Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability Insurance ensures that there are sufficient funds available to pay compensation in the event of business activities that cause accidental injury to persons or damage to property - it does not protect against bad workmanship.
The insurance policy is owned by the trader. Just like any other insurance policy, the trader is able to set an insurance 'excess'. The bigger the 'excess', the lower the premiums paid by the trader will be.
You cannot claim on a traders public liability insurance. Only the trader can make a claim. This means that you would need to take a trader to court. The contractor would then contact their insurance company who may then decide to represent the contractor and defend the contractor against your claim. If they have valid insurance and the court finds in your favour, then the insurance company will provide the funds to pay that compensation less the insurance 'excess' which will need to be paid by the trader themselves. Clearly, being insured is not a quick or easy fix to any problem that arises.
Public Liability Insurance is normally specific to a particular trade as
different trades have different levels of risk. For example, tree surgery
carries a higher risk than lawn mowing. Someone who specialises in one trade
is more likely to have appropriate insurance. Just because someone is
insured doesn't mean they are covered for every activity.
If the trader is proven to be liable by a court then you may be awarded compensation. Insurance ensures that the trader can afford to pay that compensation without having to sell their house, their business, take out a loan etc to pay it. For this reason, it is in the traders interests to have insurance, they would be stupid not to be insured. They would also be stupid to conduct activities that were not covered by their insurance policy.
Accidents will happen. Reduce risk by hiring a professional who is more likely to stick to the activities they are insured for. Don't be tempted to ask them to do a task you know a different specialist should do. Avoid risk of injury by keeping your distance when your gardener is working. If you are concerned, ask to see the traders public liability insurance certificate to see what is actually covered.
It is a requirement of our terms of membership that members have suitable insurance when a claim is made against them. However, we do not require that they send us proof of their
insurance. Why not?
- We do not know what work you are asking them to do so we cannot claim that they have adequate insurance.
- Insurance can be cancelled after a certificate is issued.
- Membership is renewed annually. It is unlikely that their insurance renewal date is the same as their membership renewal date so there may be periods where they were uninsured and nobody would know.
We believe that a professional gardener will be proud to show you their current certificate when you ask to see it - they may even give you a copy of it with their new customer welcome pack.
We have helped our members access affordable insurance from a specialist broker - so they have no reason not to be insured.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Some gardeners offer a consultancy service. Where a gardener gives advice only, their Public Liability Insurance will not cover any financial losses arising from their advice. Gardeners who focus on consultancy are more likely to have Professional Indemnity Insurance or both.
DISCLAIMER The information in this website is intended for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. The Gardeners Guild does not accept any responsibility for any loss which may arise from relying on information contained in this website. It is not a substitute for legal advice and specific and personal legal advice should be taken on any individual matter.