What is public liability insurance?

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is invaluable if you are alleged to have injured a person not employed by you or damaged their property whilst going about your business. Often referred to as PL insurance, it covers the legal costs and expenses incurred in your defence, as well as any damages and costs that may be awarded.

Remember: accidents happen, so it’s wise to have cover in place for when they do. Here’s our quick guide to public liability insurance cover, what it covers, and how to get it.

How to get public liability insurance

While getting public liability insurance is straightforward, it’s important to consider is how much you need. This can vary depending on the size of your business, what it does, and how often you deal with the public.

If you’re unsure as to exactly what you need, then we’d be happy to offer advice and provide you with a quote. You can call our insurance experts on 0371 705 2535 or get an online quote straight away using the button below.

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What does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability claims against you can come when you find yourselves accused of negligence. A visitor to your business premises may trip or fall during their visit and believe that it was your fault. If they can prove their case, and the injury causes loss of earnings or even permanent disability, the claim could potentially cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds.

Public liability insurance can protect you when this happens, covering compensation pay-outs, legal costs, and medical expenses. The same applies when a visitor’s property is lost or damaged while visiting your business – if they claim, you’re covered for that too.

Public liability insurance doesn’t cover you in the case of claims for injury or illness made against you by your staff or employees. In that instance, you’ll need employers’ liability insurance, just one of many small business insurance policies we provide

What is the cost of public liability insurance?

Again, the cost of your public liability insurance cover is dependent on a number of factors. These can include how large (or small) your business is, the industry in which it operates, and what it does on a day-to-day basis. How much cover you require will impact the total cost too.

At Markel, we provide specialist cover for professionals, business, and charities from £5 a month. This £5 a month premium is based on a public liability insurance policy with a £1 million level of cover, and includes products liability, but the cost can increase depending on your needs.

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What is the difference between public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance?

Professional indemnity insurance is different to public liability insurance for a number of key reasons. The most obvious difference is that while public liability covers you against claims of injury or property damage and loss. Professional indemnity insurance covers you for claims brought against you for the work you produce, or the professional advice you provide.

Here are a couple of examples of potential claims in each case:

Public liability insurance: a visitor to your work premises slips on a wet patch on the floor when walking along a corridor. Or you drop a client’s laptop while carrying it for them, causing damage to the screen and internal workings.

Professional indemnity insurance: you’re hired to provide a form of training, but deliver a completely wrong and irrelevant module to your client. Or your negligence leads to important client documents and private information being lost or disclosed to others.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I protect against public liability claims?

As a specialist insurer for over 25 years, we have an unrivalled understanding of the risks that can lead to public liability claims. We've produced numerous guides to help professionals and charities protect themselves effectively. Having a risk management plan in place is an invaluable way to demonstrate that you have exercised 'reasonable care' to prevent injury, damage or other losses from arising.

Yet should a claim be made, insuring with Markel Direct will mean we are also there to manage it on your behalf from the outset: with swift, expert assistance from our highly trained claims team. We offer specialist cover for professionals, business, and charities from £5 a month* – get an online quote now or call 0330 822 3554 for help arranging your policy.

*Price based on a business consultant requiring £1 million of public liability insurance.

What is public and products liability insurance?

Public and products liability insurance covers legal costs and compensation if a customer or member of the public is injured when using an item or product that you’ve sold to them. This can also apply if their property is damaged when using the product. If you’re a manufacturer or sell goods to the public, you could be liable, so it’s worthwhile having this form of insurance in place.

Do I need public liability insurance?

If you are a freelancer, business or organisation that deals with clients and members of the public on a face-to-face basis as part of your business activities, you should consider taking out public liability insurance. That's because there are a large number of 'wrongful acts' that can lead to a claim being made against you, ranging from a visitor to your premises tripping on a rug to damage you cause to third party property.

Public liability insurance also protects you against unexpected events, which can’t always be prevented. Unfortunately, most claims arise from events like water leaks that lead to slips, or accidental acts, such as an employee causing damage or injury to someone else's property. With so many ways for public liability claims to arise - not to mention such a wealth of companies encouraging often frivolous claims to be made – every business or organisation should give serious consideration to arranging public liability insurance.

How much can a public liability claim cost a business?

It may seem that, on first glance, most of these accidents are trivial. However, the truth is that even mild bruising caused by slips, trips and falls can lead to a 'soft tissue injury' compensation claim. Depending on the severity, this could cost around £2,000, plus legal fees that can typically add another £5,000 to your costs; unless of course you have the right public liability insurance in place.

But the costs can even spiral from there. For example, if a visitor to your premises has hurt themselves and they believe that your negligence was the direct cause of their accident, the claim could potentially cost tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. This will certainly be the case if the injury causes loss of earnings or even permanent disability.

Why choose Markel for public liability insurance?

With over 25 years’ experience in the business insurance market, you can trust Markel Direct when it comes to robust, reliable financial protection. Our experienced solicitors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to give you legal advice when you’re facing a legal claim. There are no hidden fees either – we’re completely transparent when it comes to cost and if you want to change or cancel a policy, you won’t be charged any extra fees.

You can also get a quote in as little as 90 seconds when you fill in our easy online form. Just use the button below or call our team today on 0371 705 2535 to discuss your needs.

Get a public liability insurance quote now

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Cover starting at £5 a month