Public Liability Insurance

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What Public Liability Insurance is all About

Accidents can happen at any time. That’s why companies who work directly with customers and the public often choose to purchase Public Liability Insurance. Public Liability Insurance is a type of insurance that covers claims made by third parties, such as customers, clients, or members of the public. That could be anything from a slip and fall at your workplace or store to property damage caused during a delivery, installation or site visit. It’s considered a key policy for businesses of all sizes and types that work with clients or customers, or who conduct business in public places.

Not sure if your business requires this type of policy? Read on to get some more information about Public Liability Insurance and learn if it’s right for your business.

Who needs it?

This type of insurance is highly recommended for any companies that conduct business in public places, including both small businesses and large enterprises. For example, these are some industries where businesses should purchase Public Liability Insurance:

  • Real Estate
  • Entertainment
  • Media
  • Professional Services
  • Healthcare
  • Nonprofit
  • Retail
  • Hospitality

One of the most common claims that this insurance covers is the slip and fall. Perhaps you own a retail store, and the floor is wet after someone accidentally spills a drink. If a customer slipped, fell, and suffered an injury, you could be held liable for damages such as their medical costs.

Another common claim is property damage. If you’re a repairman doing work on a customer’s house, and you accidentally cause damage to a pipe while working, you could be held liable for the resulting damages, such as the cost of additional repairs and parts, or even the inconvenience caused.

While the previous examples may seem obvious, there are too many potential accidents to count that could occur and result in a claim against your business. If you host events off-site, for example, anything that happens during one of them could leave you responsible for a compensation claim. Even online businesses should strongly consider this type of insurance. There are numerous risks associated with delivering goods or products to a customer’s home.

What does it cover?

Public Liability Insurance covers claims made by a customer or member of the public who has suffered an injury that your business is found responsible for - even if it was an accident. The types of claims it covers include:

  • Compensation and personal injury claims for third party injuries that occur at your place of business, at a customer’s premises, or elsewhere as a result of your work
  • Property damage claims by third parties that are attributed to your work

What doesn't it cover?

This type of insurance only covers claims made by third parties. It doesn’t cover the business or business owner themselves. For example, you can’t make a claim under this policy if you cause damage to your property or injure yourself in the line of work. It also doesn’t include damages or injuries caused to employees or their property during work.

Businesses who have employees should also purchase Employers’ Liability Insurance for those types of situations. Employers’ Liability Insurance is typically legally required.

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Is it a requirement?

It is not legally required to obtain a Public Liability Insurance policy. However, businesses that work with the public in any capacity should consider it essential. If clients visit your place of work or even just receive packages from you, your business could be at risk. Even home-based and digital businesses, like consultants or e-commerce businesses, should think about purchasing a policy if they interact with the public in any way.

Keep in mind that something as simple as a scratch on a customer’s piece of furniture or a spill onto a computer keyboard could result in a costly and time-consuming claim.