What is Public Liability Insurance?
If you’re a sole trader or small business owner you have a responsibility to your customers, clients, suppliers, employees, and the general public if they suffer an injury, or their property is damaged as a result of your business activities.
Public Liability insurance is designed to protect you, your business, and your employees against compensation awarded for negligence for personal injury or property damage, as well the legal costs of a defending a claim. The likelihood of a claim being made against you is unpredictable and just one incident, whether you’re found liable not, could be crippling to your business, as well as negatively impacting your reputation.
You need Public Liability insurance if your customers visit you or you go out and about to see them, either at their premises, in public spaces, or places owned or controlled by others. You also need it if you manufacture or sell products.
who operate their own business should also take out their own public liability insurance, as unless there is a specific provision in a builder's insurance policy, you are not covered. On any building site, there can be a multitude of businesses in operation at any given time. Each business, including you as a subcontractor, should carry their own public liability insurance to cover claims against them, which may arise from the performance of their works.
What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?
Public Liability insurance can cover everything from minor incidents right through to catastrophic accidents.
A typical policy will cover:
- Third party damage claims for personal injury or property damage caused as a result of your business activities
- Legal costs and expenses incurred from defending yourself and your business
- Investigation costs to investigate claims
- Medical costs and compensation payments arising from a claim. These can run into hundreds of thousands of dollars, depending on the severity of the injury or property damages
- Damage or loss of third party property in your custody, care or control
Common examples of Public Liability Insurance Claim:
- An unsafe environment where a third party is injured, such as slips or falls from wet or inconsistent flooring, an obstruction in a walkway, or inadequate lighting; unstable areas that can collapses.
- Damage to a third party’s personal property, for instance, a drink spilt on your client’s laptop; or accidentally knocking over and breaking an antique vase whilst you’re visiting your client at their premises
- Accidental injury or sickness caused by you or your employees from negligence, for example, your customer suffers food poisoning from wood shavings or dust that could get into their food while on site, or spilling hot water or liquid over your client causing burns.
- A faulty or defective product you have sold that has resulted in third party injury or property damage