Public liability insurance covers compensation claims and it’s needed because we are living in a compensation culture. Increasing numbers of compensation claims are being made. Everyone will have seen adverts from “no win, no fee” accident management companies encouraging people to claim compensation if they have been injured.
Compensation claims can be difficult to settle because they often involve complex legal arguments. They can also be expensive to settle because serious injuries result in large amounts of compensation being payable. Most barbers would struggle if a compensation claim was made against them.
Compensation can be awarded against you for a number of reasons, but usually, you become legally liable to pay compensation to someone if something that you or your business did, or failed to do, caused them to be injured or caused their property to be damaged.
An example could be if you had placed your clippers somewhere that meant someone could trip over the cable. If someone tripped and was injured, they could claim compensation from you. Or maybe you have mopped the floor and failed to warn people that the floor was slippery. Again, if someone tripped and was injured, they could claim compensation from you.
Even a relatively minor injury can result in a compensation award in excess of £10,000. Serious injuries can result in compensation awards that exceed £250,000. By the time the legal fees, other expenses and any of the claimant’s lost wages are taken into account, the final figure can be much higher.
Public liability insurance protects barbers in the event that a compensation claim is made against them.
Public liability insurance
Most people understand property insurance because it is the same as their household insurance. It protects them if their property is damaged or stolen. However, public liability insurance is not as widely understood.
As mentioned, public liability insurance covers you if someone makes a compensation claim against you. Given the level of some compensation awards, it would be unwise to consider operating without it.
However, in addition to paying any compensation awarded against you, your public liability insurer will also handle the compensation claim on your behalf as they will have a legally trained team that specialises in dealing with compensation claims. Your public liability insurance will cover any legal fees and associated expenses that are incurred, even if the claim ends up being settled with no compensation being payable.
Most businesses have public liability insurance. However, as a barber, you should make sure that you have a public liability insurance policy that has been tailored to your business, because otherwise there could be gaps in cover that might leave you uninsured in the event of a claim.
Barbers’ public liability insurance
The main difference between a standard public liability insurance policy and a barbers’ public liability insurance policy is the fact that the latter will contain what’s called a “treatment risk” extension.
The treatment risk extension is important because most standard public liability insurance policies exclude cover for claims that arise as a result of professional services. This is a problem because barbers are professionals and therefore much of what they do would be deemed to be a professional service. Any compensation claim arising would not be covered.
As long as you have a barbers’ public liability insurance policy with a treatment risk extension you will be covered for claims that arise out of professional acts.
You should also make sure that your barbers’ public liability insurance includes a financial loss extension. Most public liability insurance policies exclude claims for purely economic losses, and only cover claims for compensation that involve injuries or property damage so, without this extension, you could find that you aren’t covered in the event of a compensation claim being made against you.