Public Liability Cover is Essential for Any Business that Interacts with the Public.
If you operate your own business, it is important to understand what public liability insurance is, and why you need it.
The various types of insurance that you need to think about for your business can seem like just another expense. But for any company that interacts with members of the public, public liability insurance is something you really cannot do without.
If your business has to pay damages arising from injury or property damage to a third party, having a public liability policy in place could be the key to its continuing survival. While each policy is different, public liability is in essence designed to cover exactly these types of costs, as well as the associated legal or medical expenses.
As well as providing protection to you, customers are increasingly savvy when it comes to insurance cover. By having a policy in place, you make it clear that the business takes a serious approach to risk management.
No matter how skilled or careful you might be, accidents do happen – and there is always the chance of being found liable for somebody else’s accident. The following examples provide some illustrations.
Slips and Trips
Perhaps the first type of incident to spring to mind, and one of the most difficult to manage or mitigate. The possibility of a customer tripping over and blaming the actions, or inactions, of your business can never be completely eliminated.
The risk can, of course, be mitigated and you have a duty of care to take reasonable precautions by ensuring trip hazards are avoided, spillages cleaned up and so on.
If your property is in any type of disrepair, it can present a hazard to members of the public. Common examples include jagged edges, loose carpets and badly maintained lighting.
Consider outdoor factors too, such as damaged or uneven concrete, loose brickwork and exposed tree roots.
When you or your employees are working away from your own premises, the risk profile of your business immediately rises, particularly if you are working in a customer’s home or in close proximity to members of the public.
Tools and plant
Many accidents result from use, misuse or other related incidents involving tools. This can even include items falling or being dropped while in use. As in most cases, it is impossible to eliminate the risk, but by implementing sensible maintenance and training procedures, it can certainly be mitigated.
Some businesses carry higher inherent risk than others, and in these, public liability insurance is even more important.
For example, companies involved in building and construction carry a high risk of accidents through slips, trips and falling objects, and associated industries such as scaffolders and providers of other types of construction equipment also present higher risks.
Another significant example is pubs, or other licensed premises, as we all know how alcohol and accidents can often go hand in hand.
Whatever your business, it is important to remember that some incidents are out of your control. Public liability cover should be at the top of every responsible business’s agenda as a key component of its overall risk manage