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Is Public Liability Insurance Mandatory?

Rhino Trade Insurance 08 May 2023

If you’re wondering whether or not your trade business needs Public Liability Insurance, we are here to answer all your questions. 

Public Liability Insurance is a smart option if you and your staff come into contact with members of the public, customers and other third parties in the course of your business activities.

Although it isn't required by law in the UK, there are many reasons why you should hold Public Liability Insurance and ensure you have the correct level of cover in place. Today we’ll discuss all of the reasons you need to ensure your business is protected and why Rhino is your go-to insurer. 

Introduction to Public Liability Insurance in the UK

Public Liability Insurance is one of the most popular kinds of business insurance because of the value it provides to any organisation. It can cover costs if a member of the public (perhaps a customer, a supplier, or a bystander) seeks compensation from your business after being injured or having their property damaged. 

If legal action is brought against you, Public Liability Insurance will act as your buffer and cover the legal costs, medical expenses, and any other compensation owed by your business if found responsible for an injury or damage. This is a relatively common occurrence in trade businesses and one you try to avoid at all costs for obvious reasons. 

Think of a situation where you’re working on a client's home, and they - or someone just passing by - comes to harm as a result of the work you’re doing. Or perhaps you mistakenly cause some type of damage that could end up costing an arm and a leg. Without insurance, any claims that come your way would have to be paid for out of your own pocket. With the right insurance, any legal action, legal fees and compensation costs will be covered by your policy up to the level of indemnity you purchased. This will save your business thousands - even millions of pounds.

Consider reading more about Public Liability Insurance on our website here. 

Is Public Liability Insurance Mandatory in the UK?

No. However, it is highly beneficial for your business to hold a level of cover should anything ever go wrong, and you’ll find few businesses willing to take that risk.  

Even if this cover is optional in the UK, you need to determine whether your business needs it or not, and the answer should generally be a resounding yes! To put it simply, almost all tradesmen and women in the UK should hold Public Liability Insurance.

For any business, whether trade or not, if you deal with the general public or work on projects that could cause injury or damage to a third party, your best course of action would be to take out an insurance policy before you even open the doors to your business.

Your company should think about purchasing Public Liability if:

  • You use potentially damaging equipment and power tools while at work.
  • You deal with dangerous substances and potentially hazardous utilities like water and power.
  • You run a business that has an office that clients and customers can visit.
  • You run a home-based business, and clients visit you for meetings.

To put it simply, Public Liability Insurance covers all of your interactions with people except your workers - this is covered by Employers' Liability Insurance. Public Liability will safeguard:

  • Anyone who comes to visit your business
  • Suppliers
  • Customers and clients
  • The general public
  • Other third parties. 

Why Should You Consider Public Liability Insurance for Your Business?

Although we all try to practise safe working, accidents sometimes happen and may lead to legal action against your company. Not ideal, but don’t panic! Public Liability Insurance can help with that. 

Ideal for someone who works at other people's property

If a third party is unintentionally hurt or has their property damaged during a project you are working on, Public Liability Insurance prevents your business from fronting the cost of defending against lawsuits and paying out compensation claims. We want you to understand how valuable and critical this insurance can be for your company's livelihood. Without it, the high costs of just one single claim can force you to shut down your company permanently. 

Shows that you meet industry standards and present your business in a professional light

Though it’s not needed by law, noteworthy customers and specialised entities like local councils will insist on a set level of protection. A compensation figure for damage or injury could end up costing millions of pounds - imagine having to try and front that cost yourself. 

Due to the inherent dangers associated with the industry, tradespeople who work on-site for clients must have proper insurance coverage in place in order to be hired by certain clients, to give peace of mind to anyone hiring you, to grow your business and to demonstrate your professionalism. 

It will shield your business from claims brought against you by employees

If you have employees, you should already have Employers' Liability Insurance due to the fact it is legally required in the UK. However, this doesn’t mean you don’t need Public Liability Insurance, too.

When an employee is working on a building site that your business oversees, you could be held responsible for compensation claims arising from any unintentional issues they cause whilst working for you, including causing someone harm or damaging their property. 

Since these two insurance types complement one another, trade businesses that hire employees often take out both types of insurance as a package with Rhino Trade Insurance. 

Find everything you need to know about Employers' Liability Insurance through our blog post here

If you would like more information on a policy or to get a price for your business, give the lovely team at Rhino a call today at 0116 243 7904. 

How Rhino can help you

Rhino Trade Insurance can help you select the appropriate level of Public Liability Insurance for your business and can offer advice on any useful add-ons you might require for your specific area of business.

Our team of seasoned trade insurance professionals can provide unmatched knowledge and experience. This is down to the fact that we are an insurer that specialises only in the trade industry. We tailor our insurance policies to match the demands of every company that gets in touch with us. On top, we are always looking for the best ways to keep our prices low and our coverage of the highest calibre.

Call Rhino Trade Insurance for more information. Our team can be reached on 0116 243 7904, or you can visit our website and easily find all of the answers to your questions. From there, you can get a speedy online quote in minutes and be back on the job in no time. 


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