Do I need public liability insurance and what does it cover?
If you are small business owner , contractor or sole trader and wanting to understand if you need public liability insurance and what it covers you may have come to the SMART place.
In Australia Public Liability Insurance is the core insurance for most business owners, contractors and sole traders.
Why is it important to have public liability insurance?*
It is very important for business owners, contractors and sole traders to have public liability insurance as, for a relatively low cost, it can protect both your business , and you personally, from significant claims and damages.
In Australia, if you cause property damage or personal injury to another person you will be liable for financial damages, legal defence costs and other charges.
Every day Slip-and-fall accidents may cost your small businesses well over $10,000.
What does public liability insurance cover?*
Public liability insurance is required by small businesses and the self-employed as it may cover:
- Legal liability of a business to compensate the damages made to the general public on account of injury, death, damage to property and possessions due to business negligence.
Is public liability insurance compulsory in Australia?
In some parts of Australia , for some occupations public liability insurance can be compulsory. Examples are plumbers in Victoria, and electricians in Queensland and Tasmania.
Also in the building trade throughout Australia many worksites will not let any of their subcontractors on their worksite without a Certificate of Currency . That is proof public liability insurance has been paid, and is in force.
Whether it is compulsory or not public liability insurance is recommended for all small businesses, including sub –contractors, whose activities take place in public, who want to protect themselves and their assets.
Do I need public liability insurance cover for my occupation ?*
The list of businesses, sole traders, contractors and professional consultants exposed to Public Liability claims is extensive. Many are listed below:
What are some examples of what Public Liability Insurance may cover?
Example 1: How Public Liability Insurance can protect your business
You repair a leaking tap; a month later your customer experiences a serious leak causing damage to their property. Public Liability insurance can cover you for legal bills and any damages awarded against you.
Example 2 – What is Public Liability Insurance for small business owners?
Public Liability for small business owners, trade employees and staff.
One of your staff members works on a repair at a customer's home and knocks over an expensive vase. If your customer lodges a claim for compensation against you Public Liability insurance may cover you for the damage.
Example 3 – What is Public Liability Insurance for Retail Shops and Cafes?
Public Liability for shops, retailers, restaurants, take-away food and cafes.
Due to the high number of customers visiting businesses such as shops and take-away food outlets the public liability risk is high. As a retail shop owner and operator you have a legal responsibility for people coming on to the premises.
It can be as simple as one of your customers tripping as they enter your shop and hurting themselves. Public Liability insurance may cover your business for claims and damages for personal injury. Similarly if a customer "bumps" into any objects that causes them injury public liability may cover you.
The other main insurance risk for food businesses is related to the food. In this instance Public Liability insurance alone is insufficient cover. Product liability insurance is required to offer cover against any claims and damages caused by the food served including legal fees for any unsubstantiated claims against you.
Most retail business operators will take out a combined Public and Products liability policy to protect their business from the everyday risks faced by their business from people entering their premises(public liability) and people purchasing food or retail products from them(products liability).
Retail premise owners (as distinct from the retail business operator) also have public liability obligations for "personal injury or damage to property" caused by the structure of the buildings, common areas, and services such as sprinklers.
Example 4 – What is Public Liability Insurance for Offices & Professional Businesses?
Public Liability for offices and professional businesses.
Generally for office based businesses the Public Liability risk is lower than for tradesmen, retailers and hospitality.
However, even in white collar professions accidents happen so Public Liability Insurance is necessary. For example, if a client falls down the stairs, or if your business is subject to a claim from a member of the public to pay damages to their person or property. Public Liability Insurance may provide protection against claims and damages including legal fees. This can provide your business with an extra layer of protection, even when unsubstantiated claims are made against you.
Want to know more about public liability insurance for your business activities ?*
The above provides business owners with an explanation on what Public Liability Insurance is, and also how it may affect their business.
Our business insurance brokers can help you understand what Public Liability Insurance cover is generally taken for your type of business based on industry benchmarks.
For Public Liability Insurance quotes from leading insurance companies in one phone call please call 1300 542 573 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Important: Cover may be available subject to meeting insurers underwriting criteria. Some of the covers listed may or may not be available or may have limitations or exclusions. Cover inclusions vary significantly from insurer to insurer. DO NOT rely upon the above. Check your policy schedule carefully for inclusions and exclusions and limitations .Talk to a SMART business insurance broker on 1300 542 573 for more information.