Public Liability Insurance QLD

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Insurance for Queensland Business

Taking out public liability insurance is one of the most effective ways for businesses in Queensland to protect themselves from a range of risks.

If you operate a business in Queensland, you may be required to have public liability insurance by your industry association – for example, if you operate a plumbing or electrical business, you will not be given a license to operate in Queensland without first having and showing proof of public liability insurance.

If you are based in a commercial property, your landlord may require your business to have this type of insurance.

Regardless of whether there is a legal requirement for you to take out public liability insurance, it certainly makes good business sense. If your business doesn’t have adequate coverage, you run the risk of other businesses refusing to deal with you. You are also putting your business assets at risk if a claim is made against you that your premium does not fully cover.

The ins and outs of public liability insurance Queensland are generally no different to that of other Australian states, however there are a few minor differences to be aware of.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

It’s important to understand what public liability insurance is. For a business based in Queensland, the insurance will cover the business for financial losses relating to property damage or personal injury suffered by others as a result of the business activities.

If you cause property damage or personal injury to another person and are found to be responsible, you may then be liable to cover costs such as repair, replacement, medical expenses and compensation.

Your public liability insurance provider can cover these costs – provided the incident is covered by your policy. This is a far better outcome than having to pay the costs out of your profits or savings.

Requirements for Queensland business owners

The requirements for public liability insurance in Queensland are very similar to those for elsewhere in Australia, however there are a few slight differences for some types of business.

Electrical contractors in Queensland must hold a licence issued by the State Government. As part of the licensing process, all applicants must hold public liability insurance covering them for at least $5 million in damages.

This requirement is fairly standard, but where it differs to other states is that in Queensland, electrical contractors must also have consumer protection insurance to cover them for any domestic work they perform. Essentially, this added layer of protection will cover your clients against some additional risks that a standard public liability policy might not cover. Only a limited number of insurers offer consumer protection cover. Without it you will not be able to apply for or renew an electrical contractor’s licence in Queensland.

There can be other differences for businesses based in or operating in Queensland, so it’s worthwhile working with a local insurance broker, or at least one who knows the local rules, to ensure your business is properly protected.

Queensland Public Liability Quotes

Quotes for public liability cover are available from a variety of sources in Queensland. This is the only way to determine the public liability insurance cost for your business.

Most providers of public liability will be able to issue policies to Queensland businesses, and in most cases you can get a quote directly from the insurer via their website or call centre.

Many business owners prefer to use the services of an insurance broker or adviser for their insurance needs.

The benefit of using a broker is that they can obtain quotes from a variety of insurers at once, which saves you time sourcing quotes. You can also benefit from their knowledge and experience when choosing a policy.

If you’d like to obtain a quote on public liability insurance Queensland for your business, please speak with your broker or complete our online quote request.

How much is public liability insurance Queensland

There are a number of factors which will influence the cost of public liability insurance for Queensland businesses – these are outlined below.

Additionally, State Governments set the amount of stamp duty paid on insurance premiums, so the overall cost of your insurance will vary, depending on which State you are based in.

There are four main factors that affect the cost of your public liability insurance in Queensland:

  • The type of trade or occupation you operate – ie electrician, plumber, or a professional services consultant.
  • The size of your business (by staff numbers or revenue) and your reliance on subcontractors.
  • How much cover you need (typically the cover is for $5M, $10M or $20M, etc).
  • Any high risk activities or work locations your business is exposed to.

Understanding the factors that affect insurance costs in Queensland

The type of work your business performs has a level of risk attached to it. Some activities are more likely to cause injury or damage. The higher the risk, the higher the insurance premium.

The size of your business is another factor. Larger businesses attract larger premiums, as the risk of injury or damage is greater.

If your Queensland business uses subcontractors, this will also affect the cost. If a significant portion of your revenue goes towards paying subcontractors, your insurance will cost more. This is because a business owner tends to have less oversight of subcontractors (compared with company employees), so the risk of a claim being made is higher.  The use of subcontractors also creates greater legal complexity in the event of a public liability claim, so the premium cost takes this into account.

Finally, the locations you work in will have a big impact on the cost of your premium. Some locations such as mine sites, airports, large infrastructure projects and construction sites, are considered to be high risk.

Insurance companies will compile the information you provide about each of these factors into a description of your business. Your public liability policy will cover you for the activities outlined in your business description, so it’s critical that you fully disclose everything about your business and the places you work in.

When comparing policies, don’t just focus on the limits, excess and premiums. Make sure you understand exactly what activities your public liability policy insures you for. For example, the policy may say “electrician” or “electrical contractor” but what if your business also provides serves related to HVAC, data and telecommunications, solar design and installation or home automation? Each activity needs to be listed separately in the business description.

Although you may be tempted to downplay the level of risk your business is exposed to, in the long run this could mean an insurance claim is rejected due to a lack of full disclosure at the time the policy is taken out. Far better to be up front and provide an accurate description of your business activities, and know that you are covered for any eventuality.

Do I need public liability insurance Queensland?

Public liability insurance is compulsory for some industries in Queensland. For other businesses operating in Queensland, it just makes good business sense.

Queensland electricians and electrical contractors

Electrical contractors in Queensland must have public liability insurance in order to gain their license to operate, which is issued by the State Government. As part of the licensing process, all applicants must hold public liability insurance covering them for at least $5 million in damages.

If you’re a Queensland-based electrician, our brokers can source a public liability insurance policy that meets the State Government requirement, which is:

“Under section 51 of the Electrical Safety Regulation 2013, Queensland electrical contractors are required to hold current broadform public and products liability insurance of at least $5,000,000 and Consumer Protection Liability of at least $50,000 under a contract of insurance issued in the name of the applicant.”

Your public liability insurance policy has to cover you for:

  • liability arising from testing and certification of work in accordance with the Electrical Safety Regulation
  • injury or damage arising from faulty design work performed by you including where you did not charge a specific fee for such design work
  • injury or damage arising from incorrect advice including where you did not charge a specific fee for such advice
  • goods in your care, custody or control.

Other types of Queensland businesses

More than one quarter of business in Australia do not have general insurance, according to a recent survey by the Insurance Council of Australia. Sole traders are the most likely to be uninsured, with 40 per cent of them operating with no coverage.

Your professional association can provide advice about the type of insurances recommended for your business. A lot will depend on the type of industry you operate in and the risks your business is exposed to.

Having public liability insurance could ensure the continuation of your business if a claim is brought against you.

What does public liability insurance cover in Australia?

In Australia public liability Insurance is the core insurance for most business owners, contractors and sole traders.

It will cover you if your business causes property damage or personal injury to another person. Without this insurance you will be liable for financial damages, legal defence costs and other charges.

Public liability insurance can protect your business against some of the most serious risks faced by small business owners, including property damage and personal injury. It will help to cover your costs in the event you need to pay compensation or expenses related to:

  • Injury – if a member of the public is injured at your premises, public liability insurance will cover the medical costs incurred by the injured person;
  • Damage – this could be to someone else’s property or something they own.
  • Other costs – such as legal fees if a third party is awarded against you. Legal costs can run into thousands, even millions. Public liability insurance covers the reasonable cost of your legal fees and expenses associated with defending a claim made against you, even if you are not at fault.

Our brokers will need to know your trade or occupation; the size of your business (by staff numbers or revenue); whether you use subcontractors and if so, to what extent; how much cover you need (typically the cover is for $5M, $10M or $20M, etc); and any high risk activities or work locations your business is exposed to, such as working at a mine site or an airport.

We can also discuss some strategies to minimise the cost of your public liability insurance. For example, you may wish to consider raising the level of your excess, reducing your benefit limit or looking at package deals to cover all your insurance needs, and reduce the overall cost of your insurance.

Our brokers have access to a wide range of insurance providers. They will help you find a policy that provides suitable coverage, for a competitive price.

Frequently Asked Questions

In some respects public liability insurance is very straightforward, but once you scratch the surface it can actually be a very complex area with many potential complications.

As part of our quest to make this important form of insurance easier for Australian small business owners and operators to understand we are in the process of putting together a list of the most commonly asked questions.

Please keep in mind that this FAQ contains very generalised answers and should in no way be seen or used as a substitute for proper advice from a qualified insurance broker or adviser.

If you would like to add a question to the list please contact us.

1. What does public liability cover?
2. How much does public liability cost?
3. Does it cover my staff and employees?
4. Does it cover my subcontractors?
5. Which companies issue public liability?
6. How does this website work?
7. Where is the website based?
8. How can I get a quote?
9. Can I pay my premiums monthly?
10. Do you provide insurance for tradesmen?
11. How much public liability do I need?
12. Does public liability cover defective work?
13. Are my professional services covered by public liability?
14. Are these differences in cover between policies?
15. What is an endorsement?
16. What is broadform liability insurance?
1. What does public liability cover?

Public liability insurance covers a range of risks, with the major ones being property damage and personal injuries caused to other people as a result of your business activities.

You can read more by visiting our ‘what is public liability insurance‘ page.

2. How much does public liability cost?

The cost of public liability can vary greatly from as little as $300 a year through to many thousands per year. The cost will depend heavily on the type and size of business that you run.

You can find out more by reading our public liability insurance cost page.

3. Does it cover my staff and employees?

A public liability policy will cover property damage and personal injury caused by your own staff and employees, but it will not cover property damage or personal injury that they suffer.

Personal injury to your staff can be covered by worker’s compensation and income protection insurance.

4. Does it cover my subcontractors?

Your public liability insurance will not cover your subcontractors in most cases. This includes damage caused by them as well as suffered by them.

There are some policies which may provide some cover, but these will generally be a far more expensive form of insurance. Subcontractors should have their own public liability and income protection in most cases.

5. Which companies issue public liability?

There are many insurance companies in Australia which offer public liability cover. These include the mainstream insurers like AAMI and NRMA, along with more specialist insurance providers.

The insurance brokers and advisers that we deal with will generally have access to a wide range of public liability insurance companies.

6. How does this website work?

The owners and operators of the publicliabilityinsurance.com.au website are not insurance brokers or advisers. We do not provide any quotes or advice ourselves, and instead we have a network of professionals that we refer people to when a quote is requested.

You can read more about how our website works by referring to our terms of use.

7. Where is the website based?

We are based in Brisbane, however we are able to assist business owners all over Australia. Our network of brokers and adviser are also based here in Brisbane as well as throughout the country.

8. How can I get a quote?

Getting a quote on your insurance is easy thanks to our online forms. In order to obtain a quote you simply have to provide your relevant business details and one of our network of brokers will prepare your quotes.

To obtain a quotation please complete our online quote request.

9. Can I pay my premiums monthly?

Public liability insurance can be paid monthly, however it is up to the individual broker or adviser to offer this service. Monthly premiums are generally arranged by an independent funding company rather than directly through the insurer.

In most cases it will be more expensive to pay your insurance monthly, but you can check this with your insurance broker or adviser when requesting quotes.

10. Do you provide insurance for tradesmen?

Our network on insurance brokers and advisers includes a number of experts on insurance for tradesmen. Tradesmen are actually one of our biggest client segments when it comes to public liability.

For more information please visit our dedicated tradesman public liability insurance section.

11. How much public liability do I need?

The amount of public liability insurance required will differ for each business, but in most cases the minimum is $5,000,000

If you require the cover as part of a specific contract you have entered into, generally the contract will stipulate the minimum amount of cover required.

Please visit our guide titled ‘how much is enough’ for more information.

12. Does public liability cover defective work?

Public liability insurance does cover defective or faulty work, however only certain costs are covered.

Property damage and personal injury suffered as a consequence on the defective work will be covered, however the costs of rectifying the defective work will not be covered.

For more information please visit our guide on defective work coverage.

13. Are my professional services covered by public liability?

A public liability policy is not designed cover losses relating to or as a result of the professional services or expert advice that you provide to clients.

You can still insure yourself against this risk however, through a separate form of cover known as professional indemnity insurance.

Click here for a more detailed answer to this question.

14. Are these differences in cover between policies?

Broadly speaking there is no difference in the basic cover offered by different public liability insurance policies.

All policies cover the costs involved in a claim against you for property damage or personal injury to another person that you are found to be liable for.

Where the policies can differ is in the exclusions and endorsements. The differences here can be huge depending on the type of business you run.

Click here for a more comprehensive answer to this question.

15. What is an endorsement?

An endorsement is a documented attachment to an insurance policy which can effectively change the standard wording of the policy.

They are generally used to either add or remove cover for a certain event or activity, and are often triggered by specific occupations or business types.

Endorsements can have a major impact in the event of a claim, so it’s important to check the endorsements before choosing a public liability policy.

Click here for a more comprehensive answer to this question.

16. What is broadform liability insurance?

Broadform liability simply refers to a business insurance policy which covers both public liability and product liability.

Most public liability policies will also cover product liability, essentially making the policy broadform, but this is not always the case.

By checking your policy documentation or asking your broker you will be able to see if your insurance is broadform or not.

Click here for a more comprehensive answer to this question.

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