The Consequences of not Owning Self Employed Public Liability Insurance

3rd June 2010

A self-employed person working from the

comfort of his/her home might question whether he/she would require a Self

Employed Public Liability Insurance cover. Although it is not compulsory,

insurance of this type is required as it provides a protection, which is known

as ‘cover’ for your business against legal claims.

Immaterial what position you may hold in

your business – whether you are a self-employed trader, a company director or even

an employee, you can be charged by a third party – member of the public or

customer, if some type of injury or damage takes place within your business

premises.

If your business invites persons of the

public or customers to come to your place of work, then it is always

recommended that you invest on an appropriate insurance policy.

The Law is that any business or individual

is deemed to pay for losses caused by the business or its employees. In such as

event if you don’t own a Self Employed Public Liability Insurance cover, then

the full cost of the damage will have to be borne by the company or yourself,

as the self-employed person. Compensation awards can run into significant sums

of money, and there also can be significant costs against you if you are not

fully covered. This can even result in complete bankruptcy and closure of your

business.

Will

you need public liability insurance if you work from home?

Even if you are based in your own home and

yet members of the public or your customers are required to call over for

business matters, then you need to invest on such a policy.

Similarly if your business requires you to

go over to your customer’s homes or homes of other members of the public, you

yet require obtaining this policy.

For example, if your customer injures

himself/herself at your business premises, they can contact a solicitor and

claim for compensation against you for injury and loss.

In such a situation, if you do not hold a

Self Employed Public Liability Insurance your charges will begin in this

manner:

  • You will receive a court notice for the claim
  • You will need to find a solicitor and obtain his quote
  • You will need to provide the solicitor with all the required

    information of your company and the incident

  • The solicitor will collect evidence etc. and draws up the

    strategy options

  • You will be invoiced by your solicitor
  • If the claim is contested, you need to prepare for the court

    hearing. This requires payment for solicitors, barristers and court fees.

  • If you lose the case you pay compensation/damages, medical

    costs and legal fees of both parties

  • If you win you need to recover as much of your legal costs from

    the claimant – very rarely are legal fess recovered in full.

These are the consequences that you will

face if you don’t own a Self Employed Public Liability Insurance. If you do,

the outcome of such an incident is less stressful and far less damaging.

Therefore, every business person should thoroughly understand the value of

obtaining appropriate insurance policies to cover their business adequately.