Public Liability insurance is designed to safeguard your business from the risks of lawsuits derived from injury or accidents in the workplace. While it is not compulsory for all business types, generally speaking most companies will have some form of liability insurance, given that premiums are relatively painless whereas a single incident can result in you losing your business. Typically, a business is responsible only for accidents that occur on their premises. However, those who work in the field, ship products, drive company vehicles, or visit clients outside of company property can also be liable for injuries for which the business is at fault.
Depending on your level of risk, the cost of purchasing public liability insurance can vary. Furthermore, a business owner cannot simply opt for the cheapest level of cover, as many insurance policies are only cost effective because they are littered with exclusions and conditions that result in inadequate coverage.
Public liability insurance not only safeguards you legal claims, but covers the cost of the various fees and expenses that accompany a lawsuit. Generally, it will be up to the insurance company to fight the claim and pay the entitlement benefits, provided the claim does not fall within an exclusionary loophole. Most insurers will cover the following:
- Legal fees
- Miscellaneous Expenses
- Ambulance fees
- Hospital treatment
For additional information on coverage of hospital care and treatment, visit the Department of Health (DoH) website and look up the Injury Costs Recovery Scheme.
Prior to Shopping for a Quote
Before you can begin your search for a quote online, make sure you maximise your eligibility for a low rate. You can do this by first studying how premiums are calculated for your particular type of business. Typically, the rate will be determined by the risk associated with your particular industry and the amount of traffic you get from employees and consumers.
Those working in high risk businesses can mitigate their potential for claims by proactively putting in safety measures and paying for safety training courses. Showing the insurance company that you are doing everything in your power to limit the chance of an accident will change the formula with which they use to calculate your risk. If you have equipment included in your coverage, do regular maintenance and show the insurer detailed records of that history.
Comparing Public Liability Policies Online
In the past, individuals were forced to research each company individually, provide their information, receive a quote, and then bargain for a competitive price before moving on to the next company to compare. Given how time consuming this process was, a consumer had to whittle his choices down between a handful a companies before they even began to research, simply because there was no time.
Thankfully, now the majority of research is automated by insurance comparison sites. These sites will research and sort various insurance products by type, location, and premium. Naturally, this is only designed to whittle down your choices so that you can perform more thorough research later, as well as negotiate prices down with the individual agents. Not only are there a number of factors that can go into a quote, each business has certain aspects that require more protection than others. As it’s difficult for a single database to account for all these variables, it behooves the business owner to do a little bit of research one the choices have been narrowed down.
Check for Exclusions and Flexible Coverage
Once you have used the comparison site to limit your choices to a handful of insurance products, it’s time to check for exclusions. It’s likely that sorting by price will show you some extremely attractive rates, yet many of these rates will be filled with exclusions, conditions, and small print. This, however, does not necessarily preclude you from purchasing this insurance. It depends on what type of business you run, and whether their conditions apply to areas that you feel are of little risk.
For example, an insurance company may only cover up to £2 million instead of the standard £5 million. However, if you own a small business in a relatively safe environment, £2 million may be enough. Other insurance products may exclude coverage for things the insurance company deems are high risk, yet don’t even apply to your particular operations.
If All Else Fails, Talk to a Professional
When purchasing insurance online, the exclusions and small print are the most dangerous aspect of shopping. Often times it can easy to skip past walls of text when they require a click of the mouse rather than the sign of your pen. One way to avoid this conundrum is to seek the counsel of a professional. A certified broker from the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) can assist you. If you choose to deal with an insurance agent, confirm that he or she is part of the Association of British Insurers (ABI) before proceeding.