Public liability insurance

Cover from +£4.76 / month

Up to £2,000,000 cover including products liability

No excess

Expert legal team

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Covers claims against your client caused by your business

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Self employed public liability insurance.
Self employed public liability insurance.
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In detail

What is public liability insurance for self employed professionals?

Self employed public liability insurance protects you when, despite doing everything right, a customer or third party accuses you of causing them an injury or property damage.

It is a legal cover that provides self-employed individuals and businesses with legal defence against claims of a certain nature:

  • An injury to a customer or a third party
  • Physical damage to third party property
  • Death to a customer or a third party

made by a third party that occurs as a result of their business activities.

The cover also provides financial protection against the cost of compensation if you are found liable, therefore helps to mitigate the financial risk of being self-employed or running a business.

Even when not required by a contract, self employed public liability insurance is recommended as a precautionary measure, as even minor incidents can result in costly compensation claims.

Is business insurance the same as public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is just aspect of business insurance. Business insurance is a generic term used by insurance providers and it refers to a range of business insurance covers.

What does public liability insurance cover?

If you are accused of causing physical harm to a third party of their property, you are likely to be asked to pay compensation.

Public liability insurance typically covers the cost of compensating third parties for:

  • Bodily injury: covers medical expenses, lost income, and other costs associated with physical harm caused to a third party.
  • Property damage: covers the cost of repairing or replacing property that has been damaged by the business.

In addition a public liability policy should also cover the cost of defending against a liability claim, including all the legal fees and other related expenses.

Does public liability insurance cover professional indemnity?

Typically public liability does not provide cover include professional indemnity insurance.

Sometimes the two are combined into one policy when a profession is likely to need both—e.g. physiotherapists, builders, etc..

What does public liability insurance not cover?

It won't cover your professional mistakes or negligence that resulted in a financial loss to your clients. This includes an injury resulting from wrong advice—e.g. yoga teacher's instructions leading to a back injury.

It excludes any kind of employers' liability. There is a specific product called employers' liability that you'll need if you have employees.

Who needs public liability insurance?

If at any point during the course of your daily business activities you have face to face contact with your customers or members of the public, you should take time to understand the benefits of self employed public liability insurance.

Without public liability insurance you could face serious financial implications, should someone make a claim against you. Legal costs add up very quickly not to mention any possible payout. However, there are other reasons why you might need public liability insurance:

  • Your work contract requires it. If you don't comply with the contract condition and it is discovered, you may lose work and be in breach of contract.
  • Pitching for work. Having public liability insurance in place is a competitive advantage which could help you secure a work opportunity. Always mention it to prospect customers.
  • It's a trade/profession membership condition. Certain professions need or want to become part of professional bodies or trade associations and PL insurance is a registration requirement. If you fail to comply, you could be struck off.

How to get public liability insurance for self employed professionals?

Your profession and the size of your operations will be the determining factors whether you can simply go online to purchase PL cover or will need to speak to a specialist provider.

Typically heavy manual or medical professions require extra assistance. It is because the nature of those professions are considered riskier by the insurers and they like you to answer a lot more questions.

On the other hand non-manual or light manual professions such as personal trainers, photographers, project managers or hairdressers will find securing public liability insurance much more straightforward.

How much public liability insurance do I need?

The good news is that the number of public liability claims has reduced in the last decade. On the other hand it seems that almost every claim results in defence costs and some kind of compensation.

We have learnt that in 2020 the UK registered over 70,000 PL claims and about 90% of those have resulted in a settlement.

Where compensation is concerned, it varies from claim to claim as you would expect. In respect of bodily injury it is always several thousands at the lower end and has been known to go up close to £500,000 for more severe injuries. Settlements for property damage can be a lot higher and run into millions.

Consider the level of risk during the business activities you carry out. For example if your office is on the top floor of an old building without a lift with steep stairs and no handrail, the likelihood of one of your visitors suffering a fall is quite high.

In other words the circumstances of your business should be the guide to determine what policy limit you need to buy.

In this section
Review the policy

Before purchasing any insurance product, you should always view the policy documents. Understand what's covered, excluded and the claims conditions.

Public and Products Liability
Policy Wording
Prices start from
£4.76 / month

Suited public & products liability insurance is available as an add-on to professional indemnity. Limits start at £500,000 and price depends on the limit selected.

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What people say
2 March
Extremely impressed

Extremely impressed with the professional and supportive service I received.

Kellie Williams
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16 February
Very efficient

After shopping around for business liability cover, I found suited, I had a few questions and Jana from suited was very efficient...

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14 February

The website is easy to use and the process is intuitive, clear and easy to follow.

Matt M
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11 February

I was recommended Suited, because I’d been stalling. Simple to use website, offered clear, concise information and selection...

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Really fantastic service by the suited insure team! Always found the insurance side to be a bit confusing but the team took me...

Michael Ryan
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15 September

A simple and flexible service for what I required. Great communication from start to finish.

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1 August

I was looking for business insurance this easy to use and very well explained web site made the process simple and painless. Had a quote...

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Legal Expenses
Included as standard

With every policy subscription we also include Business Legal Protect. This means from the moment you sign up you gain immediate access to extra support services.

Commercial legal expenses insurance.
Business legal protect

Cover of £100,000 commercial legal expenses included with your policy subscription.

Protects you and your business against a range of issues not typically covered by professional indemnity or public liability.

IR35 & HMRC investigations

Legal matters concerning your business

Negative PR (£25,000 cover)

Criminal prosecution

Compliance & regulation issues

Unpaid invoices (over £200)

Also includes free telephone advice & help from qualified professionals.

Tax and commercial legal advice

Counselling for you and your staff

Access to a legal template library

Identity theft assistance


Common questions

How much is public liability insurance for self employed professionals?

The cost of public liability insurance varies from profession to profession. It can be surprisingly inexpensive given the risks of legal costs and possible compensation. It can start with a few pounds a month but it will depend on your profession type, limit and turnover.

Where can I get cheap public liability insurance for self employed professionals?

You can get cheap public liability insurance on comparison sites but be aware that only a fraction of the market sells on those sites. You may get self employed public liability insurance but it may not be the right cover for you.

Do I need public liability insurance if I am self employed?

You may need self employed public liability insurance if you have regular physical contact with your customers, members of the public and their property. As a self-employed you don’t have the safety net of an employer when something goes wrong. Public liability insurance can provide peace of mind and financial protection.

Is public liability insurance compulsory?

Public liability insurance may be compulsory. While there is no law in the UK that requires a business or a self employed individual to hold public liability insurance, your professional standards body, local authority or customers may require it.

Do I need public liability insurance for a limited company?

Your limited company may need public liability insurance if the business has physical dealings with its customers and third parties, either directly or via supply of products. The incorporation of your business isn't relevant.

Can I get monthly public liability insurance?

With Suited you can get public liability insurance month by month as needed.

Does public liability insurance cover employees?

The work of your employees is covered by public liability insurance covers. For example if a claim is made against you by a client or member of the public because of something one of your employee did, it is covered. However, public liability will not cover any claims are by an employee against you.

Do all businesses need public liability insurance?

Not all business need public liability insurance. Those that have physical contact with customers, members of the public and third parties during the course of business activities should consider public liability insurance.

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