Public liability insurance explained
Running their own small business is the dream of many in the UK. Television shows like Dragons Den have revealed a deep vein of entrepreneurial spirit flowing through our nations business brains, and a great many people are taking the plunge and setting up for themselves. It’s a perfect way to take control of your destiny, and start to fit your work life more appropriately around your other responsibilities.
Some people choose to take this road of a point in their life when they need to make changes. You may have just had children and need to create some spare time. Perhaps you’re tired of the daily commute, and wish to work from home in more relaxed surroundings. Potentially, you’ve spotted a gap in the marketplace; a niche you can exploit to generate yourself a profitable business.
However, for many entering the world of business for the first time there will be problems. Self-employment, though liberating, brings its own set of trials and tribulations. Without the security of monthly pay cheque, the responsibility to grow and develop your business can weigh heavily on your shoulders. Alongside this responsibility are a host of other financial and legal issues with which you will need to become familiar with. As a sole operator, the responsibility is all yours to generate new business, keep existing clients happy and managing cash flow and financial affairs. The last thing that any new business needs is to be the subject of litigation, so it’s vitally important to ensure that you are covered for both legal help and compensation should you run into problems.
If you will be employing others it is a legal requirement to have employee liability insurance. This will cover you in the event of accident or damage to property by one of your employees or if they injure themselves.
If through your business you have interactions with the general public then you are exposing yourself to compensation claims. Though not a legal requirement, public liability insurance is something that all new businesses should consider. There are two situations in which it might be essential. Firstly, a member of the public may injure themselves on your premises, as a result of a mistake you have made. This can be as simple as leaving a tool for someone to trip over. In the event of such an accident, the injured party can seek damages for pain and suffering, loss of earnings and the cost of any future medical care.
Public liability insurance will also cover you should you damage a client’s property. The classic example here would be spilling a coffee into a computer at a client’s office and wiping costly data. They will have the right to seek damages from you, and public liability insurance will come into play to deal with the situation.
Most policies will also include legal help to allow you to contest the claim, and also cover the cost of compensation. Business insurance is an essential element to the running of a modern workplace and should not be overlooked, especially by those entering the world of business for the first time.