Public Liability insurance is a form of risk protection that safeguards your business from lawsuits or other claims. The responsibilities of the insurer include defending, indemnifying, and settling any reasonable litigation brought against the insured. Given the diverse needs of a business, there are a variety of ways in which a business can incur risk. For example, employees, consumers, and other individuals who are injured on company property may be entitled to seek compensation. While Public Liability insurance is not mandatory for all types of businesses, it is highly recommended given the dire consequences that can result from a single claim.
What it Covers
In addition to protection for injuries that take place in the workplace, public liability insurance will cover the following items:
- Legal fees
- Ambulance Costs
- Hospital treatment
For more information on hospital treatment and care coverage, visit the Department of Health (DoH) website and research the Injury Costs Recovery Scheme. Premiums are determined by the nature of your business and the amount of activity your company sees on a daily basis. In most cases this will be based strictly on the number of consumers and employees that visit your business. However, for businesses like a hotel, a premium might be calculated based on the number of beds as opposed to the guests.
Other Risk Factors
Insurers will also take into account your company history and whether any claims have been brought forth against your business in the past. In addition to your safety record, they may also look into how often you maintenance the various devices in your office or factory. Taking proactive steps such as employing safety training for your employees or doing regular check-ups and maintenance of your equipment will help decrease your risk and lower your overall insurance rate.
Comparing Public Liability Policies
Finding the right price for your particular budget is just as important as obtaining the proper cover. Using a comparison website to compare quotes will not only help you find the exact type of coverage you are looking for, but also sort by prices and customer ratings. A majority of business owners who purchase expensive insurance assume they do not have the time or the resources to thoroughly investigate and compare various insurers. However, an online comparison site can research hundreds of insurance offerings in a single click of the mouse.
Exclusions and Small Print
There are a variety of warranties, exclusions, and conditions that can be applied to public liability policies. As these can vary from company to company, it’s important to inquire about these special circumstances before agreeing to a policy. For example, some insurers have additional fees and surcharges that apply only to high risk businesses. Others may exclude certain types of claims altogether, leaving your business exposed in the event of a lawsuit. In other cases, the level of indemnity or financial protection may be higher than what you actually require for your business. If the lowest level of cover is £5 million of Public Liability and you only require £2 million, you may want to opt for a different insurance company.
Consult a Professional
If you are still unsure about the various legal exclusions and conditions, it is best to contact an insurance adviser to sift through the small print and abstruse legal documents to ensure you are properly covered. The British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website has a listing of certified brokers who can assist you in your search. If you opt to deal directly with an insurance company, be sure to verify if they are a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI).