Business Insurance

Paul Murray

Ultimate Member
What levels of business insurance are people using? I've managed ok without insurance for far longer than I like, and am now looking into getting some but I'm unsure about the levels I'd need.

On top of professional indemnity insurance, does anyone else get general and or/public liability? What should I be expecting to pay for a small studio of 1–3 people?
I understand operating without indemnity insurance on one level (particularly if - like me - you insist on clients signing off work and having an independent, direct relationship with printers, etc.) but I think it's generally true that larger organisations with proper structures in place insist on it as a condition of engagement - that's certainly true with a lot of people I work with. I use Simply Business (a broker) and standard levels of cover are generally built into quotes (usually in the hundreds of thousands for indemnity and the millions for liability). I also understand that public liability is only really necessary if you're receiving visitors to your place of work. Shouldn't set you back more than a few hundred quid a year in any event.
Public liability will cover you if you break something or someone in the course of your job. So, if you're likely to smash a priceless ming vase while visiting a client then public liability is a must. My other half has it and we regularly have arguments about the pointlessness of it. It's not like someone will try suing you if they get a paper cut off their new compliment slip!
I'm looking basically at indemnity insurance to 'protect' myself against clients, particularly as I give advice, and general liability in case I break something at a client's premises.

What's the amount that your insurance covers? Most quotes set the level automatically to £1,000,000 but obviously setting the amount to £50k brings the cost down, but I have no idea how much I should be paying for.
If someone is injured through negligence in the course of your job, I believe public liability will cover the cost. If you have an argument an hit them with a chair, I'm not so sure public liability would pay out. lol

General liability insurance covers a wide range of legal issues for the insured. Policies may protect you in litigation proceedings due to accidents, injuries or claims of negligence. The insurance may cover payments for bodily injury, property damage, medical expenses, libel, slander, settling bonds or judgments and fees involved in defending lawsuits. Public liability insurance protects you and your business from financial losses due to injury to a member of the public on your premises because of negligence.

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Insurance is largely unnecessary in practical terms. The important thing is to make everything conditional in your terms of service and to ensure that everything you offer in terms of product, advice, etc. is understood, agreed and formally signed off by the client (thereby transferring the risk) - this is all the insurance you really need and, as I say, I only have it because I have clients who insist that I have cover in place before they'll engage me as a supplier. Lots of scenarios are bundled into any insurance package so I think the best thing to do is run your details into a broker's website and see what comes out.