About Liabilities Cover

How Public Liability cover differs from General Liability cover

Received a call from a prospect Mr X few weeks ago who wished to get a quote for a “simple” Public Liability plan.

Upon probing, he revealed that it is a specified requirement in a project the firm is tendering for. I asked for the details.

I received the documents few days later. The firm needs to provide a General Liability cover and not just a Public Liability plan among other requirements. Fortunately, he did not just apply for an off-the-shelf quote because it may not be adequate, and in most instances business owners learn about it the hard way.

“Got difference meh?” is a common question asked about these two terms.

Both are liability coverage, designed to cover the policy holder’s legal responsibilities in incidents or events covered by the policy.

Public Liability: designed to protect business owners against losses associated with injury, property loss/damage incurred by members of the public and/or third parties while on the business premises. It is a basic cover required by landlords, especially for those companies that are retail or public access oriented. For example, a client visiting your premise may slip on a wet floor, suffer an injury, and take legal action against you.

General Liability: It is a broader (thus costs more) cover protecting the business owners for broad range of potential legal issues. It may be designed to protect against liabilities arising from defective products, bodily injury or property damage incurred on the premise or as a result of their business operations off premise.

Despite its wide cover, below are some risks it will not cover:

  • Any injuries suffered by your employees in the course of their employment (covered by Workmen Compensation Cover)
  • Damage to your property (may be covered by Property Insurance)
  • Losses suffered by 3rd parties or clients due to a Cyber Attack on the business (may be covered by Cyber Insurance)
  • Legal suits against your firm as a result of a service/advice offered (may be covered by Professional Indemnity Insurance)

Note that General Liability may exclude Product Liability against claims by others who suffered injuries or property damage caused by a defective product manufactured, distributed or sold by your company. Completed operations cover may also be excluded; such cover typically protects a contractor against third part claims once contracted jobs cease.

Business owners may not understand the differences between the various liability policies, or even know that there is a difference. Adopting a reactive approach to risks, which remains far too common among SMEs (small & medium enterprises), may be costly in terms of money and time, may even lead to loss of clients and revenue.

Depending on the nature of your business or your customers’ requirements, you may wish to review your existing cover while all is well.

Insurance is a Risk Transfer Mechanic

In return for a small definite premium and cost

YOU are relieved from the uncertainty of a potentially much larger financial loss

Important: The information and opinions in this article are for general information purposes only. They should not be relied on as professional financial advice. Readers should seek independent financial advice that is customised to their specific financial objectives, situations & needs. This advertisement or publication has not been reviewed by the Monetary Authority of Singapore.

Published By:

Chua Chai Hoon

Chai Hoon graduated from Nanyang Technological University with an Honors Degree in Business, specializing in Insurance & Banking. With over 22 years in the financial advisory service, she is experienced in assisting both individuals and corporate clientele. Her areas of expertise range from insurance, investment, retirement and estate planning, to employee benefits, corporate pension and business succession planning. Deeply committed to her work, she has received continual mandate from both her retail and corporate clientele year after year in managing their investment and insurance portfolios.
She is currently among a group of practitioners in Singapore who are Chartered Financial Consultants (ChFC) and members of the Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU) group. She is also an affiliate of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), assisting families with their wealth distribution and legacy planning.
采澐毕业于新加坡南洋理工大学,商务荣誉学位(保险和银行专业)。她自1999年以来从事于财务咨询服务,是新加坡的从业者其中一位持有 特许财务顾问(Chartered Financial Consultant, ChFC)和特许寿险核保师(Chartered Life Underwriter, CLU)名衔的成员。
作为一个准遗产规划从业者,她也是信托与遗产规划从业者协会(Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners,STEP) 的成员。她除了拥有个人财务- 涵盖投资/保险/退休/遗产规划的专门知识,也能提供员工福利/业务继任规划的咨询给企业客户们。她热忱及致力于她的工作,因此获得顾客多 年以来持续的支持。


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