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What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance, sometimes referred to as general liability or third party liability insurance, provides limited company contractors and sole traders cover for damage to third party property or injury to third party persons. In addition, it provides cover for any legal fees that may arise as a consequence of any claims you have to defend.

You can see exactly what you're covered for with public liability insurance over on our What's Included page.

Public liability is on a ‘losses occurring’ basis

As with employers' liability insurance, public liability insurance works on a 'losses occurring' basis. This means you'll be covered for claims that occurred during the period of insurance. Should a claim be bought against you after your policy has expired for an incident that occurred during the policy period with Kingsbridge, you would still be covered.

Is public liability insurance required?

Even if your contract doesn't stipulate that having public liability insurance in place, it's still a very good idea for any contractors to hold it as it's an excellent way of mitigating any risks you might face, and claims in this area can be very steep.

Do you have any public liability claim examples?

An engineering contractor working on-site accidentally kicked over photographic equipment belonging to their end client. Their policy covered the costs of providing replacement equipment.

A self-employed IT technician was working at the site of a customer. They accidentally knocked over a cup of coffee and its contents poured down the back of a computer, damaging it beyond repair. The customer subsequently sued the IT technician for the cost of a new computer, and they were covered under the terms of their public liability insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is public liability insurance?
  • Protection against claims for legal liability in respect of accidental bodily injury to third parties, or damage to third party property arising in the course of your business activities.
  • Is public liability insurance a legal requirement?
  • No, public liability is not a legal requirement for businesses. It can be a contractual requirement, and you may also wish to hold it to protect yourself.
  • Can I claim public liability on tax?
  • It is a business expense! Once you have purchased your policy, your receipt will come through almost instantly with your documents, you can then use this to claim back the expense. You should always discuss your tax requirements with your accountant.
  • Do you need public liability when working from home?
  • Although you may feel that you don’t need public liability if you are working from home, you should consider if you will be going out to work at any point, for example, if you have to go into your client's office in an emergency or have a meeting with a client.