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Public liability insurance and employers liability insurance

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Our public liability insurance

Public liability insurance gives you and your business protection should a claim be made against you. This could be damage or injury to people or property as a result of your work.

Having public liability is not a legal requirement but it is good business practice. Local authorities will generally demand a minimum level of £2m public liability insurance for works to be undertaken at their premises or on their behalf.

Our public liability cover is available for over 100 contracting trades and professional occupations. Cover is available in steps of £1m, £2m and, for the majority of cases, £5m. Our product is specially designed to cover individual tradesmen, professionals and small businesses, up to a total of 10 people, with or without limited company status. Where we cannot provide an automatic online quote or your trade or profession is not listed, please follow on the on-screen instructions and we will still endeavour to get you a quote.

Our public liability product is underwritten by the Ageas insurance group.

Our employers liability insurance

If you require it, you may take employers liability insurance as part of this product.

Employers liability insurance covers you if any of your employees have an accident at work and make a claim against you. Employers liability insurance will help meet the costs of compensation or legal fees for employees who are injured or made ill at work through the fault of the employer.

Our employers liability insurance comes at the industry standard level of £10 million. If you do not have employees, or do not require employers liability insurance, you do not have to include it in your policy.

Additional Cover Options

Further options are also available to cover tools, hired in plant, contract works and the use of lathes. We are also able to offer personal accident insurance, business interuption insurance and business contents cover as extensions to your policy. These options are made available to you, when available, depending on your trade.

There are no legal requirements covering these optional aspects of the policy however we strongly recommend you consider each of them. By including them in your policy you may find you get better cover for a lower premium than by insuring them separately.

Insuredrisks.co.uk Business Care Policy

Insuredrisks.co.uk in association with Composite Legal Expenses Limited now offer additional Legal Expenses Cover as an optional extension to our Public Liability product.

Summary of Cover

The Insuredrisks.co.uk Business Care policy will pay up to £50,000 worth of professional fees each year for a Solicitor, Consultant or other professional to represent your business in each of the following areas…

  • Employment Representation – The cost of defending actions brought by employees in disputes such as unfair and wrongful dismissal, equal pay, redundancy payments, pension rights and discrimination.
  • Employment Awards – Providing the Legal Advice Line has been strictly complied with and the advice has been followed, if your business is taken to an Industrial Tribunal or other judicial forum, the policy will pay the Industrial Tribunal compensation Award in the event of your Employment Representation failing.
  • Restrictive covenants of employees – The costs of pursuing a claim against any employee or former employee who is in breach of a restrictive covenant contained in his or her contract of employment.
  • Criminal Prosecution Defence – The costs of defending a prosecution for an offence relating to your normal business activities. The policy also covers appeals against notices served under the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974.
  • Protection of licences – Where your business is dependent on holding a statutory license in order to trade, we will support your business in respect of appeal costs against altering, revoking or suspending the licence.
  • Data Protection Defence – The policy covers civil proceedings brought against your business under the Data Protection Act 1984 and to appeal against the refusal of the Data Protection Registrar to register your business, or to alter your registered particulars.
  • Property Disputes – The policy supports your business in respect of the pursuit of your legal rights resulting from owning your own premises including claims arising from negligent acts and omissions of others and to pursue liability for wrongful acts.
  • Landlord Disputes - Cover here extends to costs incurred in representing your interests in a dispute with your landlord arising out of the lease or tenancy of the business premises.
  • Tax, PAYE and VAT Investigations – We will pay the professional fees incurred with our consent as a result of Comprehensive Enquiries, In-Depth Investigations, VAT Disputes, PAYE Disputes and NIC Disputes.
  • Jury Service & Attendance Expenses - In addition to the cover above, the policy will also pay the salary, up to £50 per person per day for employees, directors or partners to cover attendance at court for Jury Service. It also covers attendance at court or tribunal for a case covered by the insurance. It does not cover the first five working days of service, pre-existing summonses or amounts which can be recovered from the court.
  • 24/365 Legal and Employment Advice - As a policyholder you also have access to the 24/365 Legal Advice Line. Solicitors, Consultants and other qualified professionals are on hand to guide you through the legal process. It is imperative that you contact the Advice Line as soon as you become aware of a potential issue covered by the policy so not to invalidate your cover.

As with all insurance policies, certain policy conditions and exclusions apply. We suggest you take a look at the sample policy wording.

As a business covered by an Insuredrisks.co.uk Business Care policy you have the peace of mind in knowing that your business is protected against the potential costs associated with the most common but also the most expensive of legal disputes.

The need for Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance

Business is becoming increasingly litigious as a result of more and more legislation being introduced each year. At the same time employees are becoming much more aware of their rights. Based on the Employment Tribunal Service’s 2005/2006 Annual Report, the average level of awards were as follows;

  • Race Discrimination Award - £30,600
  • Disability Discrimination Award - £19.300
  • Sex Discrimination Award - £10,800
  • Unfair Dismissal Award - £8,600

When you notice that every year there are over 100,000 applications to Employment Tribunals you then realise what impact this could have on your business. Even if the allegation is completely fictitious, a business still needs to defend its position and therefore would incur legal costs if they did not have Legal Expenses Insurance.

Your business may also find itself confronted with an Inland Revenue, Tax or VAT investigation. The burden of proof is on the taxpayer and the enquiry needs to be handled by people with a specialist understanding of your affairs. The authorities do not have to give any reason for opening an enquiry and each year more than one in ten businesses face enquiries by the Inland Revenue. Even if you are completely exonerated the extent of work required means fees can be very substantial.

Small and medium sized businesses are unlikely to have their own in-house resources to deal with legal disputes. These include those above as well as disputes arising out of Owing or Leasing Property, Health & Safety issues, Prosecutions, Trade Licenses and the Data Protection Act. Commercial Legal Expenses Insurance policies protect against the cost of potential legal disputes and also provide Legal Advice and representation to minimise disruption and exposure to these risks.

Case Studies

A business with the assistance of the Legal Advice Line conducted a selection process for necessary redundancies. Seventeen employees were dismissed by reason of redundancy. One former employee submitted a claim through the Employment Tribunal and claimed losses of £40,000. The Legal Expenses policy is representing the business to settle the claim and legal costs are currently £15,000 and increasing. If the business were not covered by a Legal Expenses Insurance policy they would be paying these costs themselves.

A business received notification of a full tax investigation and notified the Advice Line immediately. Following acceptance of the claim our tax specialists have been liasing with HMRC in relation to their analytical review and responding thereafter to the queries raised by HMRC. Costs incurred exceeded £6,000, a cost which would have had to be met by the business if they did not have Legal Expenses Insurance.

A firm completed a recruitment process to employ a new member of staff. Afterwards an unsuccessful candidate filed a claim for discrimination. The tribunal advised the claim was unfounded but because of the nature of the allegation the case had to be heard. The claim was successfully defended by one of our solicitors. But, costs of £11,536 were incurred - costs the firm would have had to find if Legal Expenses Insurance did not cover them, and they hadn’t done a single thing wrong!

A landlord when renewing a business’ lease served a firm notice of a ‘schedule to repair and dilapidations’. The sum claimed by the landlord was around £100,000. Our solicitors were instructed to attempt to reject the claim and successfully reduced the costs by over 75%. Fees were incurred of £14,000 which was covered by a Legal Expenses policy because the firm had Legal Expenses Insurance.

About Composite Legal Expenses

Established in 1996, Composite Legal Expenses Ltd is a leading UK provider of Commercial, Personal and Motor Legal Expenses Insurance.

Composite works with some of the UK’s largest affinity, trade organisations and Insurance Intermediaries to provide comprehensive innovative products to protect businesses and individuals in today’s litigious society.

Utilising a select number of key partners including Solicitors, Accountants and Consultants, Composite is proud to provide businesses with the support they need when they need it most.

Ageas Insurance underwrites all of Composite’s Commercial Legal Expenses policies so you have the extra peace of mind in knowing that your business is being supported by one of the UK’s leading insurers.

Both Composite Legal Expenses Ltd and Ageas Insurance Company Ltd are Authorised and Regulated by The Financial Conduct Authority.

How to access the 24/365 Legal Advice Line and make a claim

As a policyholder you have access to the 24/365 Legal and Employment Advice Line manned by Solicitors, Consultants and other qualified Professionals.

It is imperative that you contact the Advice Line as soon as you are aware of an issue that may give rise to a claim covered by the Insuredrisks.co.uk Business Care policy. The Advice Line will guide you through the process.

It may be the case that if you do not contact the Advice Line at the earliest opportunity or take action without consulting the Advice Line, your cover may be invalidated and we may no longer be able to assist you.

To access the Legal Advice Line, please call 0871 423 5244 quoting the Policy Number and Policyholder’s name contained within your Policy Schedule.

Urgent matters will be dealt with at anytime day or night. General advice will be made available between 8am and 5.30pm Monday to Friday.

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Our other products: Professional Indemnity Insurance