Small Business Public Liability Insurance

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Small business is the backbone of the Australian economy, and has been a great builder of wealth for many families and individuals.

Whilst the focus has been on the mining boom over the last decade, small businesses are still the largest employers in Australia.

There are many benefits to running a small business, but there are also many risks which owners and managers need to manage.

Some risks can be managed internally and perhaps even eliminated, but there are others which are outside of your control. Thankfully many of these risks can be managed through insurance.

Importance for Small Businesses

Arguably, insurance is more important for small and micro businesses than for any other business type.

Whilst a serious incident may be able to be absorbed by a larger company, a similar incident may send a small business into bankruptcy.

There are many forms of cover which are important, but certainly one of the most vital is public liability insurance for small business.

By having the right public liability insurance in place, a small business can help to insulate itself against certain financial losses relating to their legal liability.

What Public Liability Covers

There are two main risks which public liability insurance covers small businesses for, and these are the risks of causing either property damage or personal injury to another person.

If your business activities result in property damage or personal injury to others, and your business is found to be negligent, you could be responsible for considerable costs.

The costs of such an event can be quite small in the case of minor property damage, but when it comes to serious injury involving disablement or even death, such claims can stretch into the hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions.

Instead of having to settle these claims out of your own savings or profits, the insurance companies can cover these costs via your public liability insurance policy.

What Public Liability Doesn’t Cover

There are many risks covered by other forms of insurance, and not public liability insurance. We cannot list all of them here, but we will look at some of the most common queries.

A public liability policy is only intended to cover damage or injury suffered by others. It will not cover any property damage or personal injury that is suffered by you or your own staff.

Whilst a public liability policy will cover damage or injury caused by your employees, it will generally not cover any incidents where a contractor or subcontractor is found to be responsible. For this reason it is important for all contractors to hold their own insurance.

Other Forms of Insurance

There are many others forms of insurance for small business, and the types of cover you require will depend on the specific needs of your business.

Public liability is often seen as the anchor in a business insurance package, but many businesses will also have to consider property, professional indemnity, glass breakage, theft and a range of other covers.

One of the best ways of working out which policies your small business may or may not need is to speak with a qualified insurance broker or adviser.

An insurance broker will be able to analyse your business and work with you to determine what risks your small business faces and what types of insurance are needed to manage those risks.

Small Business Insurance Quotes

Although most small business owners understand the importance of public liability insurance, some are left in the position of deciding whether or not the cost is worthwhile.

Most businesses will find that public liability is actually very affordable, especially considering the protection that it provides. The best way to find out for yourself is to request a quote.

Quotes for small business public liability insurance are available from a range of sources, including directly from the insurance companies, via insurance brokers and via comparison websites.

Here at publicliabilityinsurance.com.au we can assist you with finding out your public liability insurance cost thanks to our network of insurance brokers and advisers.

By completing our online public liability quote request we can put you in contact with an insurance expert who can assist you with quotes and information on this important form of cover.

You have worked hard to build your small business, and one of the best ways to protect your investment is to insure it properly. Contact us today for more information.

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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