Employer's liability protects you, the employer, against claims for injury to any employee during the course of their employment.
Public liability protects your organisation against claims from members of the public for injury or damage to property caused by the negligence of your employees.
It is very common for employer's liability insurance to be offered as a package with public liability, although it is also possible to purchase each separately.
Employer's Liability will not cover you for injuries caused whilst travelling in motor vehicles. This kind of liability will be covered by your vehicle insurance.
Similarly, public liability will not cover injuries caused whilst travelling in a vehicle, a boat or a plane. It will not cover injuries to employees, because this will be covered by employer's liability cover, and it won't cover risks which should be properly covered by some other kind of insurance such as commercial property insurance. For instance, if a computer repairman holds a client's computer overnight in order to fix it, the loss of the computer due to a theft should be covered under a commercial property policy as it is not a public liability issue. Public Liability also won't cover you for any damage due to poor workmanship.
It is normal for there to be an excess on public liability insurances. An excess is the amount of money that you are responsible for if you make a claim. For example, suppose you make a claim on your insurance policy for £1000 of damage. If you have an excess of £250, you will be required to pay for the first £250 of the claim and the insurer will pay the rest.
As with any insurance the cost of liability varies according to a number of factors, such as the trade being insured and the number of employees etc. If you would like to know how much liability insurance would be for you, then please contact your local Coversure Office, but as a sole trader in a low risk trade you can expect to pay less than £100 for public liability insurance.
The key thing to look out for when buying liability insurance is the total amount of cover being purchased. Typically it varies from £1 million to £10 million for public liability but it is worth checking what the sums involved are.
Some public liability insurances allow for an optional tools cover, which will cover tradesmens' tools against theft from your place of work, or from a van. If purchased elsewhere, this cover can be significantly more expensive so it's well worth considering getting tools cover if it's relevant to your business. If you'd like to know more about this option please contact your local Coversure Office.
This is just an introduction to liability insurance and is not intended to be representative of the covers or restrictions offered by any particular insurance or that all insurance provide the protection described. You can get a recommendation for a particular insurance to suit your own circumstances by talking to the skilled staff at your local Coversure Office.
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