If you own a business, you’ll know that having the right insurance is vital to protect yourself and your company from unexpected events and potential legal claims. Public liability insurance is one of the most important types of insurance that every business must have; it protects you against legal claims made by people that have been injured or suffered losses as a result of your business activities. This type of insurance ensures that you are covered when something goes wrong, even if you believe that you are not at fault. It gives you the peace of mind that you need when running your business.
Public liability insurance can vary significantly in its cost and the coverage offered depending on the size of the business, the potential risks involved, and the specific cover that is offered by a policy. Following are some questions you should ask your insurance broker to make sure you are getting the right cover for your needs.
What Does the Insurance Policy Cover?
When you are discussing your public liability insurance needs it’s important that you disclose all of the actions and activities that are involved in your business to your broker. You also need to state whether you are operating as a sole trader or have employees or use contractors as this can impact your cover.
It is important to explain everything that you do in your business (and how you do it) to make sure that you’re fully covered. Public liability insurance needs to cover all your business activities so that the potential risks can be assessed. If you are not forthright or miss something, you may find that you are not fully covered for some aspect of your business functions.
There are variations between the coverage different insurers provide so make sure your broker explains the policy thoroughly (including the small print about exceptions) to ensure that your needs for insurance are fully met.
How many covers do I Need?
All public liability insurance policies cover you up to a specific monetary limit which is explained in the policy. Any financial award or cost of damages above that limit must be paid by you. It is important, then, to ensure that your policy covers you for the worst possible scenario as well as including some extra for the unexpected.
Exactly how much coverage you need will depend on the size of your business and the types of risk associated with your business activities. A high-rise building window cleaner, for example, will likely face higher risks than a gardener. Your broker will help you to determine what level of cover is best suited for your business by looking at what your business does and conducting a risk assessment. Some businesses are also subject to certain legal and industry requirements which can require a specific level of cover to be fully compliant.
What do I Need to Disclose?
It’s important that you explain all your business activities when applying for public liability insurance to make sure that you’re fully covered. It is also important that you disclose any aspect of your business that carries a higher risk than would usually apply; if you do not, you may find that your insurance policy does not cover you because you have not been forthright with potential risks. Your public liability insurance needs to cover you for all your business activities and the risks involved. If you don’t disclose these fully you may find that you are not covered.
There are often variations between insurers in the type of coverage they offer so make sure you work with your broker to understand exactly what is covered by the policy, read the small print and make sure you are covered for what you need.
How Can I Minimize My Insurance Cost?
When purchasing public liability insurance, you can save on the cost by combining other types of insurance coverage your business may require. You could, for example, include product liability, income protection, or professional indemnity insurance in your policy as well.
It is worth looking at the different options insurance companies offer and getting multiple quotes. While a less expensive policy might look tempting, it may not provide you with the cover you need. Your insurance broker will have experience of the different offerings on the market and will be able to advise you about your options
Some policies also offer discounts if you undertake to do certain things that will minimize your risk such as educating staff about safe workplaces or installing a security system. Once again, your broker will be able to explain this to you for a specific policy.
How Do I Make a Claim?
It’s important that you get information about making a claim right from the start. Making a claim is usually straight forward and your insurance policy will outline how to go about making a claim and the information you will need to do so.
Your insurance broker will be able to give you advice about how to make the claim process quick and efficient. They may advise you about how to keep documentation, maintain correct health and safety practices, and other things that will help you when you need to make a claim. When the worst happens, you need to make your claim as quickly as possible with the insurance company and know how to do so beforehand. If the circumstances are somewhat complicated and you do not know how to proceed you may want to discuss this with your insurance broker who might then help you make the claim.