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  • 5 Questions you should ask your broker about public liability insurance

    Public Liability Insurance

    It’s common knowledge amongst business owners that insurance can help to protect your company. But public liability insurance can often be a little confusing depending on the nature of your business. I Heart NYC state that "public liability insurance is critical to our business operations. Knowing that we're covered in the event of a business issue is essential to our piece of mind. If you are running a business, we would strongly advise you to get yourself covered."

    Small businesses need public liability insurance to help protect against any risks that they may face and prevent costly law suits that could occur. Yet each policy differs depending on the size of your business and the risks that you pose. So here are some important questions you may want to run past your insurance broker to help make sure you are fully covered and protected.

    1)    What does public liability insurance cover?

    Public liability insurance protects you against any personal injury caused by someone that isn’t employed by you or any damage to someone’s property. It basically covers any risk to your business, not including fraud, exposure to hazardous materials or acts of war and terror.

    It’s important to ask the question to your insurance broker, because every policy is different. It also makes sense to understand what you are covered for and what you’re not covered for, so you can identify areas where you think you are lacking cover.

    When obtaining public liability insurance, it is always best to cover all the risks your business presents. Lower levels of cover may seem appealing but may not provide you with the sufficient cover that you need.

    2)    How much cover do I need?

    How much cover you need depends on the size of the business and any risk associated with your business activities. For example, a contractor working on a construction site is likely to pose more risk than a local florist. Your broker will have the expertise to be able to help determine what level of cover will best suit you by examining your specific business activities, size and through conducting a risk assessment.

    Typically, the smaller business and lower the risk, the lower the cover amount you will need.  However, it’s also worth checking local laws and associations to make sure you are fully compliant. For example, personal trainers will need their own coverage, and construction traders are likely to need a copy of their insurance certificate before working on a site.

    3)    What information do you need?

    When you are applying for your public liability insurance it’s important that you explain all the business activities you do to make sure that you’re fully covered. Your insurance needs to support every business activity that you do and every risk that you may face. If you don’t cover every activity you may find that when it comes to making a claim, you may not be covered.

    There are also variations between insurers to make sure you work with your broker to understand the policy fully, read the small print and make sure you are covered for what you need.

    4)    How can I save on the cost?

    Often, you can make some savings by combining multiple types of insurance cover under one policy. For example, you may wish to combine public liability with product liability or professional indemnity.

    If you are smart about getting yourself insured, you may be able to make some savings. It might also be worth looking at different options and getting multiple quotes. A cheaper policy may look tempting, but it might not provide you with all the cover you need.

    Furthermore, to reduce the cost of your policy, you could look at reducing the level of risk. For example, getting a burglar alarm or CCTV on any business property or health and safety training for employees to reduce any risk of accident and injury.

    5)    How do I make a claim?

    When it comes to making a claim, you can often wonder whether you need to go back to your broker or go directly to the insurance company. In most circumstances, it will normally be required to go straight to your insurance company. However, if the case is a little more complicated you may want to discuss it with your insurance broker first who may be able to help you handle the claim.  

    Making a claim can be relatively straight forward and your policy documents will normally outline the best way to go about making a claim and what information you will need to present.

    For most businesses, obtaining public liability insurance is a simple process. However, it’s always best to obtain advice from a qualified professional to ensure that you’re getting suitable cover for your business at an affordable price.

    For more information read our ulitimate guide to Public Liability Insurance.

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