Public liability insurance is an important safety net for your business, particularly if you work closely with the public. If your public liability insurance gets invalidated, it can be quite damaging for your company in a number of ways. Insurance policies are legal documents, meaning that there are certain obligations you have to follow, to ensure it remains valid. While a lot of these obligations are obvious, there are others that you may have forgotten or barely thought about.

Here are some of the things that can invalidate your public liability insurance.

Providing false details

Some people commonly “stretch the truth” or knowingly lie on their insurance application, to get themselves a cheaper rate. Although you may think that this a great way to save yourself some money, but by doing this, you stand to lose a lot of money in the long run.

When you come to make a claim on your insurance, if your insurer finds you provided false details on your application, your policy will be completely voided. This means that you will have to cover your losses yourself, which could be extremely costly to your business.

Failing to update your insurer about changes in your circumstances

Whether it be because of negligence or just forgetting to do so, failing to update your insurer about a change in your circumstances will invalidate your insurance, potentially costing your business a significant amount of money. Insurance policies are legal contracts which cover you for the circumstances specified in the policy. Therefore, you won’t be covered for any other circumstances – if you go to make a claim when your circumstances have changed and you haven’t told your insurer about these changes, the claim will be void and you won’t be covered.

A change in circumstances can include your company seeing an increase in its profits or an increase in employees, because there are more assets for the insurer to cover. It’s understandable that as a businesses owner, you are likely to be very busy. When your business experiences a change in circumstances, updating your insurance details isn’t likely to be at the top of your to-do list, but remember – that doesn’t make it any less important.

Unchecked gas appliances

Any gas facilities at your company must be checked at least once a year by suitably qualified individuals and by local councils, at regular intervals. Not only are you legally required to do this under employment law, but failing to do so can invalidate your public liability insurance.

It’s your landlord’s responsibility to make these checks, but if they take their eye off the ball, then it could have a knock-on effect on you. It’s worth checking with your landlord that all the necessary checks have been made and there’s no harm in contacting them if it’s been a while since the appliances were last checked.


If you are currently covered by a European company, you should be mindful of Brexit. The current law means that all insurance contracts with European insurers will be invalidated when we leave the European Union.

The UK doesn’t officially leave the European Union until the 29th March 2019, and it is possible that the UK and the EU will change this law, so insurers aren’t affected by Brexit. After all, it could be a very costly change for insurers both in the EU and in the UK. So, this is something you should keep an eye on as if this does change, you could be affected.

This should not be construed as advice and is for guidance only.