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Public Liability Insurance

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Public liability (PL) insurance can protect individuals, or a business, from being sued if a third party suffers injury or financial loss as a result of the activities of that person or business. It isn't a legal requirement but many organisations, particularly local authorities, insist on it being held by anyone working for them.

UK Public Liability Insurers

Tradesmansaver Insurance Symbol


Tradesmansaver is a trading style of Barkdene Limited, which was first set up in 1984. Another of their brands is Henry Seymour & Co. As the name suggests Tradesmansaver specialise in insuring trades people in occupations as diverse as building and allied trades to dog walkers. Their public liability insurance comes as part of a standard package which also includes product liability cover, accidental death insurance for pricipals and employees, and legal expenses for a range of risks including tax and VAT investigations. There is a PL insurance limit of £1 million on the standard package (which can be bought online) but this can be increased to £5 million if necessary. They deal mainly with smaller companies and their tradesman policies are underwritten by French insurance giant Covea.

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Hiscox Insurance Symbol


Anglo-Bermudan Lloyds underwriter Hiscox, founded in 1901 and now a member of the FTSE 250 Index with a net income reckoned in the hundreds of millions of pounds a year, can cover public liability risks including expenses, legal costs and compensation of up to £10 million pounds. They claim that potential customers can get an online quote within five minutes. Apart from yearly policies they can also offer cover for some short term events such as shows or festivals. They can provide policies for sole traders and freelancers, as well as larger companies and corporations. As a major international insurer Hiscox can offer just about any kind of business insurance as well, from product liability to kidnap and ransom risks.

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Lloyds Bank Insurance Symbol

Lloyds Bank

Lloyds Bank PLC, formally Lloyds TSB, is reputedly the largest retail bank in the United Kingdom with a claimed 16 million private and business customers. As with other banks, during the liquidity crisis of 2009 the British Government took a stake in it but the shares were sold by 2017. They offer public liability insurance, aimed mainly at trades people and the self employed and this is arranged through Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Brokers Limited. Gallaghers, formed in 1927, has more than 300 offices around the world, and operates across 150 countries, offering a consultancy service, risk management and insurance solutions to businesses large and small. Quotes can be compared from a panel of insurers online with cover in steps up to £5 million and there is optional employers liability insurance. Businesses requiring higher levels of cover or with more specialised risks can ring them during office hours, Monday to Friday.

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AXA Insurance Symbol


AXA, formed in 1816 in France, is now a group of mainly independently run businesses operating under the firm's umbrella. Collectively the company and it's subsidiaries employ around 120,000 people worldwide. Public liability quotes can be provided online for UK based businesses with no more than 8 people and a turnover under £500,000 a year. Outside these criteria it would be necessary to ring then for a talk. Businesses that buy online can alter their policies at any time or add additional cover such as professional indemnity cover or employers liability. The standard public liability policy covers up to £5 million for compensation payments, a daily contribution towards costs for attending court to defend a claim, and legal costs (up to one million pounds) to cover claims of injury to, or accidental damage to the property of, third parties. Legal costs to cover criminal charges of corporate manslaughter or homicide can also be covered. Injury to employees or damage to their property is not automatically covered under the standard policy but can be added under an employers liability policy.

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Aviva Insurance Symbol


Aviva, reputedly the largest general insurer in Britain, claims to have more than 33 million customers for their insurance, savings and investment products. During 2019 they say they paid out more than £33 billion in benefits and claims. So they certainly have the necessary financial strength. Their public liability policy covers the employer, partners and staff against claims for damages or injury from third parties - again this specifically excludes claims from employees, for which employers liability insurance is needed - and legal defence costs. Customers can choose a maximum level of cover of £1 million, £2 million or £5 million. Specifically excluded are any penalties or fines that are imposed, any claims that result from contamination or pollution, and any that are related to asbestos in any way.

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