What does public liability insurance cover?
All businesses require sufficient cover to suit their structure, assets and how the company functions. Among these forms of insurance cover are professional indemnity insurance, employers’ liability insurance, product liability insurance and home business insurance. One of the most popular types is public liability insurance, but what exactly is it and what does it cover?
What is public liability insurance for?
Public liability insurance is designed to protect business owners from the cost of legal claims made against their business if a client or member of the public becomes injured or their property becomes damaged in the course of their business activities. It also benefits a business by reflecting a certain standard to organisations and trading authorities that may only work with companies that possess this type of cover.
Unlike employers’ liability insurance, it doesn’t cover claims made by employees or temporary members of staff such as interns or people on work experience. It does, however, cover claims from clients, customers, visitors and anyone that was taking part or watching an activity organised by the business.
Public liability insurance covers an extensive range of different incidents, with injury or damage to property being relevant if it happened in relation to the business.
Is public liability insurance a legal requirement?
Many big and small companies choose to get public liability insurance cover, and it makes sense that they do, as even minor injuries may result in a claim. Although many companies take out public liability insurance to avoid having to pay out of their own pocket for claims of injury or property damage, it isn’t a legal requirement in the UK.
The only type of cover that is compulsory by UK law is employers’ liability insurance. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) regulates the law on employers’ liability insurance. Companies that employ members of staff must have coverage of at least £5 million or face a fine of £2,500 per day. An employer will also be subjected to a fine of up to £1,000 if they refuse to present their insurance certificate to an HSE inspector.
How to claim against public liability insurance
If you’ve been injured or have had property damaged in a working environment, you may be wondering if you’ll be able to make a claim against the public liability insurance of the business.
Before making a claim, you could consider whether the business owed you a duty of care based on your actions and where the accident or damage to property took place. You should then determine if they breached their duty of care and whether this breach led to your injury or the damage to your property. If the business doesn’t have public liability insurance, you can still claim against them, but instead of their insurance covering all fees, they will have to pay the fees themselves.
Even if the business is at fault, they may not immediately accept it in an attempt to escape the claim. To reduce the chance of this happening, you need to gather as much evidence as possible. Not only does this include images of where the incident happened and the injury or damage to the property, but also CCTV coverage if there is any. If you’re also looking to claim a loss of income as part of an injury claim, you should gather relevant receipts and bank statements.
If you’re claiming for an injury, it would be advisable to get treated by a medical professional as soon as possible. Aside from the obvious health benefits, this will also mean that medical records from your visit will be on file and available for your lawyer to assist the claim. Other people can play an important part of your claim, so if anyone was present during the injury or damage to property, you should get them to provide a brief statement along with their contact details, making sure they do it quickly while it’s fresh in their mind.
When you feel like you’ve gathered enough evidence to strengthen your claim, you can contact a personal injury lawyer and make a claim. This will typically lead to a consultation, where you will be questioned about the accident or the damage to property and how the incident played out. At this point, if they believe you have a case, they may offer you a no win no fee agreement. After signing the agreement, the process of making a claim against the company will begin.