Do Small Businesses Really Need Public Liability Insurance?

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Many small businesses opt out of public liability insurance because they don’t feel that they need it. After all, if you run a small home business and have a couple of office staff – what can possibly go wrong?

Public Liability, by definition, is in place to correct civil wrongs. These generally fall outside of contractual agreements, where an injured party sues another based on negligence or damages. As you can imagine, these situations can become highly complex.

The most common public liability claims are trips and falls in a public place, injury from falling objects or stress and anxiety due to situations such as elevator malfunctions, hold-ups etc.

Accidents by their very nature are unplanned and unexpected.

It’s easy to see how a building company, a plumber or a tree feller would need public liability insurance. Operating heavy machinery or scaffold carries an assumed risk. If one of their staff members fell through the ceiling or dropped a branch onto the house – that would be unfortunate, but not entirely unexpected.

But, what about the countless smaller home businesses? Perhaps you run a marketing company, or you’re a bookkeeper. Well, what happens if you spill your coffee over your client’s MacBook? Or one of your staff trip over a wire at a client’s premises and pull over a computer?

Despite your best efforts to eliminate risk from your business, accidents can and do happen. And if you or a staff member injure a client or member of the public, you are going to face a hefty medical bill. Perhaps loss of earnings or stress will be lumped into that claim. The same can be said of property damage.

What does public liability insurance cover?

This varies from business to business, so it’s worth talking to a seasoned broker who can offer sound advice. But broadly speaking, public liability insurance covers you and your employees against property damage or injury to a third party. The size and type of your business will dictate the level of risk, so you may be pleasantly surprised at a lower premium because of your risk factor.

For businesses carrying a higher risk, such as builders and tree fellers as mentioned above, your clients will assume that you have appropriate public liability insurance – in fact, they would likely not hire you without it. Good public liability insurance is a great selling tool and sets you apart as a professional from others in your industry.

Accidents happen – it’s a part of life. But good public liability cover means that your small business won’t be closed down by a hefty claim, nor will you lose a valuable client because of a small accident.

Let us help you stay afloat. Chat to one of our brokers and find out what cover would be best for your small business.