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Public Liability Insurance for Business: 101, Cost & Cheap Quotes

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All businessmen like you strive to build a business that’s beneficial to the community. However, a plethora of unpredictable circumstances might cause the opposite.As result, your business might be required to admit public liability and will find itself facing lawsuits and compensating community members. Be vigilant and prepare for the worst. Get business public liability insurance. 

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance  is insurance that’s usually part of general liability insurance policies.  It reduces financial exposure to damage caused by accidents relating any business activity.

We guess that you're also asking what is PLI insurance. To answer, PLI insurance is just a short term for public liability insurance. Also if you hear the term PL insurance, no need to wonder as it pertains to the same thing. 

Experts categorize business public liability insurance as a type of non-life insurance or casualty insurance together with:

  • Automobile liability

  • Employer’s liability 

  • Professional liability

  • Worker’s compensation 

  • Employment practices liability 

Terms of public liability insurance are usually added to general liability insurance policies. As a result, it can be more complex and confusing than other insurance categorized as non-life or casualty insurance. 

Are you required by law to get this insurance? The answer is no. Public liability insurance for business isn’t compulsory, unlike worker’s comp insurance or employee retirement plans.

Nonetheless, it’s vital as it allows you to transfer business risks for activities where there might be public liability. By transferring some risks through public liability insurance, you can undertake a broader range of commercial activity in the economy and the community. 

What Is The Current Issue In The Public Liability Insurance Market?

The U.S. public liability insurance market is far from declining. As the study of Prudour shows, the public liability insurance market in the U.S. is set between $355.2 - $415.21 million in 2021 and will grow at a rate of 4.8% from 2022 - 2031. Nevertheless, this doesn’t mean that it comes without issues.

One issue with the public insurance market is the continued rise of premiums. For example, one study reported that price increase averaged 15% - 20% in the past three years in Ireland. The same study also showed that  70% of businesses didn’t see pricing as fair or justified. 

The continued rise of premiums for public liability is also true for the United States. A survey published by Marsh showed that prices for casualty insurance, where public liability is part of, have increased up to 9% in the fourth quarter of the previous year.

It’s good that the price increase of public liability insurance in the United States isn't as drastic as in Ireland. Still, studies show that rising premiums is a trend, and this is alarming somehow.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

Public liability insurance policies cover loss, property damage, deaths, and personal injuries to the public. It also covers legal fees for lawsuits made by members of the community against your business. Look at these examples to understand better:

  • Your commercial vehicle hits someone on the road while making a delivery

  • While building a house, one of your equipment malfunctions and damages the fence of your client’s neighbor

  • Flowers from your flower shop cause severe allergies to guests attending your client’s wedding

  • A fire starts in your restaurant and spreads to other properties nearby

  • You run a guns and ammo business. One of the guns accidentally goes off due to a mechanical defect and kills a bystander. 

An insurance company adds public liability insurance to general liability insurance and grants it 1-year validity. So, you have to renew year after year. The average amount you can get per claim is $1 million with a $2 million average aggregate limit. 








Public Liability Insurance Cost

If your business is large and well established, expect to pay $500 a year.   You’ll enjoy cheaper rates if your business is small, and you’ll only pay $60 - $170 a month.  By the way, this is just a rough estimate and is not indicative of the actual price in the market. Public liability insurance average cost depends on factors like the size of your business, location, and the products or services you offer. 

The amount of coverage you’ll get and the business industry also affect premiums.  That’s why we will give you a breakdown of the pricing according to these factors too. 

How Much Is Public Liability Insurance By Industry?

Take a look at the table below that shows the price of public liability insurance by  industry:


Wholesale $148.17
Pharmaceutical$116.9
Retail$107.35
Mining$100.59
Manufacturing$99.74
Chiropractors$89.41
Health and medical services$83.58
Insurance and legal $79.42
Trades and services$65.76


How Much For Public Liability Insurance By Amount Payable?

The amount of coverage you can get from the insurance company also affects how much is public liability insurance. Here’s an example:

$5 million coverage $45.9 monthly premium
$10 million coverage$57.1 monthly premium
$20 million coverage $91.1 monthly premium 

Public liability insurance cost varies per carrier. That’s why aside from consulting the information we provided here, it’s best if you ask a carrier, agent, or broker to completely know how much does public liability insurance cost. 

Before you decide to get public liability insurance from one company, be sure to compare  public liability insurance quotes first. Public liability insurance price depends per carrier. And so, comparing will help as it allows you find that one public liability insurance quote which has all the options you need. 

Spending time to compare public liability insurance quotation might seem like a  lot of work. Still, all the effort will be worth it because it's one of the best ways to look for  the cheapest public liability insurance.  

Comparing isn't only effective for finding cheap public liability insurance. It also works if you're looking for public liability and property damage insurance quotes. You can start comparing using our website. Click on "Get Quotes" to start. 
Another reminder; when you buy public liability insurance online,  it's also a good habit to visit companies with websites having live chat feature so that you can quickly reach agents for further questions. 

Compare Public Liability Insurance Quotes Online

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General Liability Vs. Public Liability Insurance

Public liability insurance takes care of property damage, death, loss, and personal injuries your business inflicts to the public - meaning people who have nothing to do with your business operations. It doesn’t cover claims from vendors, employees, and other parties who are directly involved. 

In contrast, general liability insurance takes care of damages to persons having a significant relationship with your business, like employees, vendors, clients, and customers. 

Another distinction between the two is that public liability policies are usually added to general liability policies. On the other hand, general liability policies are never added to public liabilities insurance. 

Public Liability Insurance and Professional Indemnity Insurance

Public liability insurance will cover costs for unforeseen mistakes affecting the community, where your business isn't required to exercise professional obligation to anybody.

Professional indemnity insurance, in contrast, applies to errors and mistakes involving situations where you have professional obligation to a person or organization such as: 

  • Professional negligence  -  a mechanic in your auto repair shop fails to install the brakes of a client’s car properly, resulting in an accident.

  • Unintentional breach of confidentiality -  one of your bank tellers accidentally shares  the bank account information of a client with a third party

  • Unintentional breach of copyright - a researcher made a survey for a client on behalf of your company and used the data on the same poll to create content for his website

  • Libel or defamation - your employee posts some negative remarks to a client on social media. As a result, the client receives threats, defamatory comments, and other shameful responses.

  • Loss of data or documents - you’re running an insurance office. One of your employees throws an important document a client needs to acquire coverage on time.

  • Loss of money or goods - one of your employees delivers a package for a customer which a thief steals. 

Simply put, public liability insurance takes care of problems regarding the public while professional indemnity insurance takes care of problems regarding your customers or clients.

Public Liability and Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance covers legal fees and settlements arising from claims made by a customer or a client arising from product defects such as:

  • Design defects

  • Manufacturing defects

  • Strict liability

  • Improper warning

Conversely, public liability insurance policy doesn’t cover these things, and it only takes care of unfavorable circumstances your business accidentally inflicts to the public, not arising from a defective product.

Still, there’s one thing that makes product liability and product liability the same. Just like public liability insurance, you can opt to add product liability to general liability insurance. 

By the way,  if you're earning money on your own, it might be a good idea to get product and public liability insurance for self employed. This might cost a bit but will help prevent major blows, which might put you in debt. 

Public and Employer's Liability Insurance

Employer’s liability insurance takes care of expenses for settling a claim made by an employee who got sick or injured while working. In contrast, public liability insurance doesn’t do this.  

Also, public liability insurance is added to general liability insurance. On the other hand, employer’s liability insurance is added to worker’s comp insurance. 

Simply put,  public liability covers damages your business inflicts to the public. On the other hand, employer’s liability covers damages your business inflicts to employees. 

So how do you get public and employer's liability insurance at the same time? We suggest you try availing small business public liability insurance. You might get this from companies that insure SMEs. Examples are NEXT and Coverwallet. 

Public Liability Insurance For Events

There are lots of things that can go wrong while hosting an event. Faulty wiring of the sound system and lighting can electrocute guests; food may cause poisoning or allergies, seating arrangement might cause physical injuries, and so on.  To protect your business against claims resulting from these situations, get public liability insurance for events - a.k.a. events insurance - which costs $60 - $111 a month. 

Types of events where this insurance applies are:


  • Festivals

  • Sporting events

  • Live music events

  • Theatre events

  • Company events

  • Conferences 

  • Workshops

  • Trade shows and expos

  • Speaker sessions

Short Term Public Liability Insurance

If you’re only planning to operate a business within a limited time frame, there’s no need to get public liability insurance that lasts for a year. 

What you should get instead is short-term public liability insurance, which agents or brokers also call one day public liability insurace. 

This insurance is just a temporary public liability insurance that's beneficial if you're running a mobile business (e.g fastfood, candy store, and the like),and one of its remarkable features is that it covers rented equipment. Usually,the validity period is 180 days.

The total coverage you’ll get from short-term public liability insurance is about $1 million, and you will pay for premiums weekly instead of paying monthly or annually.




Rank and Review Insurance Companies

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Best Public Liability Insurance Companies 

We will review the following best public liability insurance companies:

  • Hiscox

  • Coverwallet

  • Next

  • Thimble

  • Zurich

Hiscox Public Liability Insurance 

Best for:

  • Large businesses looking for cheap public liability insurance

Hiscox started providing insurance policies to businesses in 1901 and grew to become one of the leading companies in the insurance sector employing 3,000 offices distributed to its 35 offices found in 14 states all over the globe. In the United States, the company operates through Hiscox USA.

AM best granted Hiscox an A+ rating on October 21, 2021, which is well deserved considering that the company has increased its gross written premiums from $2,235.5 million to $2,246.2 million and has recorded a customer satisfaction level of 94%.

Hiscox’s public liability policy starts at $7.71 a month, and it provides more than $1 million coverage for lawsuits, settlements, and other expenses.  

Pros

  • Provides discounts in the form of promo codes

  • Flexible and affordable premiums of public liability insurance

  • Generous amount payable to the policyholder

  • Can be availed as one day public liability insurance 

Cons

  • Not accredited by Better Business Bureau

Our Rating: 5/5

Coverwallet Public Liability Insurance 

Best for: 

  • Small businesses
  • Customers who want to compare public liability insurance quotes

Coverwallet is an insurance company founded in 2015 that specializes in small business insurance. Customers can avail its insurance policies at the comfort of their own homes through the Coverwallet website. Aside from selling insurance, Coverwallet also offers insurance quotes online comparison. 

Better Business Bureau gives Coverwallet an A rating. Also, the company earned a spot as one of the leading platforms to understand, buy, and manage small business insurance in 2017. 

Coverwallet’s public liability insurance is an add-on policy to its general liability insurance. This costs $350 a year. Still, it’s worth it as the amount payable to you is $1 million up to $2 million.  Remember though that Coverwallet covers small businesses only. 

Pros

  • Public liability insurance is bundled with general liability insurance

  • Cheap rates

  • Can be availed online

  • Online insurance advisor to answer your questions

Cons

  • Coverwallet public liability insurance doesn’t fit large business

  • Getting an online quote is not so straightforward

Our Rating: 4/5

NEXT Public Liability Insurance 

Best for: 

  • Multi-industry small businesses
  • Self-employed professionals

Founded in 2015,  NEXT insurance is now the leading online insurance company offering coverage to at least 200,00 customers. This insurance company gained fame with its innovative marketing and fundraising strategies, making it possible for small businesses and independent professionals to avail affordable insurance policies in less than 10 minutes. AM Best rates NEXT insurance with A (excellent).

NEXT public liability insurance is part of general liability insurance starting at $25 a month. You can avail of a 10% discount if you bundle other policies such as property insurance and commercial auto insurance. NEXT helps you save 30% on your insurance policies

But that’s not all, NEXT also offers you a free certificate of insurance. You get this by accessing your user account, which NEXT creates so that you can track your insurance policies and make payments online. 

If you want to learn more about NEXT insurance, we suggest reading our NEXT Insurance review

Pros

  • Best public liability insurance for small businesses and independent professionals

  • Fast insurance purchase and claims processing

  • Discounted rates

  • Offers public liability insurance to a broad consumer base

Cons

  • No public liability insurance is available for large businesses.

Our Rating: 5/5

Thimble Public Liability Insurance

Best for:  

  • Freelancers
  • Self-employed
  • People  looking for short term public liability insurance

Just like NEXT, Thimble insurance also started operating in 2015. Thimble’s trait that sets it apart from other insurers is that it offers short term insurance with a validity of an hour up to one month - insurance that freelancers and self-employed individuals badly need. 

Thimble only covers contractors, landscapers, cleaners, craftsmen, personal trainers, event organizers, photographers, videographers, pet service providers, and individuals working in the professional services sector. 

Thimble’s public liability insurance starts at $109.69 a month and offers Business Equipment Protection as an additional option. One nice thing about Thimble’s public insurance is that you can opt to cancel it anytime without extra charges or hidden fees. 

Moreover, if you’re a small business getting public liability insurance from Thimble, the company will give you the liberty to cover employees for additional protection. 

Pros:

  • Public liability insurance can be canceled anytime

  • Straightforward online quotation

  • Public liability insurance can be availed as short-term insurance

Cons

  • Expensive public liability premium

  • Doesn’t provide coverage to a wide range of workers and businesses

Our Rating: 5/5

Zurich Public Liability Insurance 

Best for: 

  • Small and large businesses who operate locally and internationally

Zurich started providing insurance services in 1872. Therefore, it’s one of the longest thriving insurance companies. That’s why you can count on Zurich to implement a smooth and transparent claims processing system. 

Zurich does business in the United States through its branch Zurich North America,, which the Better Business Bureau rates with A+.  

Zurich North America doesn’t provide public liability insurance as a stand-alone policy. Still, you might get it if you buy Zurich commercial casualty insurance.

Pros

  • Covers court attendance costs

  • Claims can be processed and tracked through Zurich North America website

  • Bundled with product liability insurance

Cons

  • No standard pricing for premiums

Our Rating: 4/5






Compare Public Liability Insurance Quotes Online

Get all the best quotes from leading providers in a click of a button!

In partnership with:

Identity logo

In partnership with:

Coverwallet logo

Conclusion 

Your business can cause damage to the public sometimes, and this might hold you responsible for answering lawsuits and providing compensation. 

Also, you never know what some community members think, and your business might suddenly face accusations and requests for settlements. 

The thing is, a lot of things can go wrong. You might not need public liability insurance now , but you may need it sooner or later, and it is better to have it and not use it rather than not have it when you need it and suffer major expenses out of your own pocket as a result


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