In the world of business, whether it's a big or small venture, there are plenty of things that can go wrong. For most business owners, taking the necessary steps to make a business idea a reality requires a huge element of risk and it's something that shouldn't be taken lightly. One of the major aspects of business that needs to be considered during the early days and beyond is the idea of business insurance and the types of insurance that would be essential for your business to invest in.

One of the most common business cover types is public liability insurance, which is an essential piece of cover for any business that comes into contact with the general public, whether its customers, contractors or anyone else that uses the service you provide.

If any damage is done to goods or property, or an accident happens to somebody because of the service you provided, and you face a compensation claim because of it, that's what public liability insurance is there for. You can get a public liability insurance quote here, but before you do, you should understand whether you need it or not Ė after all, there's no point investing in something that you don't need!

Businesses that require public liability
Not every business needs public liability insurance and understanding this type of insurance is essential when you're weighing up your cover options.

Examples of business that require public liability include shops, bars and restaurants or businesses that provide a public service. For example, anywhere that a wet floor could cause a member of the public (whether it be a customer or otherwise) to slip and fall, or any business that requires people to walk up steps, will need to cover their backs with public liability.

While there are ways in which you can protect yourself before something gets taken through the courts, such as supplying a wet floor sign when somewhere has recently been mopped, or a Ďmind the step' sign that shows the customer that there is a step that needs to be navigated, public liability insurance will also protect you and your business should matters be taken further.

Similarly, if you provide a service to a member of the public, you may need to take out the insurance, too. For example, if you're a plumber and the work you do causes water damage, you could be facing a compensation claim and having insurance to cover your back is crucial.

What happens if you don't have it?
Unfortunately, public liability claims can be incredibly expensive and many businesses may not be able to afford the compensation, or even the legal costs associated. Cover of up to £1m is often considered a minimum, but you could be looking at insuring yourself for upwards of £5m. Without this cover, if someone makes a claim against the service you provided and you lose the case, you will have to find the compensation amount alone.

This article was provided on behalf of Hiscox business insurance. Hiscox public liability insurance is one of the most competitive on the market - if you think you need it for your business, pop online for a quote.

This article was written by Roxanne Wells of behalf of Hiscox.