Do I Need Public Liability Insurance?

Keith Koons

Public liability insurance is often an unnecessary layer of protection for individuals if they are employed by a corporation since any mistakes made while at work would be handled by the company's existing policy. There are a number of occupations that should consider this type of coverage, however, especially when there is a high amount of liability involved with the profession. Self-employed individuals should also consider carrying public liability insurance if their products or services could unintentionally cause harm to consumers. Homeowners may also consider public liability insurance for damages that could occur to others while on their property.

Homeowners should consider having public liability insurance when they own a trampoline.
Homeowners should consider having public liability insurance when they own a trampoline.

A common example that would require someone employed by a company to carry a personal public liability insurance policy occurs within the medical profession. If a physician were to make a mistake that could unintentionally harm or even kill a patient, the civil damages could easily reach levels in excess of what the medical center or hospital is covered for. This would place the doctor in a situation where he could personally be held financially liable for anything above the business's policy, so public liability insurance would be beneficial. Other types of professionals that carry public liability insurance would be contractors, commodity merchants, and any business that deals in high-risk industries.

Anyone with playground equipment, such as a swing set, may benefit from public liability insurance.
Anyone with playground equipment, such as a swing set, may benefit from public liability insurance.

Business owners also carry public liability insurance for these reasons plus a couple of others. If a customer were to become injured because of an oversight by one of the employees, the business would be held liable. The same could be said if a customer accidentally slipped and fell inside the business, became victim to certain crimes, or suffered any monetary damages because of a mistake made by the business. There are countless other scenarios that would make this type of insurance necessary for business owners, and in many regions, it is required by law.

Some homeowners should also consider implementing public liability insurance, especially those with outdoor equipment like a pool, a swing set, or a trampoline. If a child were to enter the homeowner's property uninvited and become injured in the process, many regions would hold the homeowner accountable. While deterrents like fences and posted signs are often taken into consideration in these types of cases, it is often the homeowner's sole responsibility to keep his property safe from items that could cause injury to the public. Regardless of whether or not the homeowner is actually at fault, any injury suffered by visitors on his property could result in civil action.

Public liability insurance can help people if injury lawsuits are filed against them.
Public liability insurance can help people if injury lawsuits are filed against them.

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