Public liability insurance is an insurance coverage for business owners. The cover will protect you if your business is ever brought to court by a customer, client or someone in the public. If your business is unfortunately sued, public liability insurance will cover costs of any legal defense along with compensation and pay outs you occur.
If someone is injured on your premises then the NHS might claim the costs of medical treatments and transport fees, if necessary. Public liability should cover these costs.
However, public liability doesn’t cover any injury to yourself or your employees, it also will not protect you if you’re sued by an employee. That is covered by employer’s liability insurance, which is a legal requirement for any business with more than one employee.
You aren’t legally required to have public liability cover, but chances are you’re better off for having it. This insurance is especially important if your business involves interacting with the public. For example, you own a café and a customer has an accident on your premises, they may sue, but with this cover you won’t be left with the hefty legal bill.
Don’t assume you need a physical building or premises to have this insurance. If your business offers a service that requires you to make visits to a client’s home and you end up causing damage, there is always a chance that client could still take you to court.
The level of insurance you need is all dependent on each individual business. If your business holds a low risk level, for example like making the occasional home visit, then you’ll most likely need a lower amount of protection as your interaction with the public is infrequent. If your chances of being sued are much higher as you have a lot of contact with the public, then it’s recommended you take a higher level of protection out.
There is no legal forfeit if you choose against having this protection. If someone does sue your company and you have no cover, you will have to pay for a solicitor yourself. If the claim against you is successful, then you might be left with a very large unwanted settlement. Worst case scenario, you may even be left with the legal fees of the person suing you too.