The difference between personal and public liability insurance

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Not sure of the difference between public and personal liability insurance? Find out more about these two types of insurance and which policy is right for you.

What is the difference between personal and public liability insurance

The vast number of different insurance types on the market can often be confusing and it isn’t always easy to establish which is the best insurance policy to suit your needs. In this article, we will focus on two particular types of liability insurance - personal liability insurance and public liability insurance - and explore the differences between the two.

What is Personal Liability Insurance?

Personal liability insurance is not considered a common standalone insurance in the UK. You would normally find this included within other insurance packages such as home insurance or travel insurance. It is still important, however, to consider this type of insurance for certain circumstances. Personal liability policies are designed to protect you and your family against injury or damage claims made against you personally by third parties. Cover would normally include legal fees and medical costs, as well as protection for accidental damage caused on someone else’s property. 

This insurance will provide protection in the event of an accident, in or outside of your home, that results in injury or damage for which you are considered liable. Examples of claims might include a guest in your home tripping over a loose floorboard and injuring themselves or your child kicking a football over a fence which breaks your neighbour’s window. 

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public Liability Insurance is a far more common type of insurance and is designed to protect you against costs incurred as a result of a claim made against you in relation to your business or professional activities. Claims can come from a number of third party sources, such as customers, contractors or members of the general public. This type of insurance will cover you for the following: 

  • Accidental injury to a member of the public

  • Accidental death of a member of the public

  • Accidental damage to third-party property

  • Accidental loss to third-party property


The Public Liability Insurance policies we offer at Event Insurance Services are designed to be used in conjunction with any events you may be organising or attending. Common types of claims might be a member of the public slipping over and injuring themselves, or the venue where you are hosting your event being damaged as a result of your business activities.  

Which insurance is right for you?

If your business involves interacting with members of the public at any point, it is very important you have public liability insurance in place. It’s never pleasant to think that your business activities could result in injury or damage, but having the right insurance can give you peace of mind that, should things go wrong, you will be covered. 

If your activities are entirely personal and not related to work, then personal liability insurance is the appropriate insurance to consider. Having personal claims brought against you is fortunately a rare occurrence in this country, hence why it is often included as part of a seperate insurance package.

Types of claims

The table below demonstrates different examples where a liability claim may be made against you, and identifies which would be the appropriate type of insurance to have in that scenario.



Public Liability Insurance

Personal Liability Insurance

Member of public slips on wet floor at charity event you organised and breaks their ankle





Wall of venue you hired for an art exhibition is damaged by your pictures





Attendee at a sports event you are hosting trips over items left on the floor, banging their head in the process





You spill scolding coffee on a friend who’s visiting your home





Final thoughts

While public or personal liability insurance is not a legal requirement, we would always recommend having cover in place, particularly in a business capacity. You can continue your activities safe in the knowledge that if an incident did occur, financial protection would be in place to cover the cost of any legal claims made against you.

If you need liability insurance for an event, the team here at Event Insurance Services are on hand to find the right cover for you. With over 25 years in the business, we pride ourselves on delivering the highest level of service to our customers. Whether you’re looking to insure a one-off event or multiple events, contact us today to find out more about our public liability policies

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