What can be claimed for on public liability insurance?
While knowing you have insurance is reassuring if something goes wrong, it’s also important to know what can be claimed for when you need it. This FAQ examines the costs public liability insurance can help with.
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance is there to protect you and your business in the event something your business does causes damage to a member of the public’s property or causes them harm.
Public liability is separate from employers’ liability insurance which covers you if an employee sues you for causing them injury or harm. It’s also different from professional indemnity insurance which covers you for providing negligent professional advice.
How do I make a claim?
If you suspect a member of the public may have a claim against you, check your insurance documents. They should set out exactly what you must do and when.
For example, if a member of the public suffers a serious injury caused by your business, your insurance policy may require you to notify them within a set number of days. If you don’t, it could invalidate your insurance.
What can be claimed for on my public liability policy?
Public liability covers a range of eventualities.
For example: a plumber installs a kitchen sink in a flat. During installation, he does something wrong, e.g., he misconnects fittings or inadvertently disconnects a pipe.
The incident results in a leak that goes unnoticed for a while, but eventually causes damage to the floors and leaks through to the flat below. This causes thousands of pounds in damage. If you are sued, you can then claim the costs on your public liability policy.
Can I claim for injuries?
If your business has caused a member of the public an injury, this is something you can claim for.
Another example: if a member of the public arrives on site and slips on a wet floor or trips on a wire. They land badly and break their wrist as they put out their hand to break the fall.
As a result of the injury, they cannot work for several months. They must have surgery on the broken wrist, which requires several trips to hospital. Because they can’t drive, they must get a taxi for each trip.
The claim they then make may include:
- lost wages
- taxi fares to the hospital
- compensation for the pain and suffering endured
It’s not hard to see how a claim can quickly amount to many thousands of pounds. Luckily, you’ll be able to claim on your public liability insurance. Depending on the level of cover, it will meet the costs of any damages, compensation awarded, and legal costs.