Commonly Asked Questions About Public Liability Insurance

When it comes to essential insurance for tradies, public liability insurance has got to be at the top of the list. This form of cover is necessary for most tradies and without this policy in place, you leave yourself open to expensive claims. Today, we’ll be familiarising you with public liability insurance by answering some of the most commonly asked questions that our customers have about this policy.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance provides financial protection if you cause damage to property or injury to a person as a result of your actions at work. It also covers your legal bills if you need to hire a lawyer as part of the claims process. In many cases, the costs associated with a liability claim can be thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars when you consider potential expenses such as repairs, replacements, medical bills and rehabilitation costs.

Why is public liability insurance important?

Public liability insurance is designed to protect you from the unexpected. You can’t plan for everything and the unexpected can happen no matter how careful you are. For tradies, the nature of your work means you’re at a higher risk of things going wrong – all it takes is for someone to trip on your worksite for you to be on the receiving end of a claim. Public liability insurance offers ongoing peace of mind

Is public liability insurance compulsory?

There’s no statutory requirement for public liability insurance in Australia. However, there are some trades, such as electricians, who have a licencing requirement to have public liability insurance in place. Also, many employers won’t take you without proof of cover and it’s often a condition of a contract. Although cover isn’t compulsory, there’s a general industry expectation that tradies have liability insurance in place.

What doesn’t public liability insurance cover?

While public liability insurance offers essential coverage, there are some things it won’t cover. For instance, it won’t cover damage or injury which occurs to your employees – this is covered by your worker’s compensation insurance. It also won’t provide cover if your actions are deemed to deliberate or illegal. In some cases, the court may award additional fines or punitive taxes and these costs won’t be covered. Take a close look at your policy so you’re aware of all of the exclusions.

How much public liability cover do I need?

Public liability insurance is generally available in levels of $5 million, $10 million and $20 million. The higher your level of cover, the more you’ll pay in premiums. The level of cover you need will depend on the needs of your business – a small business servicing residential customers will need less cover than a large company who takes on mining contracts. In some cases, your contact will specify what level of cover you need to have in place.

How much does public liability insurance cost?

It depends. There are a number of factors that your insurer will consider with your public liability insurance premiums and the higher your risk of a potential claim, the more you can expect to pay. Some things that are taken into consideration include the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the location of your work and the type of work you do. The level of cover you’ve opted for will also be a consideration.

How do I find out more about public liability insurance?

If you’re not sure what level of public liability insurance you need or whether this cover is necessary for your business, the best person to speak to is your insurance broker. They have industry specific training which means they can take a closer look at the risk exposures of your business to assess whether liability cover applies to you. They can also make life easier if you’re at the receiving end of a public liability claim by liaising with the insurer on your behalf.

If you have any questions, please ask below!