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What Public Liability Insurance doesn't cover?

Rhino Trade Insurance 08 April 2023

Public Liability Insurance is a typical type of cover for trade businesses and self-employed individuals. It grants you the satisfaction that the costs are covered when a third-party claim arises from damage, injury or accidental death. Legal moves made against any business can be financially draining, so having the right level of Public Liability protection is vital to diminish the risk of the business having to pay out.

That being said, there are restrictions to Public Liability Insurance as this is one aspect of your overall policy. Although it will be your core piece of cover, today, we want to share what this insurance protects against, offer answers to common tradespeople's questions and share what other pieces of cover will ensure you have a complete policy in place. 

Overview of Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance offers assurances for the costs of a claim being made in relation to the trade work you do. This protection is in case your business causes injury or accidental death to a third party or damage to a customer's property. If legal action is taken against you, your Public Liability Insurance gets to work and covers any expenses resulting from fighting your case - this includes legal fees, defence and compensation owed if found liable. 

In the UK, Public Liability isn't legally required; however, without it, you are taking a major gamble with your business. Risks are apparent everywhere, especially in the trade industry, so ensuring you have the right cover is paramount. On top, certain clients you have will require you to hold a certain level of protection for particular contracts - such as trade associations and local councils. Without cover, your business is exposed to major financial risk and could find itself in a place of no return should you be deemed liable for major damages caused, which you must pay out of your pocket. 

What is covered?

Public Liability covers almost every incident imaginable on-site that results in damage or injury to a third party from your work. From more minor accidents that damage part of a customer's home to more severe issues causing significant injury or accidental death. 

No matter how careful your business is, your industry is ultimately dangerous and requires protection in case things take a turn for the worse. To get a better understanding of what accidents Public Liability can cover, here's a comprehensive list:

Property Damage

As mentioned above, this could be small damage that can be put right instantly whilst on the job or a more considerable accident that requires serious intervention. Whatever type of damage you cause (due to an accident), trade insurance will ensure you are covered should you need to make a claim. 

Injury to third parties

Injuries are pretty easy to cause on a dangerous building site. If you spend a lot of your time working at a customer's home, they are always at risk of being injured from your work. Public Liability will cover the injured party for any compensation owed, medical bills and expenses. 


Working in the trades poses various hazards. Using dangerous materials and advanced machinery could cause accidental damage, which your insurance will cover when taken to court or if compensation is sought. 


As a professional who works in various situations with different substances and chemicals, your work can result in illness to customers or members of the public. In this case, Public Liability Insurance will protect your business.

How does Public Liability Insurance cover your finances?

Claims resulting from damage or injury can cause significant financial stress on your business. From hefty costs coming from repairing or replacing a property to paying for medical bills, your Public Liability Insurance will have your back. 

Compensation can run into the tens, and even hundreds or thousands, which means having the correct level of insurance is critical to ensuring your business survives another day. Insurance can also cover court costs, defence fees, income loss and expenses.

It's worth remembering that even though insurance is an important factor when setting up a business, should a claim be made against you, your policy will require you to pay an excess. Here at Rhino Trade Insurance, no matter the claim's value, we require a standard £500 excess for all policies, however, we offer Excess Protection Insurance for Public Liability that covers the cost of your excess for a small fee.

Common questions on Public Liability Insurance

How much cover do I need?

The amount of Public Liability protection you will require depends upon the kind of work you do and the size of your business.

When you purchase insurance, you can pick how much coverage you need. For the most part, protection begins at £1 million and can safeguard you for up to £5 million. That may seem like a lot, yet you might require it - your claim could run into the millions for serious mistakes or accidents.

It's easy to get an idea of the price of your policy. In some cases, clients and contractors will require that you hold a minimum level of cover before hiring you. On the other hand, try our quick quote engine, provide minor details and get a tailored quote in minutes. 

Does it cover legal expenses?

Yes, legal costs are covered in your policy. That's why avoiding a small monthly payment for your Public Liability Insurance could be your business's biggest mistake. 

Working hard to create a profit from your business should be spent on things like your mortgage, not compensation claims, legal bills and more. No matter the size of your business, your best course of action is to get the right insurance today and protect your assets from potential claims. 

What isn't covered?

Building on your Public Liability Insurance policy, you can protect many areas within your trade business that aren't protected by your core liability cover. Popular additional insurance options include:

Read more about our insurance options here and how they will protect your business. 

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

We provide cost-effective trade insurance policies that can be paid for via interest-free monthly payments. Whatever your demands are, our five-star rated team can handle them and create a policy that fulfils your needs.

Contact our Rhino Trade Insurance today at 0116 243 7904 or visit our website, where we have everything you need in one place. Get a quote in an instant here.

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