When you run your own business, your reputation is everything. And it’s governed by more than your brand building and marketing activities. Even your constant striving for operational excellence isn’t enough to cement a flawless reputation. You also need to have comprehensive risk management strategies that will help you prepare for the worst even as you plan for the best. And a big part of this is ensuring that your business has the right insurance cover. If your business comes into physical contact with other members of the public, there’s an excellent chance that you need Public Liability Insurance.
What is Public Liability Insurance and what kinds of business need it?
Public Liability Insurance protects your business from liability in the event that someone is injured on your premises. It is a popular choice among all kinds of businesses with a physical premises. Stores, cafes, bars, restaurants, salons and spas will usually be covered by Public Liability insurance. However, even if you have a business without a physical premises (like a mobile hairdresser, builder or pet groomer) you will still benefit from this form of insurance because there’s still a risk of causing injury to others, however careful you may be.
Why does my business need Public Liability Insurance?
If someone injures themselves on your premises it can not only be a PR disaster, it can leave you seriously out of pocket. If someone injures themselves on your premises they may take legal action and could sue you for compensation, legal fees and (where appropriate) medical expenses.
There are few SMEs that could fit the bill for this without appropriate insurance cover. Public Liability Insurance allows you to do right by injured parties without decimating your business’ finances, helping you to avoid a disaster that could force you to close your doors.
Is Public Liability Insurance a legal requirement?
There is no legal requirement to take out Public Liability Insurance. However, while not a legal obligation, it should absolutely be considered essential. Without it you could be forced to pay compensation to injured parties out of your own pocket, not to mention a potential fortune in legal fees. While all SMEs are conscious of overheads, the cost of a policy pales in comparison to the costs incurred if you aren’t covered.
Are there any non-business uses for Public Liability Insurance?
There are many who take out Public Liability Insurance for non-business uses. For example, some use it to cover private parties at external venues. That way, if they or one of their guests causes accidental damage to the venue, the costs can be covered without leaving them out of pocket. For the same reason, a lot of people use Public Liability Insurance to cover their weddings, especially if they take place in prestige venues.
Ultimately, the choice of whether or not you need Public Liability Insurance rests with you. But it’s worth considering whether you could cover the cost of not having it if a claim is made against you or your business.