Primo plc as a company first came into existence in 1971, although the name was not adopted until 2000. Primo is an amalgam of 9 different businesses, parts of which have been trading for over 50 years. The present management has not changed since 1987.
Whatever your business you must have public liability insurance (PL). This insurance protects you in the event that someone other than an employee is injured or property damaged as a result of something that you have done or caused or allowed to happen. Premiums start at less than £100 for a self employed individual in a low risk business, but will be very many times this for a high risk occupation such as welding or scaffolding.
Products liability is usually included with PL where you are manufacturing or supplying a product which if faulty or used incorrectly without proper instruction, could cause injury or damage. Although recall of a product is not covered, only the agreed injury or damage, product recall as a separate class of business is available.
Once you employ anybody you must by law have employers liability insurance (EL) which covers the employer for any injury that befalls the employee in the course of their employment. While there is no legal requirement to take out PL and therefore no minimum level of indemnity, EL must provide a minimum of £5 million of indemnity (although £10 million is more common) and the certificate proving that the cover was in force kept for at least 40 years. This is because in the past is has often been almost impossible for employees, employers and often insurers to establish who was responsible for the origination of long term illnesses such as industrial deafness, asbestosis and emphysema.
Following many years of over capacity in world insurance markets which resulted in unrealistically low premiums, reduced profits, reduced reserves necessary to pay for major catastrophes such as September 11th and ever increasing personal injury claims both in number of claims and size of payment, all insurers are now looking at the liability business they are insuring very closely. We have seen a premium of £4500 in 2000, become £9000 in 2001 and £60,000 in 2002. This example is not unusual, but also not to be taken as an example of typical year on year increases.
Small businesses requiring liabilities only in low risk industries can generally be quoted within an hour or so. Large business and especially those operating in high risk areas take time, often a week or two to place depending on their claims experience.
Finally, do not confuse pubic liability with professional indemnity insurance. If you are paid to provide advice you must have professional indemnity cover.