Shops & Retail FAQs

What is public liability cover?

Public Liability insurance covers you if you are sued and found responsible for injury or property damage to a member of the public. The insurance covers legal costs and compensation payments to the injured party, who could be a client, customer or bystander.

Examples of potential claims include you incorrectly fit some pipes which subsequently leak and cause damage to a customer’s premises or you are working from scaffolding when a member of the public walks by and you drop something from the scaffolding that injures them.

Public Liability insurance is classed as a business cost within the HMRCs definition of allowable expense, so is therefore tax deductible.

Do I need Public Liability Insurance?

If in the course of your business you come into contact with the general the public, you are potentially exposed to being sued for injury or damage, so it is advisable to take out Public Liability insurance. Many businesses and individuals will insist on seeing evidence of Public Liability insurance before allowing you to work at their premises.

However Public Liability is not a legal requirement.

Which limit should I choose for Public Liability?

The limit you need is dependent on the type of work you do, who you do it for and where you do it. Some people you work for will request a minimum limit, for example if you are working with a local authority they usually insist on a limit between £5 and £10 million.

When selecting the limit you need to consider if something went wrong what is the worst case scenario and potential damage or injury could this result in. If the nature of your work could cause extensive damage to property or severe injury to member of the public you would need a higher policy limit.

How long is a quote valid for?

A quote is valid for 45 days from the date it is first provided

What if i haven’t got a business name?

If you do not have a company name, put your own name in the business name field

What is an Employer Reference Number (ERN)?

An Employer Reference Number, also known as an Employer PAYE Reference, is given to every business that registers with HM Revenue & Customs (HMRC) as an employer. Businesses that pay any Employee above the PAYE threshold are required to have an ERN, which is the reference number for their employees’ income tax and national insurance contributions.

The ERN is printed or written on mandatory documents including P45, P60, P11/D and on most payslips. The format of the ERN is usually 111/AA11111 or 111/A11111. SOme businesses are not assigned an ERN because all employees (including labour only subcontractors, trainees and apprentices) are paid below the PAYE threshold.

What is insurance premium tax?

Insurance Premium Tax is a tax payable on insurance premiums and is set by the government.

All documents outlining premiums, such as quotations, show how much insurance premium tax you’re being charged. However, not all UK residents pay the tax, such as anyone who resides in the Channel Islands or Isle of Man.

Please note that the Government has increased the rate of Insurance Premium Tax from 10% to 12%. All policies that start or renew from 1st June 2017 onwards will have the increased rate applied and this will be reflected in your premium.

What is Employers Liability Insurance?

Employers Liability insurance covers you if you are sued and found responsible for a injury or illness  to an employee or ex-employee if the incident happened whilst they were working for you. The insurance covers legal costs and compensation payments to the injured party.

Examples of potential claims include an employee falling from a defective ladder supplied by you, or suffering deafness because of working with noisy equipment you provided.

Do I need Employers Liability Insurance?

If you employ anyone, you need Employers Liability insurance as it is a legal requirement. There are a few exceptions to this rule. However if you are a small tradesman who is not a limited company and you only employ your partner to other close relative to do your book work only, you probably don’t need Employers Liability insurance.

Some sub-contractors will be classed as employees depending on the level of direction provided by you. If they are labour only sub-contractors taking instruction from you and using tools provided by you then they are classed as employees and would need to be covered under you Employers Liability insurance. However, if you use bona-fide sub-contractors, who use their own tools and work under their own direction then they do not require to be covered under your Employers Liability insurance.

By way of an example if you hire someone to dig a trench and you tell them where to dig and provide the digger to shovels to undertake the work they would be classed as labour only sub-contractors and would need to be covered under your Employers Liability insurance. However if you were installing a new kitchen and sub-contracted the tiling element out to a bespoke tiler. If purchased the tiles, used their own equipment and worked with minimal direction then they would not need to be covered by your Employers Liability insurance.

What are the exclusions on my policy?

Please refer to the summary of cover documents that outline the key exclusions under your policy.

If my home insurance covers computers and printers do I need separate cover?

Ensure your home insurance covers equipment used for your business. If the equipment is used solely for business purposes it is more appropriately covered under your business insurance policy.

Do you accept cheques or cash

No. We only accept payment by either debit or credit card.

What is Legal Expenses Insurance?

Your policy automatically comes with 24/7 access to Legal Helplines for Legal and Tax Advice, Redundancy Approval Advice, Crisis Public Relations Communication Advice and Employee Counselling Assistance.

However, you can extend your policy to cover full Commercial Legal Expenses to provide protection against the potential costs bought against your business for legal action up to £50,000 per claim.

Legal Expenses Insurance can cover a range of commercial legal expenses resulting from your day-to-day business activities. This includes disputes with your past, present or prospective employees, and the cost of legal claims relating to property damage.

Do I need Legal Expenses Insurance?

However carefully you run your business, there’s still a chance you’ll need legal help at some point. You can face steep legal costs even if the claim against you is unfounded.

Legal Expenses insurance covers business legal expenses or prosecution fees for situations like employment tribunals and HMRC tax investigations.

Extending your policy provides protection for Employment Disputes, Employment Compensation Awards, Employment Restrictive Covenants, Tax Protection, Property Disputes, Legal Defence, Compliance & Regulation, Statutory Licence Appeals, Loss of Earnings, Employees’ Extra Protection, Bodily Injury and Identity Theft, Crisis Communications and Contract and Debt Recovery.

Can I add Legal Expenses cover?

Legal expenses is included as standard on shops and retail cover.

Are there any hidden costs in changing my policy?

For changes to your policy there are charges that are set out in your policy wording which cover our additional administration costs.

Do I need to inform you of changes to my business?

Yes, we advise that you notify us of any changes to your business.

Where are my policy documents?

Your policy documents are emailed to you when you take out your policy. However you can also log in to your account to access your documents.

How do I cancel my policy?

You can cancel your policy at anytime by contacting us

If your complaint is in the first 14 days we will provide a full return of premium subject to no claim being made. If the cancellation is after 14 days then a pro-rata return will be made subject to no claim being made.

How do I make a complaint?

If your complaint is in relation to the handling of a claim please contact our claims team

If your complaint is in relation to anything else please contact us

How do I renew?

All you need to do is call us to renew

Can I make changes to my renewal?

Yes, you can call us to make changes to your renewal

Why have you declined me at renewal?

There could be may reasons why your renewal has been declined. It could be due to:

  • A change in your business description
  • Claims you have had in the previous 12 months
  • A change in our underwriting appetite based on the overall performance of your trade or the location you are based.

Can I view my new policy documents

Yes, these will be emailed to you or you can view your policy documents in your online account.

When should I make a claim?

You should advise us as soon as possible of an incident occurring. As soon as we are aware of the incident we can help minimise the impact it may have on you and your business.

How do I make a claim?

You can make a claim by calling us

How do I track my claim?

You can track your claim by calling us

How do I dispute a claim against me?

Contact our claims team and we will help reach a fair conclusion between you and the claimant.

What is an excess?

An excess is the first amount of any claim for which you are responsible to pay.

What excess is payable?

Please check your policy schedule for how much excess you’ll need to pay.

Will my claim affect my renewal price?

Any claims you have had in the previous 12 months will be taken into account as part of the renewal process – Depending on the type of claim it could have an impact on your no claims discount.

What if my claim is open during my renewal?

The realistic likelihood of a claim being paid and the amount of the claim will be taken into account as part of the renewal process. If we believe no claim will made or paid, it will not form part of the renewal pricing process.

How do I cancel my policy?

All you need to do is call us to cancel

Am I due a refund if I cancel my policy?

If you cancel your policy a pro rata return premium will be paid subject to you not having had a claim.

What if I have only just purchased my policy in the last 14 days and I wish to cancel?

This is your cooling off period and if you cancel at this time we will provide a full refund subject to you not having had a claim