Who needs Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance is the most popular insurance policy for the self-employed. Suitable for most businesses, particularly those visiting clients.

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?

As a self employed business owner, you have a duty to take reasonable care in ensuring you don't cause injury or damage to property in the course of your services.

Despite all reasonable care taken, accidents can still happen, or you could simply be accused of causing such incidents which result in legal action being made against you.

This is why public liability insurance is the most commonly held policy among the self employed. 64% of 400 self employed professionals surveyed by Qdos in 2019 hold a suitable public liability insurance for their business.


Is Public Liability Insurance a legal requirement?

Public liability insurance is not a legal requirement in the UK.

There are a few exceptions to this for specialist activities including riding schools, aircraft operators, and and those constructing railways.

The majority of businesses however will not be affected by these statutory requirements.
Tradesman smiling holding drill

When do I need Public Liability Insurance?

Any prudent business owner will hold a suitable public liability insurance policy. In almost all types of business, you will come in contact with clients or passers-by in the course of your services, even those operating from an office or home environment.

You may be at increased risk of such claims however if you undertake work which is in direct contact with customers and clients, provide manual services such as building or electrical work, or operate in high risk environments such as on offshore oil rigs.

Clients will often require that contractors hold a suitable public liability insurance in their contracts, and so in this instance you may be required to take out such a policy or risk being in breach of contract. For limited company contractors, by not upholding such terms, HMRC could deem your written contract irrelevant in an IR35 enquiry.

Still unsure? Use the Qdos Insurance Finder to find suggested policies for you to consider.

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