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Pub Insurance Wiki

As a pub landlord you'll know firsthand better than anyone that while running a pub is part dream-come-true-job (and part 18-hour-a-day-job), it can also be a risky business. Drunk customers can trip and fall (suing you); and your business is DOA if the building has a fire or flood, or a thief raids your bar and wine cellar.

Luckily, there's insurance to protect against most of the disasters you might endure. There are some common types of cover nearly every pub will need (like public liability, employers' liability and property cover), plus some extra bits and bobs you might need, depending on how you run your business (e.g., do you host events or bring in live music?).

Read our in-depth guide to learn about the different types of pub insurance you might need, as well as typical costs. For quick definitions of each type of cover, see the blue boxes below and use the examples to see how the right insurance coverage can work for you and your pub.

When you're ready to get no-obligation quotes for your pub, fill out a quote form where you'll provide some basic information then receive quotes from up to 5 insurance providers. You can ask questions if you have them, then pick out the best policy for your budget and needs.

Popular Types of Insurance for a Pub

Due to significant risks faced by pubs, you'll surely need public liability, employers' liability and contents insurance at the very least, but other types might be needed as well.

Let's first take a quick overview of a few key types of insurance that a pub might need. There are some other add-on extras you might want as well such as personal injury. Let's run through the list to explain what each type covers to help you decide if you need it or not. And below we go into each product in more depth, if you're so inclined.

Common Types of Workshop Insurance & What They Cover
1.Public LiabilityCovers if a customer or other third party is injured while at your pub
2.Product liabilityCovers if someone is injured or falls ill due to a product you sell (e.g., food and drink)
3.Employers' LiabilityProtects against related liability claims if an employee is injured or falls ill due to work
4.Pub ContentsProtects the contents of your pub (e.g., furniture, furnishings, fittings) against loss, damage or theft
5.StockCovers food and drink against perils like theft and fire; deterioration cover is also available to protect, say, if the freezer packs it in and your food is ruined
7.Personal AccidentPersonal accident insurances can provide money if you or an employee are off work due to a job-related injury or illness
8.Business InterruptionCan reimburse you against lost revenues in the event of physical damage preventing you working, such as flood or fire (but not usually situations like coronavirus)
9.Commercial BuildingsIf you own the pub premises, then buildings insurance can cover damage or loss due to events such as fire, flood or theft
10.Event and EntertainmentWhether these are included as standard or you need to pay extra, it must be noted on your policy if you host events or bring in entertainment.

If you're unsure about how these different types of cover work (insurance expertise, anyone?), here are some examples that illustrate how these insurances can protect a pub:

Pub Insurance Examples

  • Public Liability: An intoxicated customer slips on a wet floor after someone spilled a drink. They hit their head, incur a concussion and sue you for damages. Public liability insurance covers your legal fees and the settlement.
  • Product Liability: A group of people get severe food poisoning after eating at your pub one evening.
  • Employers’ Liability: A member of the waitstaff suffers damage to the tendons in her wrist, and sues claiming she was made to carry trays that were too heavy and that she wasn't properly trained. Employers' liability covers legal expenses and compensation you're required to pay your employee.
  • Contents, including equipment and food/drink stock: A fight breaks out in your normally sedate pub—it can happen—and an expensive mirror and glassware are damaged. Alternatively, a fire tears through your pub early one morning, destroying all of the furniture, fittings, glassware, alcohol, food and even the 150-year-old bar. Contents insurance can cover the replacement costs.
  • Buildings: The same fire damages key structures of your building, requiring work to replace the plumbing, electrics, floors, windows, etc. This repair work could be covered by a buildings insurance policy on your workshop.
  • Business Interruption: A severe flood brings 6" of water into your pub. Even after the water has subsided, it is unsafe to inhabit until repairs are made. Business interruption insurance can cover lost revenues over this period of time.

What insurance does a pub need most?

Well, the only type of insurance you'll be required to have by law is employers' liability insurance—even if your staff is temporary, part time or paid in cash. But any pub worth their salt will also have additional coverages.

You'll also need public liability insurance to protect against liability claims of accidental injury or damage while customers are on site; plus cover for your food and drink stock, including cover for deterioration (e.g., due to a broken freezer).

A pub landlord lucky enough to own their premises will need commercial property insurance for the building to protect against perils like fire, floor, theft and more—and if you're don't own the premises but you are renting, you may still be responsible for arranging and paying for this as part of your rental agreement.

Regardless of whether or not you own the premises, business interruption insurance can help keep your business alive if your pub is physically damaged by fire or flood, by reimbursing you for some lost turnover. You may also want personal accident cover to provide a financial buffer if you or your staff are injured while working. During to quote process you'll typically be able to add on these extras if you want them.


Yes, you should absolutely have insurance for your pub: employers' liability (required by law for any business with staff), public liability (to protect against customers claiming your business caused them injury or damage), contents (to protect valuable food and drink), etc. Click here to learn more.

No— the owner of the premises (the landlord) is responsible for building insurance. But the pub tenant is responsible for buying their contents insurance.

With so many factors affecting the cost of insurance, it's hard to say which are making the difference for you. It could be your location or turnover. Also, the value of your contents certainly plays a part, as does the type of building structure that houses your pub and the security of it. For example, the cost of pub insurance essentially triples if you add £10,000 of stock to your public liability cover.

Save money on pub insurance is similar to saving money on any type of insurance—look for ways to reduce risk. While none of these examples are guaranteed to result in a discount, many insurers will lower your premium if you have/do the following:

  • CCTV
  • Audible alarms and central station alarms
  • Lower levels of cover (but be sure you have enough)
  • Package all of your cover with one provider
  • Compare quotes in the market before you buy

How Much Does Pub Insurance Cost?

The average starting cost of pub insurance in the UK is around £3,800 per year for basic public liability and employer's liability, plus commercial buildings insurance, but some will pay less or a lot more. Prices will depend on your turnover, location, previous claims history, security and dozens of other factors.

In short, costs vary significantly from pub to pub but to give you a rough idea of how costs can vary according to the types and amount of coverage, we've run some sample quotes to insure a typical pub in the UK with £250,000 of annual turnover. Here's what we found.

How Much Does Pub Insurance Cost?Estimated Sample Starting Costs
£2M Public liability (PL) and £10M Employers' Liability (PL)£1,200
£2M PL + EL + £25k contents + £25k stock£2,000
£5M PL + EL + £25k contents + £25k stock£2,300
Commercial Property Insurance£1,600

As you can see, insurance is one of the expenses to keep in mind if you're thinking of buying a pub.

Where can I get quotes for pub insurance?

Compare pub insurance quotes here—after filling out a short form you'll receive quotes from up to five insurance providers via our comparison partner QuoteZone. You'll have the chance to talk on the phone if you have questions that you want to discuss. Then choose the cover that offers the best price and features for your needs.

More Information on Types of Pub Insurance

If you want to better understand what the primary types of workshop insurance typically cover, see the definitions below.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance is important cover for workshops because it covers legal costs and compensation payments due to accidental injury or damage claims made by third parties.

Public Liability Insurance (PL) is a critical type of business insurance for pubs as they're at risk of customers suing if they're injured whilst on the premises. PL insurance protects against claims that the pub is responsible for any accidental injury or property damage on site by members of the public and, if you're sued, can cover the cost of your legal expenses as well as any compensation you're found liable to pay.

While not required by law, pubs will find that public liability is certainly worth the cost—consider that the average public liability settlement was £13,500 last year, but costs can be much higher.

Employers’ Liability Insurance

Employers' Liability insurance protects against illness or injury claims made by employees and is required by law.

Employers' Liability Insurance (EL) is a legal requirement for your UK pub if you have any employees, even temporary or part-time staff. EL protects you against any injury and illness claims made by workers and can cover both your legal defense fees as well as any compensation you're found liable to pay them. With workplace injuries topping 650,000 a year in the UK, this cover is not only required by law, it's sensible given the risky nature of pubs.

Contents & Stock Insurance

Business Contents and tools insurance can protect against loss, damage or theft of your fixtures and fittings, tools, equipment & machinery and even your stock due to events like fire, flood and theft.

Most workshops will want Tools Insurance to protect financially against the loss, damage or theft of valuable pub furniture, furnishings and food & drink stock—property cover can be expanded to include deterioration of stock as well.

In addition, pub owners might want to consider other types of business insurance such as personal accident cover, business equipment (e.g., computers), legal expenses, and more. When you're getting quotes, you'll typically be able to add on these extras if you need them.

Other Types of Businesses

Pub insurance isn't just for pubs—specialist insurance providers can offer cover for a range of businesses with a similar business model and risk profile to pubs, such as:

  • Cocktail bar insurance
  • Nightclub insurance
  • Tapas bar insurance
  • Wine bar insurance
  • Bistro insurance
  • and more

Pub Insurance Companies

If you get pub insurance quotes through our partner QuoteZone (click here to get started), you'll fill out a short form then get quotes back from up to five of the following insurance providers:

  • Quote Four Ltd
  • Insurance Protector
  • Morgan Richardson
  • Crosby Insurance Brokers
  • Nova Insurance
  • Arthur J Gallagher & Co.
  • UKinsuranceNET
  • The Retail Mutual
  • 1st Choice
  • Gallagher Insurance
  • GSI Insurance
  • Be Wiser
  • Business Insurance Service
  • Edison Ives Insurance
  • Greenwood Moreland
  • Brady Insurance
  • QCIS
  • BP Insurance Brokers
  • Compare Insurance
  • Konsileo
  • SJL Insurance
  • Plan Insurance
  • Dickson & Co
  • Allied Wessex Dental Insurance
  • Coversure Harborne
  • Barnes Commercial Insurance Broker
  • Kudos Insurance
  • Pol-Plan Insurance
  • Clegg Gifford Insurance
  • Abbott & Bramwell
  • Advance Insurance
  • Invicta Insurance Services
  • Quotax Insurance


Quotes were gathered for a sample pub in the middle of England. No fewer than the four cheapest quotes were averaged to give us our results. Our sample profile had no prior convictions and had never been denied insurance. Your costs may be higher or lower depending on the difference in variables your risk profile is measured by.

Erin Yurday

Erin Yurday is the Founder and Editor of NimbleFins. Prior to NimbleFins, she worked as an investment professional and as the finance expert in Stanford University's Graduate School of Business case writing team. Read more on LinkedIn.


The guidance on this site is based on our own analysis and is meant to help you identify options and narrow down your choices. We do not advise or tell you which product to buy; undertake your own due diligence before entering into any agreement. Read our full disclosure here.