Who Needs Public Liability Insurance in the UK?

Public Liability Insurance

Usually, Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, but if you own a business or work independently and you need to interact with the public, contractors, and clients regularly; it is required.

An accident can take place at any time, so it will help to go a step ahead of them. If there starts a legal battle then it could damage your financial condition, especially your business. So, if you would not take the right insurance that can settle the claim.

Public liability insurance is not mandatory of instances, so you don’t need it typically by law in the UK. But, it can provide key assistance. Since public liability insurance wouldn’t protect you retrospectively, so it will be a good idea to purchase public liability insurance before interacting with clients, contractors, and the public.

What is public liability insurance in the UK?

Public liability insurance is a category of insurance for businesses of any size. It will cover you if a member of the public or a client claims they have been injured or their property has been getting damaged because of your business activity.

Public liability insurance is proposed to protect business owners against any claim that consequences legal procedures. If there is any claim takes place and it becomes a legal matter then this insurance will cover the costs of these expenses that include if any compensation takes place.

Public liability claims can take place in various circumstances but negligence is the main trigger.

Do I need public liability insurance for an occurrence?

If you own a business and your business requires contacting clients, contractors, and the public regularly; you likely need public liability insurance. It is an insurance that is particularly popular with shops, salons, and tradesmen. Because it can cover the costs of compensation claims made against your business if you or your business activities damage someone or the property of someone.

You may require public liability insurance if you come into contact with third parties in one or more of these ways:

  • Clients visit your business premises; for example, if you own a shop, salon, pub, hairdressing salon, or restaurant.
  •  You work on client sites; for example if you are a tradesman carrying out work in clients’ gardens or homes.
  • You work in a public area; for example, if you are a builder and your work has the potential to damage somebody passing by.

Should I opt for public liability insurance if I am self-employed?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK if you are self-employed. But, you are likely to need public liability insurance to cover your business if you interact with the public regularly.

It doesn’t matter if you are running a large company or a one-man brand; there are chances you could injure someone or damage someone’s property. There is also a chance to harm or even kill someone during the process of your business activities. If such an incident takes place, public liability insurance is here to protect you and your business.

It doesn’t matter what field you are working in but if to contact with people for your business activities you need can purchase public liability insurance. For example, if you are an electrician and someone gets an electric shock due to faulty wiring, you can be liable.

Public liability insurance will cover your legal expenses along with if there is any compensation payout required. Without having public liability insurance, you will be liable for these costs to pay yourself.

Why is the importance of public liability insurance?

If you own a business and you need to contact with public, contractors, and clients on regular basis then you can opt for public liability insurance. Sometimes, things go wrong and accidents can happen. Sometimes, even the most careful business owners have things go unexpected or unplanned.

With public liability insurance for your business, you can operate knowing that if such an incident happens with one of your clients, then their property could be repaired, their medical treatment could be paid for, and their possession could get replaced.

What trades need public liability insurance?

If your business comes into contact with customers, contractors, or the public then you can opt for public liability insurance. If there is a potential that you or your business activities can injure someone, or can damage someone’s property then you may require public liability insurance.

Types of businesses that need public liability insurance are:

  • Builders
  • Beauty salon owners
  • Electrician
  • Painters and decorators
  • Hairdressing salons
  • Carpenters
  • Gardeners
  • Signwriters
  • Plumbers
  • Shop owners

This is not an exclusive list of businesses as various businesses need public liability insurance.


When accidents happen, your business can be responsible for paying compensation under various circumstances. Public liability insurance covers the costs of payouts and legal expenses if your business is indicted by any third party.

Public liability insurance covers an accident at your work premises or relating to your business activities. This comprises incidents at your premises as well as those incidents that occur while doing business offsite.

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