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So, What is Public Liability Insurance?

Rhino Trade Insurance 08 December 2023

As a trade business owner, you're probably no stranger to risks and uncertainties in your line of work. Whether you're a plumber, electrician, carpenter, or any other type of tradesperson, every day on the job can bring unexpected challenges. While you may be well-equipped to handle the technical aspects of your trade, have you considered how to safeguard your business against accidents or mistakes that could lead to costly legal claims?

Enter public liability insurance. Let's spend the next few minutes in the world of public liability insurance for trade businesses, explaining what it is, why you need it, how it works, and some key considerations when selecting the right policy for your business. 

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Let's start at the beginning. Public liability insurance is a commercial insurance that protects you from legal action filed by third parties alleging that your company's operations have caused them to suffer bodily harm or property damage. In a nutshell, it serves as an umbrella of protection for your trade business and safeguards you in the event that something goes wrong while you are working.

Let's break it down:

Third-party Claims

A 'third party' refers to anyone who isn't you or your business. It could be a client, a passerby, or someone indirectly affected by your work. If they suffer injury or property damage because of your actions, they may file a claim against you.

Property Damage

Let's imagine you're an electrician, and while working on a project, your tools accidentally cause damage to a client's expensive electronic equipment. Your public liability cover will help cover the cost of fixing the damaged property.

Bodily Injury

If a person gets injured and decides to launch legal action against you, your public liability insurance can cover the costs associated with their medical bills, rehabilitation, and legal fees.

Legal Costs

Dealing with legal claims can be costly. Public liability insurance not only covers the compensation you may owe to the injured party but also helps with your legal defence expenses, such as hiring legal representation, court fees and other costs.

Why Do Trade Businesses Need Public Liability Insurance?

Young man wearing handyman uniform approving doing positive gesture with hand

Now that we've got the 'what' sorted, let's dive into the 'why.' Why is Public Liability Insurance like a trusty tool in your kit? Here are some compelling reasons:

Contractual Requirement

In many instances, Public liability insurance will be found in contract proposals from larger customers, governing bodies or local councils. These contracts are generally 'higher value' and represent an opportunity for your business to grow. That's why having public liability (even though it isn't a legal necessity in the UK) is a vital element of your business's success. 

Financial Protection

Accidents happen, and when they do, they can have a significant financial impact on your business. Without public liability insurance, you might be forced to dip into your business savings or personal assets to cover the costs of a legal claim. Public liability insurance safeguards your financial stability, ensuring that your business can survive such unexpected setbacks.

Client Trust

When clients see that you're insured, it builds confidence in them that you are professional and reliable. It shows that you take your work seriously and are prepared to handle unexpected situations. Clients are more likely to choose a tradesperson who has insurance over one who doesn't. 

Allows You To Focus on Your Business

Public Liability Insurance isn't just about protecting your finances; it's about protecting your sanity. Knowing that you're covered in the event of accidents or claims can help you concentrate on the bigger picture, ensuring that your mind is fully on your work rather than constantly worrying about potential liabilities.

How Does Public Liability Insurance Work With Rhino Trade Insurance?

Right, you've got the 'what' and the 'why.' Now, let's get into the nitty-gritty of how this insurance works:

  • Policy Coverage

Public Liability Insurance generally covers the cost of legal fees, settlements, and compensation for third-party claims. This includes property damage and bodily injury, as we mentioned earlier. The specific coverage and limits can vary depending on your policy, and at Rhino Trade Insurance, you have the option (depending on your business needs) to take out cover from £1 million, £2 million and £5 million. To ensure you take out the right level of protection, various factors like your business size and the risk posed by your work will be taken into account by our policy experts. 

  • Claim Process

When an incident occurs, your first step in processing a trade insurance claim is notifying the Rhino team about the incident. In order to ensure that the claim is processed and paid out as quickly as possible, policyholders are usually expected to report the incident as soon as it happens. In order to ascertain if the claim is accurate or not, our claims team will first confirm its accuracy. then , we will handle the financial aspects, including settlements and legal fees, up to your policy limit. Our claims team has created extremely efficient processes so that your claims journey is as bump-free as possible.

  • Premiums and Excess

To enjoy the benefits of Public Liability Insurance, you'll need to pay your premiums. At Rhino Trade Insurance, we work hard to ensure these are some of the best prices on the market. As a tradesperson, the amount you pay can vary based on factors like your business type, size, location, and the level of cover you need. With Rhino, our policies all come with a standard excess of £500, which is the initial amount you're responsible for before the insurance kicks in.

  • Policy Exclusions

While Public Liability Insurance is a powerful tool, it doesn't cover everything, and that's why it's crucial to read and understand your policy to know what's covered and what's not. Don't worry, though. We offer several insurance options that can be added to your public liability so that your business can have full 360 protection. 

What else do Rhino offer?

  • Available levels of coverage include £1 million, £2 million, and £5 million.
  • Very affordable prices
  • Multiple trades/business activities may be covered by optional protection (covering tools, accidents, and more).
  • Immediate protection and access to paperwork
  • The choice between monthly and yearly payments
  • Swift claim processing
  • Customer service in the UK

What About Some Real-Life Scenarios?

To bring the concept of Public Liability Insurance to life, let's dive into some hypothetical situations where it can make all the difference:

Plumbing Slip-Up

You're a plumber working on a bathroom revamp, and while fixing a leaky pipe, you accidentally spill water on the client's expensive marble floor. Without insurance, you'd be responsible for the cost of replacing the damaged tiles. With Public Liability Insurance, your insurance policy would cover the expenses.

Electrician's Shock

As an electrician, you're rewiring a home when a sudden power surge occurs, injuring the homeowner. The owner demands compensation for time off work, medical bills and rehabilitation. Public Liability Insurance will then cover the costs, saving you from a hefty out-of-pocket expense.

Tips for Managing Risks


Business crisis manager stopping falling dominos from collapsing

While Public Liability Insurance is a valuable safety net, it's also essential to minimise risks in your trade business; you can do this by following some of these best practices:

Prioritise Safety

Invest in proper safety training for yourself and your employees. Take the right precautions to prevent accidents and injuries on the job.

Document Everything

Keep meticulous records of your work, contracts, and interactions with clients. Clear documentation can be a lifesaver in case of disputes or claims due to there being evidence of what occurred. 

Communicate Effectively

Have open and transparent conversations with your clients. Discuss potential risks and agree on expectations before starting any project so that no one is left wondering what is going on.

Regular Maintenance

Ensure that your tools and equipment are in good working order so that work gets done to a sufficient level and in good time. Regular maintenance can reduce the likelihood of accidents caused by faulty equipment.

Why Get Your Public Liability Insurance From Rhino Trade Insurance?

While no one wishes for accidents or legal disputes, being prepared is the hallmark of a responsible and sustainable trade business. So, don't leave your business's fate to chance. Take the time to assess your options and invest in public liability insurance today. It's the shield that allows you to focus on what you do best - providing quality trade services - while knowing that you're protected when the unexpected strikes.

Remember, every successful trade business is built on a foundation of skill, dedication, and smart risk management. With public liability insurance from Rhino Trade Insurance in your corner, you're not just a tradesperson; you're a tradesperson with the power to thrive, no matter what challenges come your way. Get your quote today by calling us on 0116 243 7904

About The Author Phil McCormick

Experienced in brand marketing and content. Most of that lovely communication you see online will be from Phil. social media, emails, videos, how to make a bacon sarny? You get the gist!

Trade most identified with: Electrician - It’s our Phil’s job to map out all our communications and make sure the signal works! Also, he’s one of the cockiest blighters in the team so electrician fits perfectly!

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