Public liability insurance is essential for any company, but whether you need professional indemnity depends on what type of business you run.

You could save money by combining both insurances on one policy, but first work out if you need both types of cover.

When you need professional indemnity

You need professional indemnity (PI) cover if your business offers advice to customers for a fee. It protects your business if it is sued by a client who has lost money because of the work you do for them.

The types of business that usually need professional indemnity insurance include:

  • Solicitors

  • Accountants

  • Financial advisers

  • Business consultants

  • Architects

  • Engineers

  • Insurance brokers

However, you should consider taking out cover if you offer your knowledge, skills or advice as your main business activity. For example, freelance journalists or graphic designers.

Why you need public liability

You need public liability (PL) insurance to protect you when:

  • You go out to see clients, e.g. at their home

  • You have clients visit you, e.g. at your home, or business premises

  • You are out on business, e.g. travelling to a meeting

Public liability insurance covers claims made against you if your work results in injury, illness or death to a member of the public. It also covers damage to other people's property.

For example, if someone trips over your tools or equipment when you are out on a job.

How to find the best policy

The best insurance for your business may not be the cheapest, but you can still save money by comparing policies to find what is right for you.

Use this comparison to get as many quotes online from different insurers as possible. Then choose the policy that offers the cover you need at the cheapest price.

If you are unsure what protection your business needs, use this comparison to contact a broker. They can advise you on the right cover, and compare policies to bring you the best price.

Public liability and professional indemnity FAQs


How are public liability and professional indemnity different?


Public liability covers physical damage caused by your work, e.g. injuries or property damage. Professional indemnity covers clients' financial losses.


Can I take out cover separately?


Yes, but combining the cover you need on one policy could save you money. Compare combined and separate quotes to see which is the cheapest.


Can I insure my business contents on the same policy?


Yes, most business insurers offer package options that let you cover all your business needs. Compare package business insurance here.


How much does it cost to make a claim?


It depends on the price of your excess, which may be different depending on what you claim for. Check the terms of the policy before you take out cover.


Is it cheaper to pay for my policy up front in full?


Yes, insurers charge an interest on monthly direct debits, so you will save money if you pay your policy annually.