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Why choose Howden for Public Liability Insurance?

Howden is the new name for A-Plan. As an insurance broker, we pride ourselves on doing the heavy lifting when it comes to getting you public liability insurance cover, so you don’t have to. We have great relationships with a selected panel of standard and specialist insurers, and this makes the process of comparing multiple policies, on your behalf, simple and easy. What’s not to like?

We’re aware that each business liability insurance policy needs to be as individual as its owner to, and that’s why we provide a personalised service, focused around getting to know you and finding out exactly what you want from your public liability insurance.

But ultimately, just know, that whether you need to make a claim, renew and existing policy purchase a new policy we’re here anytime to help.

Benefits of working with us:

  • You can trust us – we’re rated Excellent on Trustpilot.
  • We’re driven to save you time, money, and hassle.
  • Benefit from a tailored service that comparison sites can’t provide.
  • Speak with your local branch, within your community.
  • We’re right by your side in the event of a claim.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance can best be described as a type of insurance that provides individuals and businesses protection against third party claims, whether it's in response to damage caused, any accidental injury or any other consequential loss that’s resulted from the individual or business.

Typically, for businesses, public liability insurance protects them if a member of the public tries to sue them if they feel like they have suffered a loss or personal injury as a result of your lack of care. If this is the case, the business is then liable and can fall back on public liability insurance to cover the costs needed to compensate whoever suffered from the business’s activities.

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?

No, public liability insurance isn’t legally required or mandatory in the UK, but it is certainly recommended, especially if you’re operating a business which involves any form of contact with any third parties, whether that be clients, contractors, or any member of the public.

Businesses are only required to have employers liability insurance if they have any employees who aren’t in the immediate family.

More about Public Liability Insurance

Is professional indemnity insurance the same as Public Liability Insurance?

This is a common question, as both professional indemnity and public liability insurance are often referred to as each other. Whilst both are types of insurance designed to cover business-related compensation claims, professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance do differ. They are two separate types of business insurance.

Whilst public liability policies cover businesses for claims made against them by third parties for injuries, property damage and other losses that occur because of the business’s operations, professional indemnity on the other hand is designed to protect business against claims from professional negligence, errors, or omissions in the services they provide.

Who needs Public Liability Insurance?

On the surface, the answer to this question seems pretty simple; pretty much all businesses need public liability insurance. Any business that deals with other people needs to protect themselves from third-party public liability claim.

But what type of incidents could different businesses face?


Cutting hair might lead to accidentally injuring a customer.


Working on building frameworks could lead to injuries or accidental damage.

Painters and Decorators

Painting and decorating work comes with a wide range of risks.


Pipe work and maintaining water systems can result in property damage.

Dog walkers

Something unfortunate might have happened to a dog in your care.


Building sites can be hazardous and lead to accidents.


Van drivers could accidentally damage someone's property whilst making deliveries

This is going to look slightly different for every business, but if your business operates from a location that is visited by customers or clients, such as a hotel or coffee shop, or if you have employees who regularly work off-site, such as a plumber or builder, then you should consider public liability insurance. Even if your interaction with the public is minimal, opting for low coverage could potentially save you thousands.

How much Public Liability Insurance do I need?

Generally speaking, the amount of coverage you will need will depend on your type of business and the level of risk. When considering risk this could be anything from using dangerous tools and equipment to the frequency of interaction you have with members of the public. Whilst this might not seem particularly 'risky', it does improve your chances of needing to claim your Public liability insurance.

Typically, you can choose the amount of coverage suitable for you and your business. Most liability policies have options for coverage of either £1m, £2m, £5m and some go up to £10m, although cover can be purchased at levels above this. We recommend a minimum of £5m for public liability cover.

What does Howden’s Public Liability Insurance cover?

So now you need to know exactly how public liability insurance works and what’s covered under a standard policy. We acknowledge that every insurer is different and will provide cover depending on their terms and conditions, but we can advise on what is typically covered when you pay for a public liability premium.

Therefore, you could expect your public liability policy to cover you for:

Compensation costs - whether someone gets injured or some property is accidentally damaged, and if it caused by the actions of your business, you’ll likely be held responsible. Any claims made against you would require you to compensate, and public liability cover can cover this for you.

Medical fees - the right insurance could save you having to pay for the cost of medical treatment is someone is injured or falls ill on your own property.

Cost of repairs - public liability cover can save you paying a fee for repairing any accidental damage caused because of your business.

Legal costs - any legal fees you need to pay for proceedings following public liability claims made against you could be covered as well.

What does Public Liability Insurance not cover?

As public liability insurance policies are only one type of business insurance, they aren't able to cover all aspects of business-related accidents and incidents. For instance, you’ll typically find that the following is not covered under public liability insurance:

  • Accidents to you
  • Accidents to your employees
  • Damage to employees' possessions
  • Damage to your own business premises
  • Claims of fault with your work

All in all, it’s important to know exactly what your public liability insurance covers, so to avoid any nasty surprises, we advise identifying the extent of potential compensation payments and claims that your business may be vulnerable to and getting in touch with an insurance broker such as Howden who can help you fulfil your insurance needs.


How much does Public Liability Insurance cost?

We know that no policy or insurance policy is the same, and that is because no business requiring the insurance is the same either. It’s for that reason that we can’t offer an absolute fixed rate for public liability insurance policy.

However, you can keep in mind that there are many factors insurers consider when they determine how much a policy will cost. These factors include:

  • The size and structure of your business
  • Your type of business
  • What industry your business is in
  • The risk level of your business
  • Where your business is located
  • Your insurance claims history
  • Your health and safety record

You should also consider how much excess you’re willing to pay once you claim on your public liability policy. Typically, the excess is anywhere between £250 and £500, but depending on your chosen coverage, the higher your excess, the lower your insurance premiums will be.


How to get a Public Liability Insurance quote

We want to make the process of securing you a public liability insurance policy quote you can count on straightforward and simple. You’ll have taken the first step in doing this by getting in touch with an insurance broker such as Howden, whether it be over the phone or in one of our UK branches.

  • Then, we’ll ask you to provide us with the following information:
  • Details about your business – its name, its trade, where its located.
  • The level of cover you require – how much cover do you need?
  • Claims history information - any previous claims made against your business.
  • Personal contact details.
  • Any additional cover options – such as other business liability insurances.

Once we have that information from you, we can proceed with compare our policy options and sourcing a public liability quote which is tailored to you and your expectations.

Who Howden work with

The great relationships we have with a wide range of trusted insurance providers allows us to provide tailored cover and professional advice to anyone who comes to us needing support with their public liability.

The years of experience our team have working in the insurance industry, in addition to being enthusiasts themselves, has meant that Howden continues to be rated highly by our clients.


We’re here to assist you when it matters most.

Whatever’s happened to you or your van, we’re here to help. It’s part of our service to make sure that your claim is dealt with as quickly as possible and without any hassle.


Public liability insurance FAQs

What other types of insurance might my business need?

Public liability insurance isn't the only form of business liability insurance, and there are many other optional policies you can also take out to protect what's yours. Whilst some are a legal requirement, others don't need to be bought, but could be beneficial depending on the industry your business trades. Here are some other types of business insurance:

Employers' liability insurance

Employers' liability insurance protects you if have any employees.

Product liability insurance

If accidental damage to a property or an injury is caused by a product you sell, product liability insurance can cover you for any compensation costs you need to pay.

Professional indemnity insurance

If a client believes your business service has caused them suffer any loss in any way, whether it's property damage claims or an injury, this is the cover you need.

Business contents insurance

This simply protects any business equipment you have.


Do sole traders need public liability insurance?

While public liability insurance is not a legal requirement for sole traders in the UK, it is highly recommended for their protection.

Sole traders are personally liable for any claims or damages that may arise from their business activities. Therefore, having public liability cover can help safeguard their assets and provide financial protection in case of unforeseen accidents, injuries, or property damage to third parties.

Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

Public liability insurance is considered an ‘allowable expense’ so it is tax deductible for your business. This means that when you’re calculating your taxable profit, the cost of the insurance can be deducted.

Do I need public liability if I’m self-employed?

Self-employed individuals are not required to have public liability insurance. Despite this, many self-employed workers do get public liability insurance not only for their own piece of mind, but also to accommodate for the expectations of their clients and to meet industry standards.

What happens if you don't have public liability insurance?

Without public liability insurance there to provide you financial protection, if any claims are made against you from a third-party, you would have to pay to compensate for that claim yourself.

Does public liability insurance certificate have to be displayed?

As having public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement, you are therefore not required to display a public insurance certificate anywhere in your business. Displaying a certificate does, however, let potential customers and the general public know that you’re covered appropriately.

Do you need public liability for a private party?

No, you are not required to have public liability insurance when you hold a private party. However, it is recommended that you have some form of insurance cover in place, especially if the party is taking place on the premises of your business. If things were to get broken or someone were to get hurt accidentally, you could be vulnerable and at risk of paying for compensation claims out of your own pocket if you don’t have sufficient insurance.

It's also worth noting that venues which have hired for parties may insist that you have public liability cover beforehand.

Do I need public liability insurance for my wedding?

Having public liability insurance for your wedding in the UK is not a legal requirement, but it is highly advisable. A wedding involves various elements and interactions with guests and vendors, and unexpected incidents can occur. Public liability insurance can provide financial protection and peace of mind in case of accidents, injuries, or property damage during your wedding.

Related Public Liability Content

All you need to know about the public liability insurance certificate


Get in touch

Try us out and see how we can help save money and make finding the right insurance cover that little bit easier for you.

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