As a small business owner you know, or you’ve been told, you need public liability insurance you but you may not be too sure why you need it; and what the difference is between one public liability insurance policy versus the next.
Similar to when you are in a restaurant and you are confronted with a wine list that is totally unfamiliar to you; and you feel the pressure from the table to make a good choice ; you may be asking yourself .. “Do I go for the cheapest, most expensive or somewhere in between…or do I choose the one that “sounds” the best ? (Or eeny mini miny moe )
Getting suitable public liability insurance is so important for small business that according to the Australian VPXL.net and government website for business , “liability insurance … is strongly recommended for businesses in all industries as the likelihood of being sued is unpredictable and potentially very costly”
So you’ll be happy to learn there is a smarter way to decide which public liability insurance policy to go for and it doesn’t necessarily meaning paying more, leaving things to chance or spending hours and hours conducting painful research.
To help your small business find suitable and affordable public liability insurance below are 8 smart questions to ask your business insurance broker about your public liability insurance.
The first question is not really a question. It’s about you providing complete information to your insurance broker and insurance company; so you can be suitably covered for your business activities.
Please take the time to FULLY explain ALL your business activities to your insurance broker.
What do we mean by fully ? For example, you may consider yourself a painter but you also do a bit of scaffolding. You need to disclose the scaffolding, or if in incident occurs as a result of the scaffolding you won’t be covered. Sounds simple; but there are so many cases where sub contractors and small business owners have only partially explained their activities and have regretted it when it came time to claim. Don’t let this be you.
Smart business insurance PRO Broker Tip: describe the tasks your business performs ; let the broker find a description and classification.
For more information on small business insurance click here.
What will my public liability insurance cover me for?
You may know or have heard that public liability insurance may cover your small business for claims against:
- Damage to someone else’s property
- Personal injury to someone not employed by you
Smart business insurance PRO Broker Tip: What does this mean for you.? Think about the risks you face in your business and ask your business insurance broker if you are covered for those risks. For example; if you are you are worried about particular event ask if this would covered. Your broker may be able to provide you with a general or specific answer that gives you a much better picture of your risk than you currently have.
This leads us to our next question.
What won’t my public liability insurance cover me for?
As each insurance policy is different, and contain exclusions that are not covered by public liability insurance, it’s a wise idea to ask what the public liability policy you are considering won’t cover for you.
Some risks that insurance companies generally do not cover with public liability insurance are incidents in relation to fraud, poor workmanship, contractual liability ,exposure to hazardous materials ,and acts of war and terror.
A SMART business insurance broker can help you understand what you may be covered for and what you won’t be covered for.
After asking these 3 questions you should be in a position to a have a smart conversation with your business insurance broker about what other risks you want to protect with insurance?
In addition to public liability insurance what other insurance policies do I need to protect my small business?
The other insurance policies you need to protect your small business in addition to public liability insurance depend in part to your risk profile, type, size of your business and affordability.
While it may not be practical for small businesses to cover all the business risks they face with insurance, a conversation with a smart insurance broker may provide guidance on what risks are the most important to protect.
Many small business owners are pleasantly surprised at the affordability of business insurance polices; especially when compared to the cost of the loss if not insured.
Here are just some of the other covers that small business owners can consider in addition to public liability insurance.
- Income protection and life insurance or workers compensation. To cover personal injury to you and your employees.
- Commercial Property Insurance To Insure fordamage to your business property.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance To cover for claims against your professional advice.
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance Insurance for your work vehicle/s.
- Cyber insurance Protects you and your business where damages involve internet or customer data.
- Management liability insurance For claims arising from employee relations, OH & S and discrimination.
- Product liability For protection against damages caused by your business products
For more information and further reading on the above covers please click on the product description you are interested above ; in orange next to the black tick.
How much public liability insurance do I need to protect my small business?
The most common limits of public liability insurance covers available to small business in Australia are $5million , $10 million or $20 million.
Depending on your business size and the risks facing your business, your business insurance broker may be able to provide you with typical cover levels taken for your type and size and business. You can then discuss what amount is suitable to your own risk profile.
Smart business insurance broker PRO tip: Sometimes it can be relatively cheap to increase cover from $5million to $10 million.
Can I combine professional indemnity product liability or other polices with public liability insurance?
This is a clever question as sole traders, contractors and small businesses can potentially make some good savings by combining multiple covers under one policy.
A smart business insurance broker can often help sub-contractors combine covers for public liability, product liability, and tools in the one policy.
For certain occupations business property and public liability insurance can be combined; and for self-employed professional consultants public liability and professional indemnity may be able to be combined.
Talk your smart business insurance broker to see if you can combine your public liability insurance with other covers to broaden your level of protection while keeping cost affordable.
Can I pay for our public liability insurance monthly?
Cash flow is vital for many small businesses and paying monthly can help the self-employed and small business manage their cash flow.
Crucially; by making smaller monthly payments rather than having to pay one large lump sum, businesses that are in the early stages ; are in the growth stage or are capital intensive may not need to forego additional covers they want and need, but would not be able to afford in a one of large payment.
Who do I talk to when I need to claim?
Perhaps the most significant question for a small business evaluating public liability insurance.
Do I talk to you, the same broker I am talking to now, when I comes time to claim?.
Do I talk to a claims person? Where is the claims person or team located physically compared to you? If I have a claim will you talk to your claims team and brief them about my business?
When I claim will I have to deal with someone overseas?
When I claim will I have to talk to the insurance company directly or will you help me?
Smart business insurance PRO tip: There is no right or wrong answer. It’s about what are you comfortable with and understanding what you will get when its claim time.
For example, for small claims you may be ok to talk directly with the insurance company ; but if it is complex; large or disputed claim you may want to consider a public liability policy where a business insurance broker that knows your business will be there to help you.
Further reading and viewing on how to compare public liability insurance :
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Get 8 smart answers to your public liability insurance questions & affordable cover @ SMART business insurance
While comparing suitable public liability insurance can be complex and time consuming, there is now a smarter way.
Wherever you are in Australia when you contact SMART Business Insurance, your friendly business insurance broker may be able to help answer your questions and find you suitable and affordable public liability insurance for your small business.
The SMART way means fast, friendly and considered service, so that you feel comfortable with the protection you have for your small business risks at a reasonable cost. WE SHOP. YOU SAVE.