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What Is The Limit of Indemnity in Public Liability?

Rhino Trade Insurance 09 December 2023

As a dedicated tradesperson, you understand the importance of providing top-notch services to your clients. However, accidents can happen, and when they do, they can result in costly legal claims that could threaten your business's financial stability. This is where public liability insurance comes into play. It acts as a buffer, protecting you from unexpected liabilities that may arise from your trade work. 

But, have you ever wondered about the limit of indemnity in public liability insurance and how it affects your business? Let's dive into this important aspect of insurance, explaining what it is, why it matters, and how to determine the right limit of indemnity for your trade business.

The Basics of Public Liability Insurance

Before we explore the intricacies of the limit of indemnity, let's begin by understanding the fundamentals of public liability insurance.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Business man in the office fill out insurance policy

Public liability insurance is a form of trade insurance cover that provides protection for businesses and individuals against third-party claims for bodily injury, property damage, or financial losses resulting from your business activities. In essence, it safeguards you from the financial consequences of accidents or mishaps that occur while you're conducting your trade.

Why Is Public Liability Insurance Essential for Tradespeople?

Financial Security: 

Public liability insurance offers financial security by covering the costs of legal defence, settlements, or compensation to the injured party. This can save your business from bankruptcy in the event of a substantial claim.


Having this insurance showcases your professionalism and commitment to your client's safety. It can also help you win contracts with clients who require proof of insurance.

The Limit of Indemnity Explained

Now that you have a grasp of what public liability insurance is, let's explore the concept of the limit of indemnity.

What Is the Limit of Indemnity?

The limit of indemnity, often referred to as the policy limit, is the maximum amount your public liability insurance policy will pay out in the event of a covered claim. It acts as a financial cap on our (Rhino Trade Insurance's) liability to you, the policyholder. Essentially, it's the safety net that ensures you won't be left to shoulder outrageous costs if a claim arises.

Why is the Limit of Indemnity Important?

Understanding the limit of indemnity is crucial because it directly impacts the level of protection your insurance policy provides. Here's why it matters:

Financial Protection: 

The limit of indemnity determines the upper limit of financial protection your policy offers. If a claim exceeds this limit, you may have to cover the remaining costs out of your own pocket. With Rhino, you can choose to cover your trade business anywhere from £1 million up to a maximum of £5 million. 

Risk Assessment: 

Setting the right limit of indemnity involves assessing the risks associated with your trade. It helps you tailor your insurance coverage to your specific needs, ensuring you're adequately protected.


In some cases, clients or contracts may require you to have a minimum limit of indemnity to be eligible for work. Understanding this aspect can help you meet specific contractual obligations.

Factors Influencing Your Limit of Indemnity

Now that you recognise the significance of the limit of indemnity, let's explore the factors that should influence your decision when determining the appropriate limit for your public liability insurance policy.

  1. Nature of Your Trade

The type of trade you're involved in plays a significant role in determining your limit of indemnity. Trades with inherently higher risks, such as construction or electrical work, generally require higher coverage limits due to the potential for more substantial claims.

  1. Business Size and Revenue

The size of your business and its annual revenue also influence the ideal limit of indemnity. Larger businesses with higher turnovers usually opt for higher coverage limits to protect their assets adequately.

  1. Types of Clients and Contracts

Consider the types of clients you work with and the contracts you undertake. Some clients may insist on specific coverage limits as a condition of working with them (such as local councils). Tailor your coverage to meet these requirements.

  1. Potential Claim Costs

Assess the potential costs of claims in your industry. For example, a minor injury fixing a cupboard might result in a lower claim compared to a severe injury in construction. Ensure your limit of indemnity aligns with the potential financial impact of claims in your trade.

How To Find the Right Balance

Determining the ideal limit of indemnity isn't a one-size-fits-all process. It requires careful consideration and often the expertise of insurance professionals like our team at Rhino. Here's a step-by-step guide to help you find the right balance:

  1. Assess Your Business

Begin by evaluating your trade, business size, and the nature of your work. Are you a sole trader, a small business owner, or part of a larger company? Understanding your business's specifics is crucial.

  1. Analyse Past Claims

If you have a history of insurance claims, examine their costs. This can give you a valuable insight into the potential risks your business faces and help you estimate appropriate coverage.

  1. Client and Contract Requirements

Review your client contracts and any industry-specific requirements. Ensure your coverage aligns with these agreements to avoid potential legal issues or contract breaches.

  1. Consider Future Growth

Think about your business's future growth and expansion plans. Your coverage should be adaptable to accommodate increased revenue and a larger client base.

  1. Seek Professional Advice

Consulting one of our expert policy professionals will be immensely beneficial. Our team at Rhino Trade Insurance can assess your unique situation and recommend coverage limits that provide the right balance of protection and affordability.

Types of Claims Covered By Public Liability Insurance?

Understanding what types of claims your public liability insurance covers is essential when setting your limit of indemnity. Here are some common scenarios:

Bodily Injury: 

If a third party is injured due to your business activities, your insurance can cover medical expenses, rehabilitation costs, and potential legal fees.

Property Damage: 

Public liability insurance can protect against the costs of repairing or replacing any property damaged as a result of your work.

Legal Defence Costs: 

In addition to claim payouts, your insurance can cover legal fees, including hiring legal representation and court expenses.

Any Other Additional Considerations?

While the limit of indemnity is a central component of your public liability insurance, there are a few more aspects to keep in mind:

  1. Excess

Excess is the amount you must pay towards any claim before your insurance coverage kicks in. With a Rhino policy, every insurance product comes with a standard excess of £500 unless you opt to add our excess protect, which allows you to reduce your excess fee. Ask us about this when speaking with our insurance experts about your policy. 

  1. Policy Exclusions

Understand the policy exclusions. Not all incidents are covered by public liability insurance. Familiarise yourself with what's included and excluded in your policy.

  1. Review Periodically

Your business's needs can change over time. It's essential to review your insurance coverage periodically to ensure it remains aligned with your evolving circumstances.

Why Choose Rhino Trade Insurance For Your Cover?

Public liability insurance and the limit of indemnity are vital components of protecting your trade business from unexpected financial setbacks. By understanding the nuances of these factors and customising your insurance to your specific needs, you can rest easy, knowing that your business is safeguarded against potential liabilities. 

Remember, chat with one of our helpful trade experts when navigating the complex world of insurance. We will help ensure that you make informed choices that benefit your business in the long run. Call us today 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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