Do I Need Public Liability Insurance If I Am Self-Employed?

Learn more about opening a restaurant with our complete guide. Self-employment comes with a lot of benefits: you set your own hours, you’re your own boss, and you get to be creative in how you run your business. But one question that often comes up is whether or not self-employed individuals need public liability insurance. In this post, we will explore what public liability insurance is, whether or not self-employed individuals need it, and the consequences of not having it. So read on to find out more!

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance is a type of insurance policy that provides protection against claims made by members of the public for injury or damage caused to them or their property. It covers the costs associated with such claims, including legal expenses and compensation payments.

Do I Need Public Liability Insurance If I Am Self-Employed?

Yes – if you are self-employed and interact with customers in any way, then it’s almost always a good idea to have at least some form of public liability insurance. This could be for something as simple as an accident in your restaurant or office. Without this cover, you could end up liable for large sums of money if someone were to make a claim against you.

What Are The Consequences Of Not Having Public Liability Insurance?

The consequences of not having public liability insurance can be severe. If you are found liable for an accident that caused injury or damage to another person, then you could face hefty compensation payments as well as legal costs. It’s also possible that your business could suffer a loss in reputation if word gets out about the incident and customers start avoiding your restaurant or office.


Public liability insurance is an important consideration for self-employed individuals, especially those who interact with customers on a regular basis. Without it, they risk facing substantial financial losses if something were to go wrong and a customer makes a claim against them. To avoid such situations, self-employed individuals should look into getting public liability insurance as soon as possible.

Related FAQs

Public liability insurance covers costs associated with claims made against you for injury or damage caused to members of the public due to your negligence. This includes legal fees and any compensation payments that may be owed.  
No, public liability insurance only covers claims made by members of the public, not those made by your employees. For this reason, it’s important to have separate employment practices liability (EPL) coverage in place if you employ staff.  
The cost of your policy will depend on a few factors such as the type of business you’re running and the cover limits you require. Typically, public liability insurance premiums start from around £100 per year, but they can be higher or lower depending on your situation.  
Public liability insurance protects you against claims made by members of the public for injury or damage caused to them as a result of your negligence. Professional indemnity insurance covers claims related to professional services that you provide such as advice-giving or design work.  
Generally speaking, no – there is no legal requirement to have public liability insurance if you are self-employed. However, it is always wise to have some form of cover in place as the costs associated with claims can be very high.  
Yes – even if you’re running a small business, it’s important to have public liability insurance in place as the costs related to any potential claims could still be substantial.  
Other than public liability insurance and professional indemnity insurance, self-employed individuals may also want to consider taking out income protection and business interruption insurance. These offer additional forms of financial protection in case something were to go wrong.  
It usually takes a few days or less in order to obtain public liability insurance as the process is generally quite straightforward. However, the time it takes can vary depending on the insurer you’re dealing with and any additional checks they may need to carry out.  
If you don’t have public liability insurance in place at the time of an incident, then you will be responsible for covering any compensation payments or legal costs associated with any claims made against you. This could result in unwanted financial losses for your business.  
No – different businesses require different levels of cover depending on their size, type and level of risk. It’s important to talk to a qualified insurance broker who can assess your needs and provide you with a tailored policy that meets your requirements.      

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