A Little Help With Understanding Public Liability Coverage

Public liability insurance is an important and often compulsory product for all businesses, whether you are a new entrepreneur or a multinational conglomerate. If an individual is hurt or incurs property damage as a result of negligence, the business responsible can be held liable for compensating the claimant. From extensive legal fees to hospital treatment, a single incident can jeopardise the financial health and solvency of your business.

How Public Liability Insurance Works

Public liability insurance is engineered to protect your business from such an occurrence. It covers the cost of all legal fees as well as any compensation awarded to the claimant. Furthermore, if the NHS seeks entitlement for any hospital bills, the insurance company will be responsible for defraying the cost.

What Public Liability Insurance Covers

Both injuries and damage to personal property will be covered under the terms of your public liability insurance policy. This is true whether the injury is caused by you or employee, and regardless of whether it occurs at your office or in a client’s home.

A typical policy will generally cover the cost of the damage, the price of legal representation, and any other fees and expenses incurred whilst defending your claim. In summary, most policies will protect your business against the following:

  • Entitlements for damages and injury
  • Claims made by the NHS for medical treatment
  • Legal costs and expenses
  • Covers damages made by you, an employee, or while on your premises

Limitations and Exclusions

Public liability coverage is designed to protect your business in the event of injury or property damage to a third party. It does not protect you from an injury to an employee. For that, employers liability insurance is required.

Furthermore, many insurance policies do not provide coverage if reasonable steps are not made to prevent an injury due to negligence. For example, if a contractor deliberately builds a faulty deck by using inferior tools and equipment, an insurance company may refuse to provide coverage.

Types of Public Liability Insurance Claims

Public liability insurance claims happen to individuals from a variety of professions. The following are some examples of typical claims to give you an idea of how public liability coverage works:

IT Jobs – A computer engineer working on a customer site may accidentally knock over a cup of coffee down the back of a server. This will not only damage the expensive hardware beyond repair, but knock down the entire network until the server is replaced. As a result, the engineer is now liable to pay an enormous cost to the customer, which without insurance will irreparably harm his business and personal finances.

Restaurant and Store Owners – Any building that has regular traffic increases the likelihood for slips and falls. Whether it is a loose piece of carpeting or a slippery tile, failing to properly warn a customer with a sign before an accident can mean the business was negligent with regard to safety.

Contractors – Anyone who performs work at a client’s home can cause injury or damage to property. Whether it is a spilled drink, a poorly repaired step, or a badly wired fuse box, there are no shortage of accidents that can occur while you or your employees are visiting a client.

Amount of Cover Required

The amount of cover you require is contingent on the type of business you own. Risks vary from company to company, and the premiums are fashioned according to those risks. A small business will likely take cover anywhere between £1 million and £5 million.

However, some may take out larger cover to provide peace of mind for the business and the client. A public liability plan shows the client that should an accident happen, they will be compensated for the error. Public liability costs are typically low, and can be packaged with other insurance to mitigate costs.

Landlords Should Be Taking A Closer Look At Their Building Insurance

While there are a plethora of different landlord insurance policies available, most typically fall into three major categories: building insurance, house insurance, and contents insurance. Although there are companies that sell package policies which contain a combination of all three, the offerings may vary from provider to provider.

Ultimately, the best method to take when shopping for building insurance is to take into account what your specific needs are, the number of properties you wish to ensure, and what type of discounts are being provided for your particular situation. This will result in saving far more time and money than had you simply purchased the first or most recognizable product.

The Necessity of Landlord or Building Insurance

There is no legal requirement to purchase landlord insurance. However, it is highly recommended, as the cost of the insurance premiums are trivial when considering the possibility that your entire property could be lost as the result of a single incident. These buildings are valuable investments worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. At the same time, given our litigious society and the propensity for accidents in the home, there is no shortage of scenarios where you could be liable for an injury or accident involving a tenant. Having the proper business insurance policy can safeguard you from such an occurrence.

Even if you have an existing home-owner or building insurance policy, you may want to check the fine print to ensure that you are covered for the most common liability claims. Having an insurance plan will do little good if it is filled with exclusions and technicalities regarding what types of claims you are protected from.

Building Insurance

Being a landlord, your most valuable asset is the property itself and the rent money you acquire on a monthly basis. All of this can be lost if you fail to protect yourself from a liability claim. Typical building insurance coverage will protect you against damages caused by fire, explosion, earthquake, flood, lightning, riots, falling trees, theft, and other damages.

Landlord Insurance

Landlord insurance is generally utilized to cover smaller aspects of a property, such as the carpets and countertops that may be damaged in the event of fire or flood. This can be added on top of your existing building insurance premium for a nominal fee.

Insurance Costs

The price of building insurance will hinge on a variety of disparate factors such as the location of the property, the value to restore the building and the type of tenant living in the residence. For example, if a property were easy to rebuild, the amount of the premium would be significantly less than a more expensive structure. Location is another prime factor, as certain areas are more prone to fire, theft, or natural disaster. The type of tenant usually only comes in to play if the person has a criminal history, or if the amount of tenants living in a confined space could potentially make it more hazardous.

Most assessments will include an estimate of the value of reinstatement. This includes not only rebuilding the property anew, but any clean-up costs associated with demolishing and disposing of the wrecked property. Some people, however, make the mistake of using the sale price to assess the reinstatement value, which can significantly overestimate the cost of a rebuild. This is because the majority of a property’s value is tied into the land and not the structure that lies atop it. Rebuilding should in fact cost substantially less than selling the property itself.

Tips On Finding A Competitive Public Liability Insurance Quote

Public liability insurance is designed to protect businesses from lawsuits, claims and damages caused by the company as a result of negligence. Without adequate protection, a business can be deemed responsible for injuries, property damage, and legal expenses. The result of such a lawsuit can not only be financially threatening to your business, but harm your reputation to the point that it may be impossible to work again in the same industry, depending on the nature of the claim.

As a result, while liability insurance is not compulsory for all types of businesses, the threat and risk is real enough that most professionals consider it a necessary for peace of mind when they conduct their normal operations.

Finding a Public Liability Policy that is Right for You

Your business is not like any other. While it may be similar to other competitors in the industry, ultimately your operations and risks will be unique to your specific situation and how you run your business. Before you search for a public liability quote, the first thing you want to do is determine where your business is most vulnerable. Isolate what aspects you believe must be covered at all costs and where you can be more flexible.

Most small businesses do not have the revenue to purchase comprehensive liability coverage and must be more creative with the type of coverage they choose. Moreover, cheaper coverage tends to have a large number of exclusions and conditions associated with it that will force you to make compromises.

Comparison Sites

Once you have an idea of what type of coverage you want, you can now begin to shop for it. An excellent tool to utilise in this regard is a comparison site. Normally, a customer must go to each insurance provider individually and enter their information over and over again. At the bare minimum a comparison site saves you time by allowing you enter the information once and spread it out over the website’s entire database.

Afterward you can use the site to sort based on a variety of different criteria, from price to region to customer rating. If you find a provider you like, you can even order insurance directly through the comparison site. Most of the time, however, you will want to follow up with a broker afterward.

Consult a Professional

Once you find a quote you like, it is time to consult a professional regarding your options. You can find a certified broker on the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) website, or you can deal with a broker directly from the insurance policy. However, it is important to ensure that the provider itself is a member of the Association of British Insurers (ABI). A broker can look at the plan you have selected and address areas that need more coverage or areas where coverage is deemed superfluous.

If the broker is with the insurance company, enquire whether or not the plan is flexible and can meet your insurance requirements as your business expands. If you are comfortable with the arrangement and have gone over all the small print, you can then make your purchase.