Public Liability Insurance
Owning a business or being self-employed can be a risky thing. Even if you don’t think about it in that way, every interaction your business has with the general public is a risk. For example:
- A customer slips and falls in your store
- A guest is injured at an event or conference your business is hosting
- A client sits in one of your chairs and the chair collapses injuring them
- Your store sign falls down and hits a pedestrian in the head
We live in a very litigious society and you face the risk of being sued every single day. Many of these risks have to do with your business premises or the type of operations your business performs. To protect against this, it is recommended that most business carry Public Liability insurance (PLI).
What is Public Liability insurance in Hong Kong?
Put simply, Public Liability insurance protects you if a 3rd party (a member of the public) sues your business alleging that your negligence caused them some type of bodily injury, death or property damage. The most common accident that can result in this type of claim is a ‘slip and fall’.
When you are subject to a legal action, you would notify your insurance company and they would appoint a lawyer to defend you and pay all costs and legal fees associated with the lawsuit. This includes any expenses that you incur in order to assist with the defense such as lost wages from missed work or transportation costs to get to and from court. On top of these supplementary costs, they would also pay for any judgements awarded by the courts against you up to but not exceeding your chosen limit of insurance.
That being said, not everything is covered. Things like pollution, contamination or damages due to breach of contract or professional duty would not be covered under this policy. If you need this type of specialized coverage, we can arrange it for you.
Why purchase Public Liability insurance?
If your business is frequented by members of the public, you work in a public space, or if you work at a client’s location, you would likely need this type of insurance as there is potential for you to cause bodily injury or property damage to a 3rd party.
For example, if you damaged a customer’s floor while installing cabinets in their kitchen, your Public Liability Insurance policy would cover you.
For a lot of small to medium-sized businesses, the effect of needing to pay damages for bodily injury or property damage can have a severe impact on the financial bottom line of the business and the owner(s). Damages awarded in recent years have been so big that it could potentially bankrupt you. With these types of stakes on the line, it makes sense to pay a manageable premium in order to stave off a potentially catastrophic event.
Many business owners also mistakenly believe that if they are careful, they don’t need liability insurance because they will ultimately win in court and be able to recover the money they spent. The problem with this line of thinking is that lawsuits can be expensive. There is also no guarantee that you will win and the cost of defending yourself might be too much for your business to handle.
- Sums you’re legally liable to pay to a 3rd party for bodily injury or property damage
- All costs and expenses incurred for defending any claims against you
- Bodily injury or property damage to you or your employees would not be covered as you’re not technically considered 3rd parties. To get this coverage, you should look at Personal Insurance or Employees Compensation Insurance.
- Professional liability like errors and omissions or medical malpractice claims would not be covered here. To get this coverage, you should purchase some form of professional liability insurance.
How much insurance should I buy?
There really isn’t a recommended number for all types of businesses across the board. There are a lot of things to consider such as the type of business you operate, the types of customers you work with and amounts awarded to plaintiffs in similar lawsuits.
If you choose to work with us on securing Public Liability Insurance in Hong Kong, we’ll help you determine the proper limit of insurance.
How much does it cost?
As with most commercial insurance policies, premiums are determined based on the type of business you run and the limit of insurance you choose.
As you can imagine, a restaurant with table-side flambé service would probably pay a higher premium than an advertising agency where they occasionally take client meetings in the boardroom. There are many insurance carriers that will specialize in liability insurance for certain businesses or that caters to a certain niche. Depending on your type of business operations, you may get better coverage and pricing when dealing with these specialized insurers.
While this coverage is available as a standalone policy, you can usually save money by purchasing it as part of a larger package policy bundled with other essential coverages. For a more detailed quote, contact us.
Get your free quote today
Receive a free consultation for a public liability insurance quote.
You will be contacted by an independent insurance broker who will then discuss further your specific requirements.