Why you might need public liability: unusual insurance claims

Safety and insurance

25 August 2016

What is public liability insurance? Put simply, it's a form of business insurance covering the cost of legal action and compensation claims. It's not a legal requirement, but it can protect your business against litigation.

You might be thinking "it'll never happen to me", but these strange claims show that it could. They may sound like sitcom scenes, but without public liability insurance they'd be no laughing matter.


Pub staff in Wales left the trapdoor to their establishment's cellar open and forgot to cordon it off, resulting in a 63 year-old man falling through it on return from the loo. With an estimated 18-24 month recovery time for his chest and arm injuries, the patron was awarded £3,750 in compensation.


Never mind banana peels; flower petals are dangerous too. Just ask the pedestrian who slipped and fell on a petal outside Marylebone station and successfully sued the nearby florist's. The shop was denied an appeal, as the presence of the petal proved that the shop wasn't trying hard enough to avoid such injuries.


Ha-has are landscaping features involving a sloping lawn ending abruptly in a sharp drop, creating a barrier without ruining the view. Unfortunately, nobody warned a wedding guest at Hampton Court about them – he stepped off one and fell four feet, fracturing his arm in the process. This case was struck out, but the castle still had to pay its legal team for their successful defence. 

Hopefully you won't need to ask "what is public liability?" in the near future, but in order to protect your business from weird and wonderful claims, you can contact AXA for a public liability insurance quote.