“Where there’s blame, there’s a claim”. That’s the cry of every personal injury lawyer in the country, and in case people are in any doubt as to whether or not to try their hand at being compensated for an injury or damage to personal property, those same lawyers will do the work for free if they don’t win. So there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain for anyone who wants to sue for damages owing to loss or damage to property or personal injury.
That’s bad news for businesses, especially small businesses that might not have much by way of capital or income to be able to afford lawyers’ fees to defend such claims, never mind to pay the vast sums of compensation that can be awarded by courts.
Of course, the best solution to avoiding such claims is to take every step to minimize the risk that someone will be hurt or have their property damaged whilst on your premises or receiving your business’s services. If you’re a mobile hairdresser, for example, you’ll take care to ensure that allergy strand tests are carried out to avoid adverse reactions; if you’re an ICT consultant, you’ll avoid placing your cup of coffee next to your client’s laptop. You’ll also make sure that spillages are cleaned promptly; that hazards are clearly marked and drawn to your visitors’ attention if they cannot be removed altogether.
However, even taking these steps cannot prevent every injury or accident, and whilst they may be genuine accidents you may be held to account for whether or not you were negligent (and therefore to blame) in any way.
This is where public liability insurance comes into its own. Getting the policy that’s right for your business is important, but with profit margins forever being tight, it’s also important that you get a competitive quote. It’s fairly standard to have a policy that will cover up to $2,000,000 but if you choose a lower amount you may get a lower premium. It’s up to you to weigh up the likely risks involved in your particular business and decide how much insurance coverage is feasible.
Search online comparison sites and specialist public liability insurers’ direct websites to find the cheapest quote that meets your needs. Check the standard terms and conditions to make sure that any exclusions won’t adversely affect your ability to claim. For example, if one of the exclusions is that the policy won’t pay out if your business is based at home, and you are a home-worker, it would clearly be pointless to pay the premiums for that policy.
Your policy will usually need to be renewed every year (though you can buy policies that cover up to three years), so mark your calendar to make sure you don’t forget to renew or search for a new policy.Did you enjoy reading this article? Please consider subscribing via RSS Feed or Email Feed to keep in touch!