For businesses that are confused about insurance in the UK, it can seem like a bit of a minefield. The main types of insurance to be bothered about are Public and Employers' Liability insurance coverage. These cover different aspects of business operations, with only one type being required by businesses operating in the UK.
Here is a brief guide to what public and employers’ liability insurance are and how they differ from each other.
What is Public Liability Insurance?
When a member of the public, whether they be someone unknown to the business, a supplier, a client or someone else entirely, has a problem with the company, this is where public liability coverage comes into play. It is primarily involved where there’s been accidental damage to either an individual or their property and it can be either on a personal level or a business one.
Getting insured is not required presently, but unless the business or its staff never interact with anyone at all, there’s always going to some area where there could be some potential for liability, however frivolous and unwarranted it may appear. For example, a client visits your premises and slips on some uneven carpet, falls down and injures themselves; this would be an area where you’d want public liability insurance to cover the business.
How Much Coverage Is Available or Should I Get?
Most insurers offer coverage starting at around £1 million. Usually, for small and medium-sized UK businesses, the coverage extends up to around £8-10 million. There’s not usually a requirement for larger amounts of protection than this because the vast majority of small businesses don’t get themselves into trouble to this extent. Before you jump in and decide how much coverage you're looking for you may need to weigh up costs. There are plenty of insurance sites out there that can compare results for you but you want to ensure you're comparing prices from the top providers. You can visit Compare My Insurance for a service that compares top providers and caters for your business individually. Also, an additional point to cover is that small businesses tend to deal with other small businesses and not conglomerates, so their liabilities tend to be capped.
What is Employers’ Liability Insurance?
For Employers’ Liability Insurance, this covers the cost of claims when an employee gets injured on the job and has a valid complaint or action in this regard. The issue is one of both health and safety of the employees and the insurance which is now compulsory in the UK provides cover for that type of problem.
It’s very easy for an employee to suffer an injury because a box slides off a cabinet and onto their head, or they move a box of files and injure their back in the process. Thankfully, there are fewer workplace fatalities these days and they tend to focus on certain higher-risk vocations like construction work, but you would be surprised how many workplace injuries occur in each year.
Is It Required for All Types of Workers?
Any business that employs at least one person must have Employers’ Liability Insurance, as per the Employers’ Liability (Compulsory Insurance) Act 1969. It doesn’t matter whether the individual is a seasonal worker, a temporary worker or even a volunteer, they still are considered employees from a liability perspective. Interestingly, even home-based workers are the responsibility of the company and a company is still required to have Employers’ coverage in this instance.
Be sure to get enough coverage because the last thing a business should be worrying about is not having taken out sufficient protection.