Public Liability Insurance – What Does It Cover?

public liability insurance

COVID restrictions are easing around the country, which is great news for many small businesses that have been affected by the lockdowns. But as your business reopens and welcomes customers back onsite to your locations, your risk of someone being injured on your property increases.

Any business that hosts customers onsite is at risk of a lawsuit from a visiting customer. Public liability insurance is one way to protect yourself and your business from these types of complaints.

Read on to learn more about what public liability insurance is, what it does, and if you need it. You can contact us at EINSURANCE for more information and help with purchasing a public liability insurance policy.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance is a business insurance policy that helps to protect against claims made by the public for property damage or bodily injury. It can be critical insurance depending on the nature of your business. Public liability insurance helps protect against accidents that happen to third parties at your business location.

It is important to understand public liability coverage does not replace workers’ compensation coverage – an employee injured at your business will still seek workers’ compensation as their remedy but an injured customer or visitor to your business could be covered under your public liability insurance policy.

What does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

Having a public liability insurance policy can help protect you from several risks.

  • Property Damage – The property damage coverage under your public liability insurance policy can help cover accidental damages to other people’s property that happens at your business. Examples of this could include a designer coat being ripped accidentally by your coat check clerk or a bartender spilling a drink on a customer’s suit.
  • Bodily Injury – Bodily injury coverage afforded to third parties is a major benefit of a public liability insurance policy. If a customer comes to your business and is injured or killed, this cover will be triggered. Slip and fall or tripping accidents are common and can be expensive to manage, even when no one is seriously injured.
  • Defense Costs – Your public liability insurance policy also affords some coverage for your legal expenses associated with defending your business from a lawsuit, such as the cost of hiring an attorney and filing paperwork.

Public liability insurance covers things that happen at your physical business location only – if your business provides services online only or inside of customer’s locations, a public liability insurance policy may not be the right coverage or may not provide sufficient coverage for your business needs.

Who Needs Public Liability Insurance?

Whether you need public liability insurance or not is a conversation to have with your agent and business partners. If you have customers who come to your business in person you could be at risk, but it is important to also understand the coverage you may have from other insurance policies.

Your commercial general liability policy offers some of the same coverages as the public liability policy, so you will have to decide if a public liability insurance policy is also necessary. It is specific coverage that can be helpful for some businesses – talk with your agent to help you make the best decision for your individual needs.

It does not hurt to add another layer of coverage to protect your business if it is within the budget. Insurance policies often cost much less than you might expect, especially when you consider the protection and peace of mind you gain.

The Cost of Public Liability Insurance Policies

An important consideration of any insurance policy is the price. Public liability insurance policies offer more limited coverage as compared with a commercial general liability policy. Accordingly, the price of the public liability policy is less than that of the commercial general liability cover which can make them an affordable policy for many businesses.

This is a compelling reason many businesses start with the public liability policy as a way to get some measure of protection until they can afford more cover. Many commercial carriers sell a public liability insurance policy – it makes sense to compare rates and product offerings to find the right fit for your business.

Where to Purchase Public Liability Insurance

You can purchase public liability insurance directly from a carrier or from your broker or agent. As with many insurance coverages, you have lots of options when it comes to your insurance company. Premiums can vary greatly between carriers, and you may be able to secure higher limits or a lower deductible by shopping around and comparing rates.

Final Thoughts

Public liability insurance is a specific type of insurance coverage designed to protect businesses from claims made by customers who are injured or who suffer property damage while visiting the business in person. This commercial policy can help provide coverage from property damage and bodily injury damage claims, as well as their associated legal costs – making it valuable coverage for many businesses.

Decide if this coverage is right for you by reviewing your current policies – their conditions, exclusions, and limits will help you determine if the additional protection afforded from a public liability policy is right for you. Call your agent to discuss your particular situation and the benefits and drawbacks of adding a public liability insurance policy to your commercial coverage mix.

If you decide to purchase a public liability insurance policy to help protect your business investment, we can help. We offer competitive rates from all the major carriers to help you compare rates and we make the application process simple for you.

About Abi Potter Clough

Avatar photoAbi Potter Clough, MBA, CPCU, has 15 years of experience at a major P&C carrier. She writes about insurance, risk management, and leadership for many publications and is the immediate past Chair of the International Group of the CPCU Society. Abi is the founder and CEO of AbiLeads LLC and the author of Life After Leaping In and Top 10 Lists for Relocation. Email Abi or visit her website for more information. Industry Designations: