Public liability insurance: Make sure your business is covered

As you will have seen from the various advertisements that grace our television screens each and every day, it is easier now than ever before to access no-win-no-fee legal services. This has contributed to the claims culture that is starting to gather pace in the UK and as a result it is important that as a small business owner, you protect your company against this by taking out public liability insurance.

There are many things you need to take care of when you first start up your own business and it’s important that getting the correct insurance is right at the top of the list. Whether you’re starting an IT consultancy business or are going into the estate agency profession, you will need to ensure that you plan ahead against every eventuality and get yourself a comprehensive insurance policy.

Even if you are one of the 20 per cent of small businesses in the UK that don’t work from an office space, a trend that has come about as companies try and reduce their overheads in these tough economic times, you will still need to invest in business insurance.

When you first start out in business you may find that you are the sole worker for the company, but as you as you start to employ staff you must make getting employers’ liability insurance your number one priority. If you have employees, whether they are full-time, contracted or voluntary workers, it’s a legal obligation that you provide cover against a claim from a member of your staff.

So if you run an energy assessment business and one of your employees are injured while carrying out work for your business, your employer liability will be triggered. If you don’t have the correct insurance this could turn out to be a major problem, but with the right cover the legal and compensation costs will be paid under the terms of the policy and you can carry on going about your business.

It is not only claims from your own employees that you need protection against, but also those from members of the public. As an energy assessor will be required to visit people’s homes as part of your work, and if an accident were to happen and you damaged their property, then a claim could be brought against you.

You also need to get protection for the work that you are carrying out, which professional indemnity insurance will take care of. Despite your best intentions, a client that you have performed work for may be unhappy with the quality of it and as a result you could be required to correct the mistake.

As a small business you are particularly vulnerable to claims of negligence, something that could well affect you if you run a consultancy business where you regularly give advice to clients.

It doesn’t take long to take care of your business insurance needs but it will definitely be time well spent. In the current business climate it’s not worth taking any unnecessary risks and by taking out business insurance you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re protected.