Why is public liability insurance so important?
Public liability insurance covers you against the financial risk in the event that a third party, such as a supplier, member of the public, or visitor to your premises is killed, injured, or has their property damaged at your premises and you were found to be negligent. Public liability insurance can cover you for accidents caused at your own business premises and accidents caused away from your premises. Public Liability insurance, also known as PL insurance is not a legal requirement, but it’s important to understand that if there is a claim against your business, you will be liable for the amount awarded if you were deemed to be negligent. The highest personal injury claim awarded in Ireland was just over €32 million. So if your business deals with the public it makes financial sense to protect your business from the unexpected.
Some examples might be cleaning staff in a cleaning company that forgot to put the wet floor sign on display for the public to see after they cleaned the floors and if a member of the public were to, unfortunately, slip and injure themselves. A painter in your painting company could drop a tin of paint accidentally injuring a member of the public. In either of these cases, your business could be sued. If you have public liability insurance it would cover the compensation costs and legal fees, up to the limit of your policy. You can talk to your broker in Sheridan Insurances about the limits that are necessary for your business.
There are certain types of businesses that typically seek public liability insurance. We would see a lot of tradespeople, restaurants, barbers, hairdressers, and shop owners seeking public liability insurance. The reality is that most businesses come into contact with the public at some stage, so it is a good idea for many businesses to consider PL insurance.
It’s important to note that your place of work could be your home, at least some of the time. If you occasionally work from home and it requires visitors to the house then you should consider public liability insurance. Liability insurance can protect you from any loss or damage resulting from claims made by anyone (i.e. the general public) who visits or attends your home in connection with your business. It is very important that you explain and discuss your work situation with your insurer. They might advise that you need additional cover. If you did not disclose to your insurer that you work from home then you could inadvertently invalidate your policy if you, unfortunately, needed to make a claim. So make sure you keep your insurer up to date with any changes.
The amount of cover you need depends on a number of factors such as the size and nature of your business. Public liability insurance ranges from €2.6 million on average up to €6.5 million but policies do exceed €20 million as well. The upper limit of liability cover is typically sought by local authorities i.e. €6.5 million, franchises, and larger companies. The costs for liability insurance depends on many factors including the industry you work in, your annual turnover, previous claims against your business, and the level of excess you choose. The rule of thumb is that if your business ever comes into contact with the general public then public liability insurance is a must.
Sheridan insurances have been helping businesses choose the right insurance that meets their needs for more than 40 years. Our experienced team of respected brokers will discuss the options available to you and go through any potential policies with you in detail. Our job is to help you protect what matters most and give you peace of mind so that you can do what you do best.