Why Small Businesses Need Public Liability Insurance

Not sure if you need public liability insurance for your business? Then read on to find out why public insurance liability is a must for a small business, from giving you reassurance to helping you to win more business, the benefits are many and varied:

Peace of mind

How could having public liability insurance help your business? Most of all public liability insurance will give you peace of mind, protecting both your customers and your business. If you’re out and about visiting your customers or conversely customers regularly visit your business premises, then public liability insurance is something you should give serious thought to, even if you are a small business. Imagine you were in a client’s home and damaged their property during your work – you would be liable for the cost of repairs and possibly more besides.

Do you run a shop, salon or café and have customers popping in and out all day long? Imagine one of your customers tripped or slipped in your premises – again you could be found liable. Even if you’re self-employed and work a lot from home, if clients visit you regularly or you visit them, then again insurance is something you should consider. You have a duty of care to your customers, so having the right insurance is important.

As a small business, insurance might not be top of your list of priorities, but it should be. Typically a public liability insurance policy would cover you if a member of the public sued you as a result of an accident.

It would help you pay a range of bills, such as compensation payments, medical bills, repairs, disruption to business and loss of income. Ultimately if a member of the public did make a successful claim against you and you didn’t have adequate insurance, it could affect the survival of your business. As a small business, you probably don’t have the reserves of a larger outfit, that’s what makes this insurance so valuable.

Broadly speaking public liability insurance protects three spheres of the public:


Firstly, public liability insurance can help you if ‘invitees’ make a claim against you. ‘Invitees’ are those customers who you invite onto your premises, such as customers popping into a shop, providing protection in case of their accident or injury.


The second group that this insurance typically covers are ‘licensees’; contractors who carry out work on customer’s property. In this instance, public liability insurance or tradies insurance will cover builders, plumbers, electricians, and many other tradespeople or businesses that carry out work on multiple sites. This kind of insurance covers public/client property damage, injury, and even legal costs. While accidents are rare they can happen to anyone, that’s why public liability insurance is designed to protect tradespeople from the expensive financial repercussions of these unexpected accidents.


The third sphere of the public which Public liability insurance typically provides cover for is ‘trespassers’ or uninvited guests on any part of your property. Suppose someone broke into your premises out of hours and was injured, here again, insurance would provide reassurance.

Industry organisations

In addition to protecting the general public, it’s not uncommon for public liability Insurance to be a condition of membership of trade associations. Belonging to such associations can give you invaluable business support and advice, opening up useful networks to you and giving you the opportunity to share best practice. Ultimately certain industry accreditations could be beneficial for your business, helping you to find new business.

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Improves your competitive edge

More and more now, public liability insurance is a condition of contracts – especially public sector ones. Contracts of this sort often specify a substantial amount of public liability insurance of 5 or 10 million pounds. So having public liability insurance could help you to develop your business, win new contracts and broaden your customer base – taking your business from a small enterprise to a larger one.

Gives your customers confidence

What’s more, public liability insurance is something customers look out for, and seeing evidence of it keeps them happy, giving them confidence in you and your business, knowing they’re covered if anything goes wrong.

Insurance tailored to your needs

Insurance for your business doesn’t have to be expensive; it can be flexible and tailored to your specific business needs, protecting you from claims from your customers. If your business comes into contact with the public regularly, then it’s best to ensure that you have adequate insurance. Find out more about public liability insurance by speaking to an experienced insurance adviser. They’ll look at the size and nature of your business, and be able to assess the relative risk implicit in your industry, finding the right level of cover for you.

Remember, if you have employees you’re also legally obliged to have employers’ liability insurance, this protects your business if one of your employees has an accident. The minimum cover is 5 million pounds, though most policies offer substantially more cover than this. Moreover, if your business manufactures or supplies a product, then product liability insurance may be something you want to consider. Protect your business for the future, take out the right insurance and go forward with confidence.