New rules on Public Liability limits is your cover still adequate?

Published: 02/08/2017

The government’s new guideline settlements for Public Liability claims has major implications for media & digital organisations:

  1. There’s a huge increase in the size of damages settlements if a personal injury claim is successful
  2. Compounding this, the discount rate has been reduced from 2.5% to -0.75%, further increasing the size of settlements
  3. These two factors also mean that insurance premiums will rise, as insurers seek to increase their reserves in anticipation of such claims

With liability for staff, volunteers, visiting clients and the public, Public and Employers’ Liability Insurance are key cornerstones of your organisation’s financial protection. If you’re under-insured, you have no protection against colossal sums being awarded against you. The average public liability limit of £2M is unlikely to be adequate following these changes, so it’s vital that you review the limits you currently have in place.

Public and Products Liability Insurance helps protect media & digital organisations when a third party alleges that your business activities or products have caused them injury or damaged their property. This can have a serious financial impact in terms of legal costs and damages, so getting the right cover is important.

What if…

  • A member of the public trips on cabling during an outdoor shoot?
  • A resident sues your organisation for noise pollution caused by your activities?
  • A customer is injured during a visit to your premises?

Cover typically includes:

  • Your legal defence costs
  • Compensation costs
  • Personal injuries & property damage caused by your business activities / products


If a member of the public successfully claims against your organisation, you will now find yourself facing vastly increased damages costs.


  • A child injured at a construction site: settlement was previously around £9m, now increased to £20m.
  • A member of the public in their mid-twenties suffers a moderate brain injury: previous settlement was £3m, new amount is £8m.
  • A member of the public is injured, resulting in tetraplegia. Previous claim amount: £9m, new amount: £20.1m.

Case Study

An SME was taken to court and found to be negligent in a public liability claim. Whereas the original settlement amount would have been £8m, under the new guidelines this increased to £15m. The SME had a £10m limit on their policy, and the resulting shortfall is likely to bankrupt them.

If you’d like any further advice, or to check you have adequate levels of cover in place, just email and we’ll get to work for you.


Advice you can trust from an expert who understands you:

  • Comprehensive, tailored insurance
  • Independent professional advice
  • Relationship-based service
  • “Can do” culture
  • Your advocate during claims


Ready to work with us?

You can call us to talk more about your business on +44 (0)1223 200650 or +44 (0)20 3865 0149

Photo of Tracey McCreath ACII

Tracey McCreath ACII


Direct Dial: +44 (0) 1223 200655

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Twitter: @TraceyatLaPlaya