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Public Liability Insurance - Do you need a minimum level of cover?

Rhino Trade Insurance 16 May 2023

So, you’ve established that you need Public Liability Insurance. Great news - getting protected with the right cover is one of the best things you can do for your trade business. But how much cover do you need?

Why do you need Public Liability Insurance? Is it legally required, and why should you consider Rhino for your next policy? Read on to find out.

How much Public Liability Insurance do I need?

The level of Public Liability Insurance your trade business needs may vary depending on your job type and whether or not your clients require a specific level of protection for their contract with you. When looking for the right policy, consider the potential extent a compensation claim could reach. Insurance providers generally offer between £1 million and £5 million in cover - and for good reason. Claims can easily rack up to this amount, especially when a serious accident is involved. 

The first thing you should do is check with each potential client whether they require a certain level of cover. Often, tradespeople who work for local organisations and government authorities will have contracts that require they hold at least £5 million in Public Liability Insurance.

Since every business is unique in its own right, there is no generic solution for Public Liability Insurance. The amount of cover your business needs depends on many factors, including the size of your firm, the amount of direct interaction you have with the public, the type of business you run, and the types of clientele you work for.

Can I choose my level of cover?

You can choose how much protection you need when you get insurance. Cover at Rhino Trade Insurance starts from £1 million and can protect you for up to £5 million. Although this might sound like a lot, in the world of Public Liability Insurance claims, it’s really not. You may not want to think about it, but a scenario could occur where you would be thankful to hold the highest level of protection. 

It's relatively straightforward when estimating the cost of your cover. To get an idea of how much each level of cover would cost for you, check out our rapid quote engine, where you can get a customised price in minutes. 

Is Public Liability Legally Required?

Unlike its close cousin, Employers' Liability Insurance. Public Liability Insurance is not legally needed in the UK, yet doing business without it is downright risky. Hazards lurk at almost every corner of a building site, and the phrase, “Accidents happen”, is never more appropriate than if you work with tools, at height, or with chemicals. Therefore, for your own business's safety and those around you, it really is key that you have the appropriate insurance in place. 

As mentioned above, certain clients and trade associations will request that you have a specific insurance plan for contracts or membership. Without sufficient protection, your company is exposed to significant financial risk and may end up bankrupt if you are found responsible for substantial losses that must be paid out of your own pocket. 

What will Public Liability insure me against?

Almost every conceivable on-site incident that causes harm or injury to a third party or their property as a result of your work is covered by Public Liability Insurance. From less serious incidents that cause minor damage to a customer's home to far more severe problems that result in serious damage or accidental death - your business will be protected from the financial fallout.

No matter how cautious your company is, the nature of your industry necessitates insurance in case things go south. Damage or injury-related claims can put a heavy financial strain on your company - especially if a client takes legal action. Your Public Liability Insurance will protect you from expensive fees like paying for medical bills or property repairs. 

What can affect my cover level?

Let’s take a look at some of the things which will affect the level of Public Liability cover you might need.

The size of your business

The size of your firm will certainly have an impact on how much Public Liability cover you require. For instance, a business that employs 50 people and serves various constituencies will undoubtedly need more cover than a local trade business with a manager and apprentice.

The type of work carried out

The type of work your company does will also have an impact on your insurance cover. A very broad rule of thumb would be - the more hazardous and messy the work, the higher the cover limit would need to be. This is to make sure the Public Liability Insurance will realistically be enough to cover any eventuality.

Interaction with the public

A higher level of cover is generally required if your trade business regularly engages with the general public (as most tradespeople do). In light of this, if you own a business that interacts with the public, like a plumbing or electrical business, your work will necessitate that you and your employees visit clients' homes on a regular basis - meaning you will need an adequate level of insurance in place due to the risks attached. 

Contract stipulations

When taking on projects for private individuals, they may not demand specific levels of insurance or even request proof that you hold it; however, if you aim to grow your business and take on larger contracts or particular customers, then you will find specified insurance requests written into your agreement. You must fulfil these requirements; otherwise, you will fail to comply and be in breach of your contract. 

What else can you insure against, and what about excess?

You can safeguard many elements of your trade business with Rhino Trade Insurance. On top of Public Liability, you can choose to add on a variety of valuable policies to safeguard your business and your livelihood. These include:

All insurance policies come with an excess. They cover the administrative cost of your claim and help keep your monthly premiums down.

Every policy at Rhino Trade Insurance includes a low excess of just £500 (unless your claim stems from the use of heat, such as with a heating engineer). However, for a nominal fee, we provide Excess Protection Insurance for Public Liability, which covers the price of your excess.

Why choose Rhino Trade Insurance?

If you are interested in more helpful blog posts on trade insurance, trade life and plenty of random topics for good measure, then grab a brew and browse our daily articles here

If your business is searching for insurance, your search ends here. Rhino Trade Insurance offers low-cost trade insurance plans, which can be paid either annually or by 0% interest monthly instalments. Added to our quality cover, you will be served by our five-star rated team, who will dedicate as much time as needed to sort your business insurance needs out - generally, taking out cover with us takes just a few moments!

Why not call us today on 0116 243 7904 or head to our website and grab yourself a quick and easy quote? We don't waste time with loads of insurance jargon and questionnaires - grab a quote in 60 seconds now. 


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