Public Liability Insurance - why bother!

17 Oct 2004
Reaction score
United Kingdom
I’m about to go back into self employment after a very brief break and am finding the subject of Public Liability a bit of a thorny one.

It appears there is plenty of "tradesman" policies that provide ample cover but in my case I rent a workshop from which I repair customers furniture also building made to measure furniture and misc repairs to woodwork in people homes but using my workshop as a base. Because of the workshop I am considered a hugely increased risk and the premium is hiked.

My previous insurers NFU now tell me that they should never have been covering me using this criteria ( I thought the premium was cheap) and they only offer tradesman policies which are no good to me. The last policy I had that covered everything was with NIG and edging up toward £1300 a year and that was 2 years ago. Now, I assume I’m going to have to pay a minimum of £1500 for the cover I need - ouch!

Regarding specifically PUBLIC LIABILITY years ago I chanced it and didn’t bother but I was young and had nothing to lose. Now, much older, I have assets, a family etc and have a lot to lose if I get sued and I for one wouldn't dream of not having it!

BUT, how many of the one man banders are properly insured? How many are doing it on the side, obviously uninsured? Jobs for cash - not insured - hoping it’ll never happen to me - not insured.

Whats everyones view? No public liability insurance; fool hardy? and are people just chancing it?

What sort of premiums are people paying and for what?

Btw I know employers liability is a legal requirement, I assume PL is the same?
Sponsored Links
im paying 316 a year through an axa venture plus policy, which seems to cover just about everything, including public, employers and temporary employees. give a try as they were the brokers that sorted it for me. Personally i wouldnt do anything in this day and age without the insurance, and i certainly wont do work that im not covered for.
I pay 66 pa for £1M cover PL.

Yes, it's worth it. Even if you don't work in the client's homes, you still have to pick up/ drop off.
not much response on this topic :rolleyes: perhaps people are keeping their heads down - it seems to reinforce the fact that this is a very grey area and that many people bury their head in the sand.

Ta for the link Thermo, tried it but they don't want to know!

£66 a year for 1m public liabilty cover????
Sponsored Links
Well Matz, what else can we add to this post? If you want I can give you the name and number of our insurer (very good service, alwyas looking out for the best deals - best cover for the best price, not lowest prices).
Just checked our details: for The Master Tradesman Insurance Policy we pay £ 150 for 5 million cover
I paid £1077 last year for material damage, business interruption, cash on premises, employers & public liability, product liability and all risks to tools (I think this covers theft).

This is through Warren Hill (brokers) and it has gone up every year, although it is still a lot cheaper than some of the quotes we had.
Petewood, I think that is for more than only Public liability, so hard to compare with others.
Our PL does cover employers&public liability and materials damages.
I guess the point of my post was to highlight the huge number of people who produce or repair goods for customers who because of crippling insurance premiums must be trading either underinsured or not insured. I'm only talking about one man bands here but it only takes one man to cause a disaster and get sued. I personally know several people in my line of business who take the chance and are not insured - working in customers houses etc . No opinion on this here, perhaps I'm paranoid and worried about nothng :rolleyes:

Isn't it law to have PL when offering (trade) goods and services, or is that only when you have premisess?

My thoughts on PL insurance: better safe then sorry. Do some research on premiums and do compare the cover you get from the cheapest and the most expansive ones (cheapest won't cover you for many things, most expansive one will cover you for things you might not even need)
All it takes is for a shelf you have put up to fall off the wall, smashing down onto an antique table which is also an irreplaceable family heirloom, smashing it to pieces; and sitting on the table was a tropical fish tank full of valuable fish, which also breaks, causing litres of water to stain the oak wainscotting and ruin the persian rug and drown the cat that was asleep on the rug; and then the homeowner comes running in to see what all the noise is, trips over one of the legs of the broken table and falls through the closed window (100 year old stained glass as they live in a chapel conversion), landing in a flowerbed with a broken leg which needs months off work and frequent physiotherapy...

Always better to be insured!

Oh yes, I forgot to mention the collection of Ming dynasty vases that were on the shelf which fell of the wall.
You forgot to mention that the old dear impales herself on railings, and the blood trickles into a junction box, causing a short which burns down the property...

Sorry, it's 69.30 for just £1M PL on its own, nothing else at all.
Public Liability Insurance only covers you for damage to customers property, injuries to members of the public etc, not usually buildings and contents, that should be a seperate Policy.

I pay £134 pa for PL, £3M cover, plus tools and up to £50K wages and £5K in transit or £1K on premises.
when I was green to the trade .....

I thought F**k Ins ...

single employ was £190=£2Mill

I went to a call out to a famous TV Magicians house ,he had a leak on a pipe , once there it was found to be a leak on a primary flow too a rad ,

I shut the boiler down an spent 4 hours draining the system down as we were in a barn conv part of the other ext house ,
as chummy stood above me click an click his fingers , I felt like turning up to him an saying "just make your self vanish , for F**K sake ..

anyway he must of got bored as the lil Tw*T went out ,
I then found the pipe was ok to fit an solder a repair piece ...
dead easy normal

I got it all ok to solder , I put my braze/heat mat, behind the pipes ....

all was ok til the drip /drip /drip of lovely silver was gurgling .....then SPITTTTT

WATER in the pipe , I turned up the roth an it was doing good if firey ......that firey the skirting was smoking behind the heat mat ...the wall seemed to burst into flames ..

I smeared as much solder on an I thought , should I ring the Fire brigade .....NAH ..."NOT TIL THE ROOFS GONE , "would say my old plumb instructor at the Water Board

the soldering was forgotten , the wall was smouldering , maybe as a barn it was hay an thatch , ....I thought , "plumber burns down magic mans house ,....SHOCKA!"

I legged it to the kitchen an turned the tap on .... DUUUUUH..

Waters off ,........I looked around the kitchen an looked in the fridge , I saw a jug with pear juice in ...

I took this an poured it over the sizzling burning barn wall , ...

it went WOOOOOOSCHH.....most of the wall erupted in flame/flash back
it must of been vodka or highly flam drink ...

as this took to flames ,..... I remember a gas leak dection bottle (fairy soaps with water in my van )...I got this an lathered the wall with it it ran out , the sparks/embers were at another wall , next beam aside ...

oh No .. I then dropped my kexs an ****ed on the wall an all surounding walls...

The Fire was out ,I felt wonderful

til a lil voice in head SCREAMED behind the walls its burning ......

I then refilled the heating pipes an got the cold supply on ....I then drilled holes in the plaster an got the drainage hose an gave a blast of 2000psi cold water in his barn walls ...

Later at 6 , he an his wife came back , I had vented the burning smell , I had plugged/filled the drainholes, where burnt up the wall ,

I had a tin of white primer/undercoat for a job at home an old brush , I splashed it all over ....,it lokked gorgeous on the walls ....better than before ...

this would of cost me many £1000s in genuine claims an bullshit if the magic guy was there ...

I was a worn out an "cheerful" (as we guys are expected to be !!, LOL) plumber the end

but the magic guy an his lovely wife said I had done a wonderful TIDY job , they gave me a £20 tip

I laugh my Co*K off now , as if he came home an said whats this fire , I would of said you make it disapear your the magician , lol

his wife has gorgeous undies by the way /an the albums left near the bed /rad .... well ...FANASTIC ....... SHE IS GORGEOUS ....
he is very well hung , for a lil fella ... 10, easy ... she had no prob .. though ...

Sponsored Links