Recent reports indicate that the UK leisure and hospitality sectors are experiencing growth and increased profits.
Several large operators, who recently revealed their year on year figures including Greene King Leisure and Shepherd Name, are suggesting several reasons for the increase:
- Greater consumer confidence
- Improved weather conditions
- Lower taxation on beer
- Product innovation, including new styles of beer, local ales and crafted spirits
- Emphasis on home grown and local food
- Increased consumer interest in ale festivals and food markets
- Families dining out together
- Increased sport coverage throughout the summer
Whilst the future looks bright in terms of spend and footfall, it is worth reviewing your public liability insurance to ensure you are adequately covered to accommodate increased trade.
It is increasingly surprising that many business owners still don't take the time to understand public liability insurance and risk paying exorbitant fees for damages if their policy proves to be insufficient for their needs.
Public liability insurance may be a confusing concept at first, but by researching precisely what liability insurance covers, you can find out just how much cover you should take out to safeguard your business in the public sphere. Cover is typically available with indemnity limits of £1 million, £2 million or £5 million - additional limits are available should this prove necessary.
Is it compulsory?
While public liability insurance is not a legal requirement, it should be considered essential if members of the public will be interacting with your company in any way – from delivery drivers to maintenance repair workers, from industry representatives to consumers.
NDML strongly recommend that public liability insurance is acquired by all leisure and hospitality operators. In a society that is heavily influenced by the “no win, no fee” culture, it is increasingly important that companies have adequate cover for all aspects of their business. Unfortunately, due to the diverse trading styles and activities of the industry, both physical and legal risks are probable as the general public become more aware of their rights – do not take any risks.
So what does public liability insurance cover, exactly?
You'll find that your insurance policy covers a vast range of situations but generally speaking, a public liability insurance policy covers your legal liability for damages. You face charges of negligence if somebody is injured or their property damaged whilst on your premises and you are not covered.
It is imperative that you inform your insurer of ALL activities conducted by your business; otherwise you may not be adequately covered in the event of a claim. This duty operates throughout the life of your policy and not just at inception or renewal, e.g. if you start holding foam parties, Zumba classes or hosting beer festivals you must update your insurers accordingly. This is not just for the sake of keeping records, but will help you come to an agreement over the type of policy and cover best suited to you.
Public liability insurance is for ALL operators, no matter of size - don't assume you will be safe without it if you run a small business; something as simple as a beverage spill causing a customer to slip, or loose flooring causing a customer to trip, could cost you thousands of pounds if you're uninsured.