Public Liability insurance FAQs

Questions and answers that relate to Public Liability insurance, including what it is designed to cover, levels of cover that are available, where insurance applies to and information about No Claim Discounts. This information is provided as a guide only, and if you have any doubts or questions, you can give our expert team a ring on 0800 0280 380.

How much does public liability insurance cost?

Even if efficient health and safety procedures are in place at work, accidents still happen. However, ia business is found to be at fault, the legal costs and compensation payments can be significant.

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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance covers your business in respect of legal claims made by someone for something your business has done (or not done) which resulted in personal injury, death, loss, or damage.

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What does public liability insurance cover?

If your work brings you into contact with the public, you will almost certainly need public liability insurance, especially if you are a tradesperson, in construction, or a shopkeeper.

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How much public liability insurance do I need?

I run a small business. Do I really need cover worth millions? While the answer is nearly always ‘yes’, it’s not a black-and-white issue.

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Do I need public liability insurance?

It’s a good question that we get asked often. So, once again, in this post, we’ve answered the most commonly asked questions, to help you decided whether or not you need Public Liability Insurance.

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How to get public liability insurance

You know you need Public Liability Insurance but how do you get cover? Don’t worry, in this post we’ll talk you through everything you need to know and do to get your Public Liability Insurance in place and we’ll answer all your most commonly asked questions.

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Is public liability insurance compulsory?

As a tradesperson or small business you are not legally required to have public liability insurance. However, that does not mean you will never need cover.

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Do sole traders need public liability insurance?

If a claim is brought against you as a sole trader and you do not have insurance to protect you, you will have to pay any successful claim for damages and compensation.

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What does public liability insurance cover mean?

Public liability insurance is taken out by businesses, companies, or tradespeople whose work brings them into contact with the public.

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Self-employed public liability insurance

Public liability insurance will cover you in the event someone makes a legal claim against you for something that has happened because of your work.

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Can I get public liability insurance?

If you come into contact with the public while running your own business – as a limited company or a sole trader – you are eligible for public liability insurance.

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Do I need public liability insurance for a private party?

Public liability insurance provides protection in the event a third party makes a claim against you for damage done to their property, or injuries they have sustained because of your work.

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Does public liability insurance cover contractors?

Public liability insurance provides cover for businesses and sole traders. It protects against any claims for damages arising from injury or damage caused to a member of the public or their property, because of work carried out by the business.

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Is business insurance the same as public liability?

‘Business insurance’ is a broad term that covers a variety of areas. For example, you can get business insurance to protect you against the cost of damage to property, equipment & stock and employment disputes.

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Is it law to have public liability insurance?

The law doesn’t require you to have public liability insurance, but that doesn’t mean you don’t need it in certain circumstances.

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Can you get public liability insurance for one day?

If your business comes into contact with the public, you should get public liability insurance.

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Does professional indemnity insurance cover public liability?

This is for any small business, sole trader or freelancer who provides a professional service, and could have claims brought against them by a client for financial loss.

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Does a public liability insurance certificate have to be displayed?

It protects you if an accident happens during the course of your work, which injures a member of the public or causes damage to their property.

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How to claim against public liability insurance

Your public liability insurance will cover the cost of claims made by members of the public for personal injuries, death and loss or damage to property, as a result of an incident that happened on your premises, or in a public place, due to your work.

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What happens if you have no public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects your business against claims for damages or compensation from members of the public, who may have suffered injury, or damage to their property, because of your work.

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Can I have an additional or secondary trade?

Yes. If you have a primary trade, maybe as a plumber, but also work on occasion as, say, a carpenter, you’ll want to be sure that you’re covered for both of these trades.

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Do I need public liability insurance for an event?

If your work or business activities bring you into contact with members of the public, then you need public liability insurance. It will protect you in the event that your business activities cause harm, injury or damage to someone who is not involved with your work.  

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Does public liability insurance cover food poisoning? 

Public liability insurance protects a business in the event that it causes injury or damage to a member to the public or their property.

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Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

A tax-deductible expense is a purchase deemed necessary and ordinary for business operations, whether you are a small, limited company or a sole trader.

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Why is public liability insurance important? 

It protects your business if someone successfully brings a claim against you for personal injury or damage suffered because of your business operations.  

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Does public liability insurance cover personal injury?

If your work or business activities bring you into contact with the general public, you will need public liability insurance. It will protect you and your business if someone brings a claim against you, due to injury or damage they have suffered as a direct result of your work activities.

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How much is public and product liability insurance?

Premiums can be as little as £60 for some small businesses and sole traders, but generally range somewhere between £100 and £500.

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How many employees or trainees can I insure?

We insure a manual work force of up to a total of 15 employees and/ or trainees, who work manually away from your premises.

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Is employers liability insurance the same as public liability insurance? 

Employers' liability insurance provides your business with protection should an employee successfully claim for an injury or illness suffered as a result of working for your business.  

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How much should public liability insurance cost? 

To provide an accurate quote, an insurer will need specific information about your business. As a very rough guide, a small business in the UK normally pays between £50 and £450 a year, with the average being £118. 

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What is meant by a “Main Trade”?

This is the trade that takes up the majority of your working time.

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What public liability insurance do I need to be a contractor?

Legally, you are required to have employers liability insurance if you employ anyone. That can include volunteers and part-time workers. However, you are not legally required to have public liability insurance.  

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Why do we need public liability insurance? 

It protects you and your business if a member of the public succeeds in bringing a claim against you for damage or injury caused by your work activities.    

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What business types do you insure?

Our policy for tradespeople covers a range of business types including Sole Traders, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Companies.

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What trades do you insure?

We insure a wide range of trades, in fact it’s over 70, so whatever you do from air conditioning engineers to wheelie bin cleaners, there’s a good chance that we insure your trade.

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What is your turnover limit?

We insure businesses with a turnover of up to £3M per annum. If your turnover limit is higher than this, please ring us on 0800 0280 230.

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What is your manual workforce limit?

We insure a manual work force of up to a total of 15 employees and/ or trainees, who work manually away from your premises.

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What is a labour only sub-contractor (LOSC)?

Providing an exact definition for a labour only sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these LOSC  questions, the worker is probably a labour only sub-contractor.

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What is a bona-fide sub-contractor (BFSC)?

Providing an exact definition for a bona sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these BFSC questions, the worker is probably a bona fide sub-contractor

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What is a No Claim Discount?

No Claim Discounts, sometimes known as a No Claim Bonus, are discounts that are offered to people who haven’t claimed against their insurance for a given period of time.

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Do you offer a No Claim Discount on trade insurance?

Yes. We offer up to 10% No Claim Discount off our Tradesman's insurance if you have 2 years or more claim free.

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Do I have to provide my No Claim Discount proof?

In the event that you need to make a claim, the insurer may perform checks relating to your claims history, and you may have to demonstrate your no claim discount entitlement.

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Can I lower my Public Liability insurance premium?

Some insurance companies and policies offer a voluntary excesses, where you can opt to reduce the amount that would be paid in the event of a claim.

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Do you insure businesses in Northern Ireland?

Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in Northern Ireland.

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Do you insure businesses in the Isle of Man?

Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in the Isle of Man.

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Do you insure businesses in the Channel Islands?

Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in the Channel Islands.

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What is the difference between Public Liability insurance and Employers’ Liability insurance?

Pretty much everything! It's probably best to read about Public Liability insurance and Employers' Liability insurance.

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How can I pay for my policy?

We currently offer two ways of paying for your Tradesman Public Liability insurance policy.

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Can I pay by debit/ credit card?

Yes. We accept payments made using major credit and debit cards.

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Can I pay by instalments?

Yes. You have the option of paying for your insurance in instalments via Direct Debit.

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How do I get my documents?

When you buy a Tradesman Public Liability policy through our website, your documents are available immediately from the “My Trade Direct” area of the website.

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Can I download my documents from your website?

Yes. When you purchase a Tradesman Public Liability insurance policy from Trade Direct Insurance via our website, we automatically create an online account for you.

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I bought my policy via your call centre. Can I manage my policy online?

Yes. Before you can manage your Tradesman Public Liability insurance policy, you will need to activate your online account.

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How do I activate my online account?

If you have bought a Tradesman Public Liability policy from us over the telephone and want to view or download your documents, you will need to create and activate an online account.

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Can I change my password?

Yes. Before you can change your password, you will need to log in to your online account.

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I’ve forgotten my password. What do I do?

We have a forgotten password link on our website.

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Can I change my username?

Yes. To change your username, you first need to log in to your Account using the email address that you were previously using.

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Can I update my email address?

Yes. To change your email address (which is your username), you first need to log in to your Account using the email address that you were previously using.

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How do I notify you of a claim?

You’re welcome to contact us, and we’ll help in any way we can, however claims processing is handled by the insurer - not us.

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Can I manage my policy online?

Yes. We have a number of online functions.

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Can I make changes to my policy online?

During your policy term, if you need to make any changes, you will need to ring us on 0800 0280 380.

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Can I renew my policy online?

At the renewal of your policy, you can view your renewal documents online, and if you don’t need to make any changes, you can pay your renewal premium online.

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Can I notify you of a claim online?

You’re welcome to contact us, and we’ll help in any way we can, however claims processing is handled by the insurer - not us.

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I bought a Trade UK policy. Can I get my documents online?

If you bought a Tradesman insurance policy from the Trade UK website between September 2012 and 1st September 2014, unfortunately you are not currently able to view or download documents from the Trade Direct website.

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Can I get my documents posted to me?

Yes. Like many companies, we provide documents electronically when you buy on our website, and also when you purchase on the telephone.

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Any more questions?

If you have a question that's not answered here, please ring us on 0800 0280 380

 

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Full details of our Terms & Conditions, Limits, Excesses and Policy Exclusions can be found in our Policy Wordings. These guides refer to our Tradesmans’ Insurance policy. Trade Direct do not offer advice relating to insurance, and you need to ensure that insurance you choose meets your demands and needs.