There are many different insurances available for businesses, and this can understandably leave you confused if you are trying to decide which of them to select for your firm. Just one type of insurance - employers' liability - is legally needed in business, says the Federation of Small Businesses.
However, your firm could soon hit into a wall - or more than a few - of a very unexpected kind if you don't add public liability to your palette of insurances. Here are several good reasons why.
This type of insurance is intended to cater for interests of third parties who you could accidentally inconvenience while you carry out your work.
For example, if a member of the public - whether or not a client or customer of your company - is injured or their property is damaged as a result of your work, that person can take legal action. If you lose the case, that would leave you liable to pay compensation.
However, your public liability insurance would be able to fund compensation payouts on your firm's behalf. Of course, simply fighting a claim will incur legal costs - and, usually, public liability will pay those as well, according to Business Matters.
Given that public liability is not a legally required form of cover, you could be tempted to skip it and simply exercise caution in how you handle third parties. However, there is a dauntingly broad range of ways in which you could inadvertently inconvenience such parties to the effect of legal action.
In the workplace, a customer might trip - a particularly large risk on a building site or in small shops, where trip hazards abound. If you carry out home improvement work, you could damage a worktop as you fit a kitchen appliance or incorrectly install taps in a way that sees the home become flooded.
If you don't hold public liability cover, such instances could force you to pay for compensation out of your firm's pocket. This wouldn't be convenient if the company's finances are already tight; you could even be landed with bankruptcy, Small Business warns.
As you progress in your exciting and eventful business journey, you might find that... well, it threatens to become rather less exciting and eventful if you don't have public liability insurance. We say this because your eligibility for a particular contract might even depend on you having this cover.
For example, it is common for a local council to request to see proof of this insurance before they will hand you a contract. The specific level of cover that you have can become an important factor, too. Some government contracts call for at least £5 million to £10 million in cover.
As well as offering attractive policies for tradesmen and professionals, Tradesman Saver also offers more information on the subject: "What is public liability insurance?"