Archives for June 2012

I’m a self-employed builder – do I need public liability insurance?

In the construction trade dealing with cash flow to keep suppliers and clients happy is critical and seeing insurance payments go out every month can be very frustrating. There might be some policies that you can afford to do without but, self-employed or not, public liability insurance is absolutely not one of them. Here’s why.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance protects you from a claim made by a member of the public who suffered injury or a loss because of you. As a builder, the likelihood of such a claim being made is greater than for other businesses. This isn’t a comment on the quality of your work. You are building the physical environment around us, and usually have no choice but to work in close proximity to the public so the scope for a claim, is high.

When might I need it?

An easy example to picture is if you are working at a height – say, fixing some guttering – and a tool falls and hits a passing member of the public. They can make a claim against you for their injuries, and depending on how high you were, what the tool was and where it hits them, that can be very significant. Likewise if someone gets electrocuted from a light fitting you have installed, or if your van damages someone’s property, claims can be made that PIL would cover for.

What would happen if I didn’t have it?

Public liability insurance is not there to prevent you from prosecution, it’s there to make sure claimants have a better chance of getting their compensation. That is because, if you don’t have cover and have a significant claim made against you, it has the ability to put you out of business and, if you are a self-employed sole trader, rather than a limited company, bankrupt you. It is this point that makes public liability insurance so important. But even with smaller claims, the risk for small companies, especially the construction game where cash flow is so important, are significant. Furthermore, clients look for builders with PIL. Not having it will restrict your access to business.

What else do I need to know?

Your policy will not just cover you for the cost of the award made to any successful claimant, and remember that it has to be your fault for the claim to be valid. You should also be covered for costs, expenses, ambulance and treatment costs that the NHS could seek compensation for and legal costs if you are faced with criminal prosecution. Premiums differ with the type of business you are, so it is advisable to speak to an insurance company with expertise in covering members of the construction industry. You should also look online, to tailor a quote that suits you and get a feeling for the market price for your insurance and peace of mind.

At what stage in life should I start considering life insurance?

There aren’t many of us who enjoy contemplating our demise, but what’s that saying
about death and taxes? As unpleasant as some people might find it, it pays to
plan for the future and make sure our loved ones aren’t left in the financial
lurch when we die.

So when is the right time to think about getting life insurance? It varies significantly
from case to case. Your personal circumstances are everything.

Home and Family

For young adults with no dependents and no mortgage, the financial implications of
death are far less grave, and life insurance may well be unnecessary. But the
moment you buy a flat or house or, more importantly, start a family, a policy
is well worth considering. Without you to help, would your family be able to
keep up with mortgage repayments, school fees and the countless other bills and
costs we incur in our everyday lives? If the answer is no, or if you want to
make sure your family does not have to deal with financial as well as emotional
heartache, you should act. Mortgage life insurance pays a lump sum to your
mortgage lender upon your death, alleviating that particular burden for the
loved ones you have left behind. Visit insurance sites like for more information.


Without wanting to alarm anyone, we really could get hit by a bus this afternoon. That
said, obviously, the younger you are, the less likely you are to die. It is
very understandable why young adults – who will likely have less money to spend
than in the future – might dismiss life insurance as expensive and unnecessary,
even if they do own their own home and have a spouse and/or children. That’s
their decision, but there is affordable life insurance out there. Term life
insurance is the most common form of cover and requires insurers to only cover
applicants for a set period of time, which means they are prepared to offer
young and healthy people coverage from as little as a few pounds a month. Visit for more information.


It is not uncommon for smokers to pay more than double what a non-smoker of the
same gender and age would for term life insurance. When evaluating what risk
you pose, insurers will pay a great deal of attention to your lifestyle
including the dangers presented by your job, and you and your family’s history
of illness. While life insurance will be more expensive for people representing
a greater risk, it is also, if anything, more essential. As is critical illness
protection. Realistically, many of us will contend with illnesses such as
cancer before we die. The financial impact of paying for treatment and care,
and the loss of income you will suffer can mean your family is facing financial
difficulty before your death. Critical illness insurance sees a lump sum paid
to you once you are diagnosed with a critical illness so that you can pay for
treatment etc. Visit for more information.


High percentage of taxi drivers do not have the proper insurance

A 2010 audit revealed that, in some parts of the country, 90% of taxis were not correctly insured, potentially voiding the insurance claims of injured passengers and
other drivers involved in accidents, and heightening the probability of taxi
drivers facing a loss of earnings if it was off the road.

While the National Private Hire Association dismissed the report as unrepresentative, an
incident in Sheffield earlier in the year suggested the problem was very real. Fifty taxi drivers were discovered to be plying their trade without the correct policies and the companies they worked for stopped offering them jobs until
they had remedied the situation.

Investing in taxi insurance is an essential part of running a taxi business. In fact it is a
legal requirement. Read on for more information.

What is taxi insurance?

Taxi insurance is really like a car insurance policy specifically set up to give taxi owners
the strongest cover possible. There are many variations grouped under the taxi
insurance umbrella that drivers can choose from. If you get your taxi insurance quote online, you can quickly see the effect of changing your requirements on the overall cost of your policy. It is compulsory to have third party insurance.

Private Hire Insurance and Public Hire Insurance

The kind of taxi driver you are or the type of taxi company you run will have a big impact on the type of policy you choose. If you only deal with customers who book your
service then you need a private hire insurance policy. This will tend to be cheaper than public hire insurance, which is needed by drivers of Hackney Carriages. Public hire insurance covers black cabs which can pick up passengers on the street as well as take appointments and because insurers view public hire as slightly riskier, it costs more.

Single and Multiple Vehicle Insurances

A single vehicle insurance policy is typically available to drivers between 21 and 70 who
operate a single vehicle as a private or public-hire taxi. Three types of cover are offered: third party, third party fire and theft and comprehensive.

Things get a bit more complicated if you need to insure multiple taxis. Fleet insurance policies require you to give examples of your individual drivers’ experience and claims
history. This is further complicated if you have different drivers using the
same car on a shift basis. The same three types of cover are provided. If you run a rural private hire taxi firm, keep your eyes peeled for rural policies.

What is covered?

As mentioned above, policies split into three types: third party, third party fire and theft
and comprehensive. Third party is the most basic, protecting pedestrians,
passengers and other drivers but not the policy holder. Third party fire and
theft adds protection against vehicles catching fire or being stolen. Comprehensive cover adds protection against accidental damage and windscreen
damage. is owned by Mediamash (NI) Limited, who are an Introducer Appointed Representative of Seopa Ltd. The quote system is owned and operated by Seopa Ltd, who are authorised and regulated by the FCA, number 313860. You can view our registration at We do not give financial advice on this website. If in doubt get professional advice and always read the policy information before purchasing an insurance contract.