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Frequently Asked Questions


Explaining Public Liability insurance

FAQ ImageVan cross-sell ImageQuestions and answers that relate to Public Liability insurance, including what it is designed to cover, levels of cover that are available, where insurance applies to and information about No Claim Discounts.

This information is provided as a guide only, and if you have any doubts or questions, you can give our expert team a ring on 0800 915 0486.

Full details of our Terms & Conditions, Limits, Excesses and Policy Exclusions can be found in our Policy Wordings. These guides refer to our Tradesmans’ Insurance policy. CORGI Insurance do not offer advice relating to insurance, and you need to ensure that the insurance you choose meets your demands and needs.

Q. What does Public Liability insurance cover?

Q. Is Public Liability insurance required by the law?

Q. What level of Public Liability insurance should I buy?

Q. What is Products Liability insurance?

Q. Can I have an additional or secondary trade?

Q. How many employees or trainees can I insure?

Q. What is meant by a “Main Trade”?

Q. What business types do you insure?

Q. What trades do you insure?

Q. What is your turnover limit?

Q. What is your manual workforce limit?

Q. What is a labour only sub-contractor?

Q. What is a bona-fide sub-contractor?

Q. What is a No Claim Discount?

Q. Do you offer a No Claim Discount on trade insurance?

Q. Do I have to provide my No Claim Discount proof?

Q. Can I lower my Public Liability insurance premium?

Q. Do you insure businesses in Northern Ireland?

Q. Do you insure businesses in the Channel Islands?

Q. What is the difference between Public Liability insurance and Employers’ Liability insurance?



Q. What does Public Liability insurance cover?

A. Public Liability insurance is designed to pay the legal costs and any compensation payments that your company could be liable for should you or one of your employees cause damage to property, or injury to a person in connection with your business. In the construction and trade industries, the instances where property damage or personal injury can occur are numerous.

As a tradesperson, you are likely to be working either in the home or business premises of a client, or on a construction site. With plant, hand and powered tools, machinery and construction materials all potentially on site, there are many events that could give rise to a claim against you.

Public liability insurance may cover you for incidents that occur at your premises, a client site such as their home, or a construction site.

Q. Is Public Liability insurance required by the law?

A. No. Public Liability insurance isn’t required by law in Great Britain, Northern Ireland the Channel Isles or the Isle of Man – other than in some rare circumstances. When it comes to trade business insurance, the only insurance that is required by law is Employers’ Liability insurance (if you have employees), though if you have a vehicle, you'll also require car or van insurance which is also a legal requirement. If you run a business where the actions of you, your employees or sub-contractors could cause damage or injury to people or property, Public Liability insurance should be considered highly advisable.

Q. What level of Public Liability insurance should I buy?

A. The precise amount of cover that you should buy will be determined by your specific circumstances, and the insurances needs of businesses vary from one to the next. Let’s take it step by step.

  • Firstly, some contracts require you to have Public Liability insurance, and may stipulate a minimum level. You should check any paperwork before undertaking a contract, to be sure that you have the minimum required.
  • Secondly, certain employers, such as local and central government can have minimum levels of cover that they require of contractors and sub-contractors, so you should check this out.
  • Thirdly, some trade associations and bodies require that their members have public liability, and that this is held to a certain level. If you’re a member of a trade association, you should consider checking to see if any requirements are stipulated.
  • Finally, you need to consider the nature of your business, what it does, where it operates and how many employees and trainees it has. Each of these factors has an impact on how likely it is that things go wrong, and that you could be sued.

So, there’s no easy answer to the question, and the consequences of being under insured could be significant in the event of a legal action against you. We offer levels of £1M, £2M and £5M, providing you with options to help protect your business. If you require a higher level of cover, please call us on 0800 915 0486.

Q. What is Products Liability insurance?

A. Products Liability is included as part of our standard Public Liability insurance, and is designed to cover your legal liability for accidental death or personal injury to people, and/ or accidental damage to material property in connection with your products. Products are any commodities or goods or anything (including packaging, containers and labels) sold, supplied, hired out, constructed, erected, installed, treated, repaired, serviced, processed, stored, handled, transported or disposed of by you or on your behalf, or any structure constructed, erected or installed or contract work executed by you or on your behalf in the course of your business.

Q. Can I have an additional or secondary trade?

A. Yes. If you have a primary trade, maybe as a plumber, but also work on occasion as, say, a carpenter, you’ll want to be sure that you’re covered for both of these trades. Our Tradesman policy allows you to choose your main trade, and also specify a secondary trade. If you have more than two trades, please ring us on 0800 915 0486.

Q. How many employees or trainees can I insure?

A. We insure a manual work force of up to a total of 15 employees and/ or trainees, who work manually away from your premises. Trainees must be on a regular, ongoing training course. This number does not include clerical staff, who do not need to be listed as they are covered as standard.

Q. What is meant by a “Main Trade”?

A. This is the trade that takes up the majority of your working time.

Q. What business types do you insure?

A. Our policy for tradespeople covers a range of business types including Sole Traders, Partnerships, Limited Liability Partnerships and Limited Companies.

Q. What trades do you insure?

A. We insure a wide range of trades, in fact it’s over 70, so whatever you do from air conditioning engineers to wheelie bin cleaners, there’s a good chance that we insure your trade.

Q. What is your turnover limit?

A. We insure businesses with a turnover of up to £1.5M per annum. If your turnover limit is higher than this, please ring us on 0800 915 0486.

Q. What is your manual workforce limit?

A. We insure a manual work force of up to a total of 15 employees and/ or trainees, who work manually away from your premises. Trainees must be on a regular, ongoing training course.

Q. What is a labour only sub-contractor?

A. Providing an exact definition for a labour only sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these, the worker is probably a labour only sub-contractor:

  • Are they paid by the day/ week/ month?
  • Can they receive overtime?
  • Do they always have to do the work themselves?
  • Can you tell them at any time what to do, where to do it, and how to do it?
  • Do you supply the materials?

Looking at the questions above, to some extent, it boils down to the level of decision making and autonomy that the worker has. For the purposes of UK labour law; a labour-only sub-contractor is an employee. They do not provide their own materials and tools normally. They work under the direction of the contractor. They will need to be factored into your insurance calculations as employees as typically they will not provide their own insurance coverage.

Q. What is a bona-fide sub-contractor?

A. Providing an exact definition for a bona sub-contractor is not straightforward, but if you can answer “yes” to most of these questions, the worker is probably a bona fide sub-contractor:

  • Do they agree to do the job for a fixed price, regardless of how long the job may take?
  • Do they supply the materials at their own cost?
  • Do they hold their own public liability insurance?
  • Can they hire someone to do the work, or engage helpers at their own expense?
  • Within an overall deadline, can they decide what work to do, and how and when to do the work?

Looking at the questions above, to some extent, it boils down to the level of decision making and autonomy that the worker has. Bona-fide sub-contractors are generally deemed to be contractors who work without direction from the Insured, hold their own insurance and usually provide their own materials and tools.

Q. What is a No Claim Discount?

A. If you’ve bought car or van insurance, you’ll probably know all about No Claim Discounts. No Claim Discounts, sometimes known as a No Claim Bonus, are discounts that are offered to people who haven’t claimed against their insurance for a given period of time. We offer up to 10% No Claim Discount, if you have 2 years or more claim free. If you have a claim during a period of insurance with us, we may reduce or remove your No Claim Discount.

Q. Do you offer a No Claim Discount on trade insurance?

A. Yes. We offer up to 10% No Claim Discount off our Tradesmans’ insurance if you have 2 years or more claim free.

Q. Do I have to provide my No Claim Discount proof?

A. In the event that you need to make a claim, the insurer may perform checks relating to your claims history, and you may have to demonstrate your no claim discount entitlement. In the event that undeclared claims come to light, your claim may be reduced, or the claim may be rejected.

Q. Can I lower my Public Liability insurance premium?

A. Some insurance companies and policies offer a voluntary excesses, where you can opt to reduce the amount that would be paid in the event of a claim. This can discourage smaller claims from being made, and means that claims pay-outs can be lower, so the insurance company may charge less for the policy as a result. Because you’re insuring your livelihood, we believe that the right cover is important, rather than the lowest price. You can choose from our Essentials, Classic or Plus cover, which include different levels of optional cover, but it is important that the amounts you choose reflect your needs. Should you choose a low level of cover, and need to claim a higher amount, the claim may be reduced or not paid.

Q. Do you insure businesses in Northern Ireland?

A. Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in Northern Ireland, Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. You can purchase tradesman insurance for businesses in Northern Ireland online, or ring us on 0800 915 0486. We offer the same product, cover options and limits whether you’re in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Q. Do you insure businesses in the Isle of Man?

A. Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in the Isle of Man, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Channel Islands. You can purchase tradesman insurance for businesses in the Isle of Man online, or ring us on 0800 915 0486. We offer the same product, cover options and limits whether you’re in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Q. Do you insure businesses in the Channel Islands?

A. Yes. Our tradesman insurance covers businesses in the Channel Islands, Great Britain, Northern Ireland, and the Isle of Man. You can purchase tradesman insurance for businesses in the Channel Islands online, or ring us on 0800 915 04860. We offer the same product, cover options and limits whether you’re in England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the Channel Islands or the Isle of Man.

Q. What is the difference between Public Liability insurance and Employers’ Liability insurance?

A. Pretty much everything! It's probably best having a read about “What is Public Liability insurance?” and “What is Employers’ Liability insurance?

Any more questions?

If you have a question that's not answered here, please ring us on 0800 915 0486. If you'd like to get a Tradesman's Public Liability quote, please visit our Public Liability.

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