* 10% of our customers paid this or less between January and March 2024.


Accidents happen – but they don’t need to hurt your business

No matter how careful you are, accidents happen – and that means compensation claims happen too. But that’s where public liability insurance comes in.

From just £63 a year*, it can help protect your small business against accidental injury and property damage claims made by your customers, members of the public or people you visit.

And with the average settlement costing around £13,500**, public liability insurance is a small price to pay for the protection you'd like – and the peace of mind you want.


Public liability insurance FAQs

What is public liability insurance?

We all like to think the worst will never happen to us. But no matter how careful we are accidents happen, and that means hefty compensation claims do too. If your business involves dealing with people face-to-face and a customer or member of the public has an accident and gets injured in your workplace, then public liability Insurance can shield your business against claims, compensation payments and legal costs. It also covers you and your employees if any damage is caused to customers’ property either on your premises or theirs, giving you peace of mind to get on with running your business. You can choose public liability insurance as a standalone policy or bundle it together with employers’ liability insurance, to give you an extra layer of protection.

Click here to find out more about employers’ liability.

How much does public liability insurance cost?

Having public liability could save you a tidy sum, and is quick and easy to arrange online or over the phone. There are several things to consider, like the trade or sector you work in, what your business does and where it’s based. So, to find out, give us a call and talk to one of our friendly, experienced advisors who’ll give you the price that’s just right for your business. Or get a quote online for a 10% discount.

Do I need public liability insurance?

While public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement, you may need it to be able to deal with your client contracts, and some companies are obliged by their supervisory or membership body to take out certain levels of business insurance. Many small businesses take out public liability, but if you’re not sure if you need it, either as a legal requirement, contractually or as best practice, click here to find out more. Or, give us a call and chat to one of our friendly and experienced advisors who’ll keep you right.

What does public liability insurance cover?

This cover can protect you from small workplace incidents to the costlier accidents that could really hurt your small business. It covers you for up to £5m of cover for compensation payments, giving you peace of mind that your business is protected against compensation and the costs of defending a claim up to the level of cover you select. You’ll also get up to 50 days free cover for temporary employees and £250 court attendance costs per day to defend a claim together with access to a 24-hour legal helpline. Find out more about what’s covered as well as our range of optional covers here.

What’s a typical example of a public liability claim?

While you do your best to get everything right, a minor accident can lead to claims running into the tens of thousands of pounds. Find out more here.

Is AXA Public Liability Insurance right for you?

Most businesses need public liability insurance these days. And most of those businesses can get a quote quickly and easily online.

But for some larger businesses with more complex needs, we may need to speak to you to make sure we’ve got you properly protected.

We won’t be able to cover you online if your business:

  • Has more than eight people 
  • Has an annual turnover of more than £500,000 
  • Is based outside Great Britain (England, Scotland or Wales)

If your business is or has any of these things, we’ll need to get some more details from you to make sure we can give you a quote that meets your needs.

You can call us now on 0330 159 1520.


Why you should choose AXA Public Liability Insurance

We know public liability insurance can sometimes be hard to get your head around – and that’s why we make it as easy as possible for you.

When you need to protect your business, you can go ahead and do it quickly online. While you’re there, you can pick and choose the covers you need. And once you’re insured, you can then rely on one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Simple, isn’t it?

Eight great reasons to choose AXA Public Liability Insurance

  1. The choice is yours
    You can choose the level of public liability cover you need – and any optional extras you need too. You can also take it on its own or as a package with employers’ liability and professional indemnity insurance. That way, you’re in control.
  2. Make changes online – when and where it suits
    When you get public liability insurance from AXA, you can make a number of changes online when it suits you. Want to change the level of cover? Go ahead. Add a new employee? That’s cool. Add new tools? Why not?
  3. Easy access – at any time
    We think your policy documents should be as simple, secure and accessible as possible. That’s why we’ve provided you with an online My AXA Account, where you can access your important documents as soon as you’ve purchased public liability insurance.
  4. Get 10% off when you buy online
    When you buy public liability insurance online, you’ll benefit from a 10% discount. It’s the protection you’d expect from AXA – for less.
  5. Need to make a claim? Go ahead
    We all know accidents can happen at any time. And that’s why there’s no limit to the number of times you can make a public liability claim in any one period of insurance.
  6. Now you’ve made a claim – track it online
    Once you’ve made your claim, our award-winning claims service1 are on hand to help – and you’ll be able to track the whole thing from start to finish online.
  7. Award-winning customer service
    When you need to speak to us, we’ve got a team of advisers waiting to help at our award-winning UK-based call centre.2 And you can use our live chat system to chat to them online too.
  8. Cover you can trust
    We’ve got a 96% customer satisfaction rate on Feefo3 – and we’re part of the AXA Group, one of the world’s largest insurance companies. Now that’s cover you can rely on.

Businesses like yours that take out public liability insurance.

  • Builders
  • Electrical contractors
  • Plumbing and heating engineers
  • Cleaning services – domestic and commercial
  • Carpenters and joiners
  • Painters and decorators
  • Business and management consultants
  • Photographer
  • IT consultants and contractors
  • Gardening services
  • Bricklayers
  • Plumbers
  • Cake making and decorating
  • Personal trainers

Some examples of public liability claims

  • You're a builder working on scaffolding when your tools fall off and damage your customer’s car
  • You're a cleaner and your customer slips on the damp stairs that you've just cleaned
  • You're a gardener mowing a lawn and a stone has damaged your customer's window

About us

Keep your company up-and-running no matter what with AXA’s business insurance. We offer flexible, tailored cover to help sole traders, self-employed people and small and medium-sized businesses grow.

Landlord? We’ll protect your commercial or residential property. Use a van? Stay on the road with our comprehensive van insurance.

Running a business is hard work. That’s why we keep insuring one simple.

* 10% of our customers paid this or less between January and March 2024.

** Based on public liability settlements made by AXA in 2013.

Our claims team have won leading industry awards at the British Insurance Awards 2012, The Claims Awards 2012, CII Public Interest Awards 2015 and The British Insurance Awards 2015.

In October 2013, AXA Business Insurance won Medium Contact Centre of the Year at the European Call Centre and Customer Service Awards.

Rated 4.6/5 based on 17,630 total reviews. Figure accurate as of 03/05/2024.


Offices are open Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm. Excludes bank holidays. Closed Saturday and Sunday.