What is public liability insurance?

Written by Zego

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Your guide to public liability insurance

If you earn money as a driver — whether that’s delivering food, parcels or people — the risk of an accident can lurk around every corner.

If something happens and a claim is made against you, public liability insurance can help to cover the costs.

This handy guide will walk you through the things you need to know.

What is public liability insurance?

When things don’t go as planned, the costs can really mount up. Especially if other people are involved.

If you find yourself in a non-motor incident (for example, a passenger trips while getting out of your car and makes a claim), public liability insurance will pay for any compensation payouts or legal fees that come your way.

It’s basically a financial safety net that protects you if you’re in an accident and found to be at fault.

What does public liability insurance cover?

Generally speaking, it covers you if you’re sued by a customer or a member of the public. That could be because of loss or damage to their property, personal injury, or even death.

The specifics can vary between insurers, so you should always check the policy agreement before you buy cover.

What’s included?

Most public liability policies will provide a minimum of £1m to pay for things like solicitor’s fees and legal costs.

But those costs can shoot up if expensive property is damaged or somebody makes an injury claim.

So it’s important to check that your policy provides enough cover for you.

At Zego, we provide £5m public liability cover as standard, with the option to increase it to £10m. This gives you extra peace of mind, keeping you protected against big claims.

What isn’t included?

Public liability insurance only covers non-motor incidents, so it doesn’t apply to accidents that occur while driving (they’ll be covered by your Zego motor insurance).

There may be other scenarios or types of incidents that aren’t covered, so it’s best to check the wording of your policy agreement before you sign anything.

How does public liability insurance work?

If you’re involved in an incident and somebody sues you as a result, you can claim on your public liability insurance to help pay for any associated costs.

That could include things like legal defence fees, compensation payments, medical costs or loss of income.

As long as your policy covers you for the type of incident you’re involved in, you’ll get the financial support you need to see it through.

And when you’re insured with Zego, claiming on your insurance couldn’t be easier.

Who requires public liability insurance?

Private hire (taxi) drivers, food delivery drivers, couriers — in fact most gig workers, sole traders and small business owners. If you interact directly with customers or members of the public on a regular basis, it’s best to make sure you’re covered.

While it’s not a legal requirement, public liability insurance is recommended to keep you safe and protected should the worst ever happen.

What kinds of incidents are covered?

Here are a few examples:

  • You’re delivering a parcel to a house and the owner claims that you damaged their property.
  • A passenger slips on ice while climbing out of your vehicle and breaks their leg.
  • You’re delivering hot food and the customer gets burned while you’re handing it to them.

Wherever there’s the possibility of damage to property or injury to others, it’s best to make sure you have public liability cover included with your insurance for delivery work.

How much does public liability insurance cover cost?

This will depend on the insurer, the amount of cover you need and whether you have any previous claims against you.

Most of our driver policies include public liability cover as standard, including our food delivery insurance.

The best way to find out how much you’ll pay is to get a quote. It only takes a minute.

What happens if I don’t have public liability insurance?

Legally, you can still drive and work without it. But every time you collect a passenger or deliver a parcel, you could be putting yourself at risk.

If you’re involved in an accident and a claim is brought against you, you may end up having to pay out.

That’s why we include public liability cover in our Third Party Only and Fully Comprehensive policies for Private Hire drivers.

How can public liability insurance support me?

It provides you with financial cover in the event of an accident that’s deemed to be your fault. You get full protection when you need it, and peace of mind that you’re in safe hands.

Interested to learn more?

Take a look at our Help section to find out more about public liability insurance with Zego.

Or, if you’re ready to see how much your cover will cost, get a free personalised quote. It only takes a minute.