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Public Liability Insurance Certificate: What you need to know

Rhino Trade Insurance 04 October 2023

A Public Liability Insurance Certificate is a legal document which sets out the details of a Public Liability Insurance policy

This document also serves as proof that the policyholder is covered by this insurance. 

You’ll be sent a Public Liability Insurance Certificate once you take out a Public Liability Insurance Policy for your business. The certificate could be a physical paper copy in the post, or a digital document. These days, most insurers will send you a downloadable copy that you can choose to print if you wish.

What does a Public Liability Insurance Certificate Include?

A Public Liability Insurance Certificate for tradesmen is a detailed document which may include the following details:

  • The name of the policyholder
  • The policy number
  • The date of the commencement of the policy
  • The date of the expiry of the policy
  • A brief description of the business activities covered (e.g., plumbing services, tree surgery)
  • The level of cover, aka the indemnity limit. This is the maximum amount the insurer will pay in case of a claim
  • Significant exclusions e.g., not covered outside the UK
  • A signature on behalf of the insurer

It will also include the logo of your insurer or their underwriters.

Where Should I Put My Public Liability Insurance Certificate?

Your Public Liability Insurance certificate should be on display in your work premises. Obviously, not all tradespeople have a head office or premises, so instead make sure to keep it easily accessible inside your van. Keep it alongside any other important documents relating to your business, such as your Employer’s Liability Insurance certificate.

You may want to include a ‘Fully Insured’ checkmark badge or logo on your van, offering extra reassurance. If you are going to keep your insurance documents in your van, it might be a good idea to laminate your insurance certificates to keep them protected from wear and tear. 

Don’t worry too much, though, as your insurance policy is still valid if your paper certificate gets damaged. You’ll simply need to download and print another copy.

Another option is to display your Public Liability Insurance certificate on your website in digital format. You could also include a ‘Fully Insured’ checkmark to give potential customers an instant confirmation that you’re a safe bet, with links to your insurance documents including your Public Liability Insurance certificate for those wanting to go over the particulars e.g., your indemnity limit.

Do I Need to Display My Public Liability Insurance Certificate?

Public Liability Insurance isn’t a legal requirement, so you aren’t obligated to publicly display your certificate. However, it’s always a good idea to display it if you can, as it gives customers reassurance that you take your legal responsibilities seriously and you have the coverage needed to handle any potential incidents correctly. 

Potential customers will also be reassured by seeing your Public Liability Insurance credentials on clear display, which can help you win new business while you’re out and about.

The Importance of Public Liability Insurance in Trades

Why is Public Liability Insurance so important for tradespeople? Here are the three main reasons:

  • Protection against unforeseen accidents and liabilities 

Working with the public brings risks, no matter what your line of work. There’s always the chance you could inadvertently harm someone in the course of your activities, or accidentally cause damage to their property.

If you’re a tradesperson, these risks are greatly increased due to the hazards involved in trade work. Depending on the nature of your business, you could be working at height, using electricity or gas, dealing with chemicals, paints, or sprays, or lifting pipes, bricks or tools. The potential for accidentally causing harm is unfortunately significant, no matter how careful you are and how closely you follow Health & Safety regulations. ‘Safer’ professions such as sculpture and cake-making need Public Liability Insurance just as much, as the potential for things going wrong is always there and can have disastrous results.

Even if your business is workshop-based – so long as you’re letting customers over the threshold – you need Public Liability cover. 

Public Liability Insurance is a type of business insurance that will protect you financially if there is an accident involving a third party and your business. Covered under Public Liability cover will be situations where a customer or member of the public is injured, or their property gets damaged. If the worst happens and there is a death as a result of your work, Public Liability Insurance would cover the costs associated with compensating the loved ones, too. 

  • Building trust with customers and partners

When you’re self-employed, it’s so important to build a sterling reputation for yourself. Your livelihood depends on customers trusting you, and the correct business insurance is the best place to start. 

Uninsured tradespeople have a terrible reputation for good reason. They leave a trail of destruction behind them, with any injuries or property damage left to the customer to sort out. No customer with their head screwed on would hire a tradesperson without Public Liability Insurance – it’s simply too risky.

Don’t forget your suppliers and partners, too. If you’re receiving a delivery to your worksite and the supplier has an accident, they’ll be relying on you to produce that Public Liability Insurance certificate.

  • Regulatory and contractual obligations

Finally, many trades contracts and public organisations (e.g., local councils) require you to have Public Liability Insurance in place before you can start work. Usually there is a level of cover stipulated, which will be relative to the risks of the job at hand. 

Rhino Trade Insurance: A Tradesman's Best Ally

Rhino Trade Insurance are the best in the business when it comes to Public Liability Insurance. We’ve insured thousands of UK tradesmen and women, who sleep better at night knowing they’re covered should something go awry on their next job.

Because Rhino works with hundreds of different trades – from plumbers to aerial installers and everything in between, we understand the unique risks faced by the hardworking tradesfolk of the UK. We make it simple to get your insurance documents – you could be displaying your Public Liability Insurance certificate by the end of your lunch hour.

How to Get Your Public Liability Insurance Certificate

Rhino make it hassle-free to get your Public Liability Insurance certificate. After giving us a few details about your business, we’ll give you a quote for your premium based on your individual circumstances. You can pay either monthly or annually – there are no extra fees however you choose to pay.

Rhino’s Public Liability Insurance is low-cost, starting at £6.07 per month. Remember that your own quote will be unique to you, as all businesses are different. Cover limits vary from £1 million to £5 million, with £10 million available on request. 

Once you’ve entered details about you and your business, we’ll send you your insurance documents, including that all-important Public Liability Insurance certificate, via email in just a few minutes.

Remember, Public Liability Insurance won’t cover injury or property damage where your own employees are concerned – you’ll need a separate policy called Employer’s Liability Insurance to cover those instances.

It makes sound business sense to get your Public Liability Insurance with Rhino. We’re the trade insurance experts, so every time you deal with us you know you’ll be speaking with someone who knows trade insurance like the back of their hand. We’ve got thousands of 5-star reviews, so it’s safe to say that the UK’s tradespeople love what Rhino have to offer.


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