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Why have Public Liability insurance?

Many of us see insurance as a waste of money, with masses of jargon which is too complicated to understand. In most cases Public Liability (or PL) insurance isn’t compulsory so why should we have it? Apart from the fact that CIPHE’s Code of Professional Standard requires each member to protect the public and have at least £2m of cover, the peace of mind insurance cover can bring you, is surely worth it’s weight in gold.

I suppose insurance is a necessary evil. A bit like exercise. No one really wants to do it, but in order to live a longer, healthier life, it’s probably advisable.

The same can be said of PL insurance. No one really wants to pay for it, but for a healthy business, it’s a must.

Just think… if something goes wrong, surely you want the safety and security that a robust insurance policy has been taken out to protect your legal liabilities?

For example… if a pipe leaks following a job and causes extensive damage to a property, there is no doubt your client will hold you responsible, even if it was a genuine accident. Have you enough cash in your savings to pay for the damage caused? This could soon reach many thousands of pounds.

Also, do you have enough funds to pay for the hours of legal advice, alongside any potential compensation awarded by a court? Or how about covering the loss of earnings when attending court to defend yourself? 

None of this is intended to scare. It is just laying out the possible impact of something going wrong when working as a plumber or heating engineer. This is an industry in which CIPHE members are often working, in challenging circumstances, on essential systems that can have a wide ranging impact should anything go wrong.

An annual Public Liability insurance policy can give you anything up to £5 million of protection, depending on the limit you’ve bought. This protection  includes legal costs, expenses and any compensation awards arising out of your legal liability for accidental injury or damage to property. You can also receive £250 compensation per day when attending court to defend a claim made against you. 

I suppose the best way to think about a Public Liability insurance is that a £200 to £300 annual premium is around the same cost for an hour or two’s advice from a solicitor. Rest assured, you’ll need a fair few hours of help and advice if something ever does go wrong!

If you want to find out more about what is covered under a Public Liability policy or simply want to obtain a quotation, please speak to CIPHE’s recommended insurance broker today on 0330 159 6211 or obtain a quotation online 24/7 by visiting