Public liability insurance for building contractors

For building contractors and the construction industry, taking out public liability insurance is critical

Public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement, but many clients and industries will require you to have it before you start any work. For building contractors and the construction industry more generally, this is especially the case.

Jump straight to a particular section or read on for the full guide.

  1. What is public liability insurance?
  2. Public liability insurance examples
  3. Public liability insurance for building contractors
  4. Find insurance now

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is cover for injuries to third parties, including customers, clients and the general public as a result of your business’s operations.

The insurance premium will cover compensation for injury to a person or damage to external property. The premium you’re quoted will depend on the industry, number of employees your business has and if you’ve made any claims in the past. It is typical for businesses to have public liability insurance cover for up to £5 million but many are covered for up to £10 million.

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Public liability insurance examples

Example 1:

Work is underway on a construction site and a piece of equipment injures a member of the public passing by. They put in a compensation claim and your public liability insurance cover pays out for the compensation and any legal fees.

Example 2:

A client parks their car upon visiting your business premises and a piece of equipment falls and lands on it, causing considerable damage. They put in a compensation claim and your public liability insurance cover pays out for the compensation and any legal fees.

Public liability insurance for building contractors

As a business in the construction industry, it is imperative that you take out public liability insurance. As a building contractor, it is your responsibility to plan a construction project from beginning to end, and this includes protecting the project from any compensation claims from third parties.

If your business was at the receiving end of a claim and you weren’t covered by public liability insurance, it may struggle to pay the fees associated with it. Claims can run into the millions if the incident is serious enough.

Public liability insurance will cover:

  • The compensation or damage cost
  • Legal fees associated with the claim
  • Any expenses
  • Ongoing treatment costs if injury occurred

Public liability insurance can be bought as a standalone insurance product, but it is often sold as part of a wider insurance package – along with employers’ liability insurance.

Another shield to your protection is prevention, and risk assessments should be a regular task for building contractors and a safe workplace policy should be written up that includes employee expectations on-site and reporting procedures for any safety concerns.

Find insurance now

Your insurer can give you advice on how much cover to take out, how to mitigate against risks effectively and give support when things do go wrong.

If you’re looking for business insurance and aren’t sure where to begin, why not use our free quote tool to find a tailored commercial combined policy that will cover all your needs.

Simply fill in our free quote-finding form here and answer a few questions about your business (it takes less than a minute).

More on public liability insurance

Public liability insurance: why you need itNot sure if you need public liability insurance for your business? Sam Humphrey from Insure Our Event explains what you need to know

Business insurance: Everything you need to knowInsurance offers vital protection from the crippling costs of a claim against your business. But which insurance do you actually need and which is merely optional?

Dom Walbanke

Jaeden Harber

Dom Walbanke is a feature writer for Growth Business and Small Business, focused on matters concerning start-ups and scale-ups. He has also been published in the Independent, FourFourTwo magazine and various...