Public liability insurance protects your business if a member of the public is injured or has their property damaged while dealing with your business. Public liability insurance covers the cost of compensation you’re liable to pay, in addition to covering reasonable legal fees incurred to defend a claim against you.
If your business has a storefront, such as a café, hair salon, or fashion retailer, you owe a legal duty to members of the public that visit your premises. In the same way, if you visit your customer's property, for example to complete gardening or electrical work, you owe a legal duty to both your customer as well as the general public. These duties are often known as public liability - the liability your business has for the effect of its actions on property or members of the public.
No two businesses are alike, and each will have differing insurance needs. In some cases, public liability cover isn’t optional. For example, if you perform work as a contractor on behalf of another company, they usually require you to hold public liability insurance. Similarly, if your business premises are located in a shopping centre or mall, centre management will require a certain level of public liability cover.
Whether you’re starting a business or already established, it’s important to identify and manage potential risks to customers and third parties that may exist within your business. But no matter how prepared you are, accidents can happen. Public liability insurance may help protect your business against compensation it’s legally required to pay for death or injury to customers or third parties, or damage to their property.