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. A claim could arise, for example, if someone were injured or suffered damage.
What about employees claiming against their employer?
It’s important to note that public liability insurance does not relate to employee claims. It relates to what happens when a member of the public comes into contact with your working operations and incurs injury or damage as a result of something your business did, or failed to do.
What sort of things could give rise to a claim?
Usually accidents, for which it can be reasonably proved you had responsibility for, or a duty to prevent. For example, a customer may have tripped over something in your workshop and twisted their ankle, or faulty wiring you installed may have caused damage to a customer’s home.
These are just two examples; there are many ways an accident can happen. Some injuries or damage may be minor, but claims can run to many thousands of pounds in more serious cases.
Isn’t public liability insurance just for a business set up as a limited company?
Any business, regardless of how they are legally set up and structured, could be at risk of a claim if their work brings them into contact with the public.
Whereas any successful claim would be paid out of a limited company’s funds, you will be personally responsible for any compensation if you are self-employed.
But I only come into occasional contact with the public…
You can find yourself facing a claim for any number of reasons. If you come into any contact with the public, you should consider public liability insurance – even if it isn’t often.
I do not earn much. Do I still need it?
Public liability insurance is not dependent on how much you earn. However, you may find that if your income is modest, your premium may be lower. That said, it really depends on the nature of the work you do, not your income.
What will be covered if I am self-employed?
What your insurance covers is somewhat dependent on the policy you take out. In general, the cost of any successful claim for compensation, as well as legal fees, will be covered.
Public liability insurance not only protects your business; other assets such as your home, which could be at risk if you cannot pay a claim, will be safe.