Public Liability

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What is public liability insurance and what does it cover?

Public liability insurance (PLI) is a type of insurance that protects you in the event your business is held legally responsible for either an injury to a member of the public or damages to their property. If you’re taken to court, having PLI means your insurer will pay the legal costs on your behalf, up to a pre-agreed limit.

While public liability insurance protects business owners from claims made by members of the public, it can also cover claims from contractors and clients. However, PLI does not extend to injuries to business owners or employees.

We have a specialised panel of carefully selected insurers who provide cover for over 500 trades & professions.

Examples include, but aren't limited to:

  • Painters & Decorators
  • Carpenters
  • Electricians
  • Landscape gardeners
  • Plumbers

What extra cover can be added to my Swinton Public Liability Insurance?


Extend your cover limit

Increase the limit of legal and compensation costs for claims made against your business. 

£1 million to £10 million limits available, with options to extend further. 


Employers’ Liability

A legal requirement for anyone with employees – get £10 million cover for injury or illness claims made against your business. 


Tools & business equipment

Get protection for the tools and business equipment that are essential to your business. 


Stock & materials

Cover stock and materials in the event they’re stolen or damaged on site, at home or in transit between jobs. 


Own and hired-in plant

Protection for machinery, either owned or hired, including diggers and cement mixers.


Contract works

Protect contract work in progress, in the event of damage by an insured peril before completion.


What is a PLI (Public Liability Insurance) certificate?

A PLI certificate is a document that proves a business has cover in place. You may choose to display it for clients’ peace of mind, but it’s optional. It includes information on the insured party, the insurer, and policy details such as the policy number, insurance period, terms and indemnity limit. 


How much public liability insurance do I need?

To adequately protect yourself, your PLI should cover the worst-case scenario. If you work on multiple sites and regularly interact with third parties, you may need a higher cover limit. Certain clients, like governments and local authorities, require suppliers to have public liability insurance of £5 million to £10 million.


Is it a legal requirement to have public liability insurance?

While having public liability insurance isn’t compulsory under UK law, many businesses choose to so they’re covered should the unexpected happen. A customer or client may ask that you have cover in place before they work with you. Plus, it may be an obligation of your industry regulator or trade bodies.

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Read FAQs about public liability insurance

Public liability insurance does not cover injury to you or your employees. If an employee claims against your business, it will be covered by an Employer’s Liability Insurance policy. With Swinton, you have the option to get both Public Liability and Employer’s Liability Insurance under one simple policy.

PLI won’t cover damages to your business property, whether accidental or malicious. However, our Commercial Property Insurance can cover damage to your property.

Finally, it doesn't cover all the costs of a payout. Your policy will include an excess; a payment you need to make before the insurer covers the rest of the claim. For example, if you faced a claim worth £4,000 and your excess was £300, you would need to pay £300 yourself before your insurer paid the remaining £3,700.

Public liability insurance covers you for claims made against you by people outside of your business, while employers’ liability insurance protects you from claims made by your employees. It covers the cost of compensation, plus any legal fees that you are liable to pay.

It’s worth noting that if you have any employees, it is a legal requirement that you have an employers’ liability insurance policy in place.  At Swinton Business, we can arrange Employers’ Liability Insurance alongside your Public Liability Insurance under one policy with a single renewal date.

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