Public liability insurance is an absolute must if you are in contact with the public in a working situation regularly. If you have an office of any kind, even if you work from home, or a showroom where members of the public are allowed you should think about Public Liability Insurance. If your job takes you into, or onto, the property of the general public you should also think seriously about it.
If any member of the public is injured as a result of, or the injury is caused by, a visit to, or by you. You are liable for a claim against you for all costs, including legal costs. In certain situations, where an accident results in personal injury which needs hospital treatment, the NHS (since 29th January 2007) can reclaim the cost of treating an injured patient. If that injured patient happens to be someone who got hit in the eye by a brick bouncing out of your skip, in their garden, it will cost you a great deal of money. In October 2008 the NHS, assisted by the Compensation Recovery Unit collected a total of £13,510,691 following personal injuries and road traffic accidents. Yes, you did read that correctly, over 13 million pounds !
These days every other advert on the television is about claiming money, on a no win no fee basis, for personal injury. The public are encouraged to claim for the slightest thing and there are indeed some individuals who make a living out of having accidents.
For the sake of a relatively inexpensive insurance premium, Public Liability Insurance is vital for builders. Hundreds and hundreds of accidents happen on site every year and one insignificant nail sticking out of a piece of waste timber can make you bankrupt if someone treads on it. The building game is risky enough, don't take more chances than you need to.
Public Liability Insurance is not compulsory for Builders but we strongly advise every Builder to get it. We also advise all of the members of the general public who read this website not to employ builders who do not have it. We were personally involved in a chemical spraying episode which, when the wind changed, went very wrong indeed and sprayed the neighbours car with a timber rot treatment which bubbled some of the paint in seconds. Thank God for our Public Liability Insurance!
The cover you may need depends on the size and nature of your business. If you are a tunneling organisation you will probably pay more than a carpenter but the Internet is full of companies who can quote for you whatever your circumstances.Most smaller businesses have cover of up to £1 million pounds. This sounds a lot but imagine the worse case scenario of a gas explosion and the associated carnage and a million pounds does not seem so much then.
As business owners we know how much overheads cost. We are so aware of the hidden costs of paying wages and all of the bills. But whatever else you cut back on do not take the chance of losing your business for less than the price of a holiday. Please !