Sole Trader Public Liability Insurance UK

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Public liability insurance for sole traders

Being a sole trader can be a lonely place. You live and die by your decisions, and there’s no safety net or someone there to catch you when you fall. That’s how self-employment works, for good or bad. Obtaining highly-quality Public Liability Insurance for sole trader personnel and entrepreneurs could give you that special safe piece of mind.

But what is Public Liability Insurance? How does it work, and what do you get for your monthly payments? Let’s take a look at why sole traders need insurance and how it can help you to grow and shape your business while providing some kind of backup against unforeseen issues.

sole trader insurance

MultiQuoteTime works in partnership with QuoteSearcher who will circulate your cover requirements to a panel of select UK brokers. The panel can provide you with sole trader insurance that are tailored to the requirements of business owners. Public liability is the key cover that provides cover against accidents that happen during on the job. For example, accidental damage to a client's property or injury to a third party. This is where a sole trader insurance policy comes in by ensuring you and your business are protected.

What is Sole Trader Insurance?

Sole trader insurance is cover for those that run and own their own business. The core elements include liability and professional indemnity. If you employ staff, you will also need employer’s liability cover. There are so many responsibilities when you run your own business that you can’t possibly shoulder everything yourself without viable backup. 

Public liability coverage protects sole traders against any claims from third parties for any injuries, damages, or losses due to your working practices. These third parties could be customers that incur injuries or losses due to your company or other issues on your premises. These also extend to any damages cause by you on your customer’s property. 

What is a Public Liability?

Did you ever experience someone tripping, falling, or hurting themselves in your showroom or shop? If not, you want to hope it never happens to your business. Did you ever work in someone’s home and accidentally damaged their property on the job? Did a piece of faulty equipment you used end up causing an accident? It's all scary stuff. 

Do Sole Traders Need Public Liability Insurance?

With so many monthly costs running your own business, you always have to be careful when shelling out on any insurance policy. This poses the question, do sole traders need public liability insurance? Or is it just another extra expense that you can live without?

If your business deals directly with the public, you definitely need to consider this type of cover. Contracting and professional consultation businesses can be exposed to claims. If you are a builder, plumber, or provide any service where you deal directly with the public, you will need this type of cover. So, if you run or own a business or are a sole trader that continually deals with the public in their own homes or on your premises, having public liability insurance should be essential.

Is a self-employed person a sole trader?

The term sole trader can be replaced with the term self-employed. A sole trader is different to a limited company in that you do not need to register with Companies House or have a director. Many examples of freelancers fall into this category, for example, a freelance programmer. The UK is leading the way in online shopping, which has fuelled a sharp rise in self-employed traders. These are the findings of SMMT that reported in the same article that this has also sparked a rise in UK van sales. 3.4 million, or roughly one in ten depend on a van for self-employed work.

What Does Liability Insurance Cover?

Running any business is fraught with unforeseen dangers. And if you deal with the public on a routine basis, who knows what can happen. Be prepared, or be prepared to fail, as the adage goes. You need to plan against these possible dangers so that you aren’t left with a massive hospital bill or some other compensation payments due to accidents. Here are some examples of situations that can arise where you will need insurance.

  • In a workshop environment, an example would be a client having an accident by tripping or slipping.
  • If your trade involves servicing a client’s property, for example as a carpet cleaner, you’ll be covered against any damages caused when doing your job. 
  • The third party also extends beyond the client to cover any member of the general public. For example, a pedestrian tripping over building materials outside a house that you are renovating.

Here are some more examples of the things you can be covered against:

  • Any legal costs you might incur during the settlement of a claim.
  • Coverage for those acting on your company’s behalf when the incident happened.
  • Cover for any losses or damaged goods that are in your care custody that don’t belong to you.
  • Coverage for any damages to your client’s property while performing your job.
  • Any first aid expenses from the time of the issue.
  • Covered against injuries sustained by others when visiting your office or premises.

Protecting your sole trading business

Regardless of how careful you are, any poor advice that’s given to a client, a tiny accident on your premises or the theft of your expensive equipment can cost your business thousands of pounds. Sole trader insurance will give you the peace of mind you need knowing that you’re covered for these eventualities and many others.

Operating as a sole trader leaves you are open to claims against you by the public, making public liability core to your sole trader insurance policy. It covers you against a wide range of business related activity claims. At its core, it provides cover for any third party both injuries or damage to property. Below we have highlighted some more typical occasions that this type of cover is effective.

  • In a workshop environment, an example would be a client having an accident by tripping or slipping.
  • If your trade involves working on the client's possessions, for example as a carpet cleaner. The cover will protect for accidental damage caused as you go about your business.
  • The third party also extends beyond the client to cover any member of the general public. For example a pedestrian tripping over building materials outside a house that you are renovating.

What are the types of Public Liability Insurance?

Now we’ve discussed what types of things you are covered against as a sole trader, we need to take it one step further. What are the types of  Insurance for sole trader personnel? Here are the main three insurance types that sole traders need to seriously consider before making any purchases. 

Professional Indemnity insurance will cover the costs of defending you and your business against allegations of professional negligence and any compensation or damages subsequently awarded against you. An example of this would be you giving a client wrongful or incorrect advice. This is a critical protection for all sole traders. Insurance cover is typically available with limits that range from £50,000 to £5 million.

Product and Public Liability insurance covers the costs of defending your business if someone is injured, or their property is damaged, which arises from you going about your business or supplying to them products. This includes any damages that are awarded against you should you be unsuccessful. In certain cases, legal fees alone will cost your business thousands of pounds. This is a vital cover if you deal regularly with members of the public or clients.

Employers liability insurance is a legal requirement in the UK if your business has employees. It will cover your business against claims for injury or illness that may be suffered by employees that arise from their employment. Regardless of what industry you work in, if your business employs staff, you will need this coverage.

Should I Buy Sole Trader Insurance?

Are you a responsible sole trader who wants to ensure the safety of your potential customers? If so, you should obtain sole trader insurance right away. You don’t want to take risks with your customers, their health, safety, or their property. Doing the right things is essential in businesses where the public is involved. And it’s especially true if your services take you into people’s houses on a regular basis. It’s just time before some sort of issue arises. 

You don’t want to be left with a compensation payment or a medical bill that you can’t afford to pay. Not having sole trader insurance is leaving yourself open to the elements without protection. 

Compare the cost of sole trader insurance

It is advisable to compare the costs of sole trader business insurance by comparing the available trader insurance options with a panel of UK brokers. Fast trader Insurance works in partnership with Quote Zone who provide a simple form which once completed is submitted to a specialist panel of brokers. Your sole trader insurance requirements will be shared automatically with multiple UK brokers that will work at providing you with a range of comprehensive quotes.

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