage to their property) due to your negligence, whilst product liability insurance against injury caused by a product that you have supplied.

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How to arrange your insurance

Taking out a public liability insurance policy with Markel is simple. Get a quote online by answering a few straightforward questions about you and your business. Once you’ve purchased your cover, you’ll receive your documents instantly. This includes your proof of insurance document, which you’ll need to show to your clients to prove you have cover.

Build a tailored policy for your business from the selection of covers available. You'll have the option to pay monthly for your public liability insurance policy, helping spread the cost of the important cover.

If you need assistance arranging cover, call our insurance experts on 0800 640 6600 today or get a quick quote online.

How much will it cost?

Markel’s public liability insurance begins at only £5 per month and you can choose from a range of limits (from £1m to £5m) to suit your business.

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Policy Documents

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Cover starting at just £5 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • Is public liability insurance a legal requirement?

    Public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement for businesses,. However, the costs of mounting a legal defence in the event of a claim, plus the possibility of paying damages or compensation, can be extensive and very damaging to smaller operations. Having this type of cover in place can be the assurance you need for working with clients and members of the public.

    You may also find that clients or organisations you work with require you to have public liability insurance in place before you can start work


  • Do sole traders need public liability insurance?

    Sole traders should consider arranging public liability insurance if they deal with members of the public or clients. If you were to accidentally injure one of your clients or a member of the public, or damage their property, having public liability insurance cover can protect your freelance business from any unexpected claims made against you.

  • I need public liability insurance to start work straight away - do you provide proof of cover?

    Yes. If you purchase your policy with us, your documents are emailed to you instantly and include a dedicated 'Confirmation of Liability Insurance' document (detailing the cover you have with us) which you can present to agencies and clients as proof of cover.

  • What limit of cover should I choose?

    Some clients may require you to have a certain amount of public and product liability insurance cover before entering into a contract with you - for example, if you are working from a client's offices or hiring a premises for your activities. You may want to check if this is the case when choosing your limit.

    If this isn't the case, give some thought to a worst case scenario and the likely costs involved with not only defending the allegation, but also the compensation you would have to pay to put your mistake right. We offer limits ranging from £1m to £5m, so you are sure to find the right cover for your business' needs.

  • Why should I choose Markel’s insurance?

    Markel has over 25 years of experience insuring contractors, consultants and self-employed professionals. We insure over 200,000 micro businesses and are highly rated by our customers at

    We are a division of Markel International, a Lloyd’s and London market insurer that wrote gross premium totals of $1.2 billion in 2018.

    To talk about your insurance requirements and better understand our cover, call us on 0800 640 6600 or get a quick quote online.

  • How are Markel regulated?

    Markel is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority – details of which you’ll find on the Financial Services Register.

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Cover starting at just £5 a month

Get a quote now

Cover starting at just £5 a month

More specialist cover

  • Professional indemnity insurance

    Professional indemnity insurance covers the cost of defending your business against allegations of professional negligence (such as giving your client incorrect or wrongful advice) and any compensation or damages subsequently awarded against you. This is essential insurance if you provide advice, designs or services to your client. Cover is available with limits ranging from £50,000 to £5m.

  • Employer's liability insurance

    Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if your business has employees. It covers your business against claims for injury or illness suffered by employees arising from their employment. If you employ staff, even on a part time basis, you almost certainly need this cover. Cover for £10m.

  • Directors and officers insurance

    Directors and officers insurance covers the costs of defending you as a director or officer of your company against allegations of wrongful acts and any damages subsequently awarded against you. Cover is also provided in respect of the legal costs and expenses of defending actions for disqualification as a director, investigations and extradition proceedings. Limits range from £25,000 to £5m.

  • Office insurance

    Office insurance covers your office buildings, office contents and computer equipment against accidental damage (including theft) whilst on your business premises. You can also choose to cover your business equipment (such as laptops and mobile phones) on a worldwide basis, and insure your business against loss of income and/or additional trading expenses following events such as damage to your property

  • Occupational personal accident

    Occupational personal accident insurance can help you maintain an income if you're accidentally injured at work.

  • Legal expenses insurance

    Legal expenses insurance pays your legal costs and expenses for contract disputes, tax enquiries (including IR35), attending jury service, debt recovery, personal injury, as well as any award you are required to pay following an employment dispute with an employee. Limit of £100,000.

  • Cyber and data risks insurance

    Cyber and data risks insurance helps you when you're the victim of a targeted cyber attack, paying the costs of restoring data and equipment, informing clients, meeting ransom demands and loss of your net profit. It also pays your legal defence costs and damages you are legally liable to pay to other parties.

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