Average Cost of Public Liability Insurance 2020


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How Much Do I Really Need to Pay for Public Liability Insurance?

According to our study of hundreds of quotes in the UK market, the average cost of public liability insurance is £118 a year, or £14.30 a month for a small business. But prices can be a lot different if you're self employed or according to your profession. Read our in-depth guide to get a feel for the market before you buy a policy so you're well informed about pricing in the UK market.

Are you ready to find out how much you'll need to pay? Click here for public liability quotes, where you'll fill out a short form and can even request a call back if you have questions about the cover.


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Average Cost of Public Liability Insurance in the UK

The average cost of public liability insurance is £118 in the UK, but ranges from under £50 up to £450 a year or more for a moderate risk small business. The cost to insurance a business against public liability claims depends the amount of cover, your profession, the structure of your business and many other factors like your excess and where your business is located.

When you consider the average public liability settlement is £13,500 in the UK, paying a hundred quid or so for public liability insurance feels like a no brainer.

How does coverage level affect public liability insurance costs?

One significant factor in determining how much you'll pay for public liability insurance is the amount of cover you choose. The more cover you require, the higher your premium. Insurers commonly offer £1 million, £2 million and £5 million of cover, although higher amounts are available to those who need it.

Additional coverage usually costs less per £ of coverage compared with the base £1 million of coverage. For example, £1m of public liability cover costs around £106 but the next £1m of cover costs just £12 on average (making the all-in cost of £2m of cover £118).

How Much is Public Liability Insurancee?Average Costs UK
£1 million£106
£2 million£118
£5 million£140

A minimum amount of public liability cover is required by some trade organisations and some customer contracts, so be sure that you have enough to meet the requirements of your business.

Chart showing the cost of public liability insurance for small businesses in the UK

How does your line of business affect public liability insurance costs?

Insurance companies base public liability insurance quotes on the type of work you carry out. The higher the risk of third party injury or damage to property, the higher the insurance rates. So, for instance, insurance premiums are typically higher for a builder than for a tutor.

Small businesses with cheaper public liability rates include cleaners, personal trainers, DJs, dog walkers, event organisers, teachers and caterers—they'll typically pay in the range of £52 to £120 but this depends on many factors including the business structure (e.g., self employed, partnership or limited company). Market traders, musicians, gardeners and builders typically pay more, in the range of £140 to £226 but again this depends on many factors.

Average Cost of £2m Public Liability InsuranceSelf EmployedPartnershipLimited Company (1 director)Limited Company (2 directors)Weighted Average
Domestic cleaner£52£52£52£52£52
Personal trainer£50£71£50£131£82
DJ£54£71£57£148£91
Dog walker£54£78£63£163£100
Event organiser£80£84£84£131£101
Teacher/tutor£59£82£127£127£111
Caterer£51£66£57£226£120
Artist£68£65£68£218£124
Engineer£80£107£139£139£126
Market trader£79£134£92£217£140
Musician£55£135£63£281£149
Gardener£71£105£71£274£150
Builder£82£127£82£456£226
Average£65£89£77£188£118

Other factors that influence your public liability insurance rate

How the business structure affects public liability insurance costs

Most insurance companies base their public liability insurance rates on the form of business structure you've implemented—sole trader, partnership or limited liability company. Sole traders (the self employed) typically pay the least for public liability insurance, or around £65 on average. The cost of public liability insurance for a partnership is around 37% more than for a sole trader. Limited liability companies can cost more or less than a partnership to insure—it depends on the number of directors.

Type of CompanyAverage Annual Insurance Premium (£2m public liability)
Sole Trader (self employed)£65
Partnership£89
Limited Liability Company (1 director)£77
Limited Liability Company (2 directors)£188
Average£118

However, how much the business structure affects your public liability rates varies from industry to industry. For example, we found that the business structure doesn't usually affect insurance rates as much for an events organiser, engineer or a cleaner. On the other hand, the business structure can have a large impact on insurance costs for a builder, DJ, musician, gardener or personal trainer.

Chart showing the cost of public liability insurance for small businesses in the UK

How your directors affect business insurance costs

The number of directors or partners in your organisation can affect your business insurance rates. Why? A company doesn't need employers' liability insurance if they have just one director, and that director is the sole employee of the company and owns at least 50% of the shares in the company. But if a company has 2 or more directors then they need employers' liability insurance, which will add to your business insurance premium.

In fact, a limited company with 2 directors can cost more than 2X as much to insure as a company with 1 director on the role. For example, we found the average cost of public liability insurance in the UK for a 2-director company was £188 compared to £77 for a 1-director company (assuming no other employees).

Number of DirectorsAverage Annual Insurance Premium (£1m public liability, plus employers' liability for the 2-director company)
Limited Liability Company (1 director)£77
Limited Liability Company (2 directors)£188

How your excess affects public liability insurance costs

The excess is the amount that a company is responsible for in case of an event that's covered by your public liability insurance. Some insurance companies let you alter the excess to affect your price. Generally speaking, you'll pay less for a policy with a higher excess and vice versa. Choosing an excess will depend on your company's situation.

Common Excess Amounts
Bodily injuryno excess
Water damage to third party property£100 - £750
Third party property damage£100 - £500

Many companies impose a different excess for different types of claims. For example, a bodily injury event typically has no excess. Some firms charge one excess for all other claims, while other firms will have a different excess for third party damage claims, water damage, damage to underground pipes cables or services, damage caused by work involving the use or application of heat, etc. It's always worth checking the excess on a policy before you buy.

Other risks that affect the cost

Each line of business will have unique attributes and risk factors that need to be taken into account by insurance companies when calculating a quote. For example, gardeners that carry out tree felling will pay more for public liability cover than those that don't. Likewise, events organisers involved in riskier events such as those including fireworks or larger crowds will have higher public liability insurance rates.

FAQs

The average small business liability insurance cost in the UK is around £118, assuming £2 million of cover. However, your business liability cost depends on your industry, cover level, business structure, location and other factors.

To get £5 million of public liability cover, most small to medium businesses will pay in the region of £140 a year.

Methodology

To determine the average cost of business public liability insurance for a small company in the UK, our study involved gathering hundreds of quotes for basic liability insurance. These prices reflect basic public liability cover only, without including costs for additional cover such as employers' liability, tools, stock, legal cover, personal accident cover, etc. (coverages that many companies will choose to buy in addition to public liability cover).

We first chose a dozen popular small businesses then gathered quotes for different business structures: a sole trader, a partnership, a limited liability company with 1 director and a limited liability company with 2 directors. We also quoted for policies across three levels of cover: £1 million, £2 million and £5 million.

For each situation (e.g., a self-employed gardener with £2 million of cover) we took the average of the 5 cheapest quotes we found.

To determine the overall average cost of public liability for each type of work, we then calculated a weighted average across the different types of business structures, assuming £2 million of cover. The weighted average took into account the popularity of each type of business structure. For example, since Limited liability companies are by far the most popular type of small business, limited company quotes received a higher weighting when calculating the overall average per business line. We assumed that half of limited companies have 1 director and the other half have 2 directors.

Insurance quotes can vary significantly from business to business, so you may find the cost to buy public liability insurance is significantly lower or higher than the figures mentioned in this study. Please use the data presented here for educational purposes only.

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