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What is Public Liability Insurance*?

If you’re a sole trader or small business owner, you have a duty of care to take reasonable steps to prevent your customers, clients, suppliers,  and the general public suffering an injury or property  damage as a result of your business activities.

Public Liability insurance is designed to cover legal fees and compensation costs if a customer, member of the public, or a supplier claims against you for injury or damage to their property as a result of your allegedly negligent business activities.. The likelihood of a claim being made against you is unpredictable and just one incident, whether you’re found liable not, could have the potential to be financially crippling to your business, as well as negatively impact your reputation.

Some professional bodies and associations require their members to hold Public Liability insurance.  In any event, it is something to carefully consider if your customers visit you or you go out and about to see them, either at their premises, in public spaces, or places owned or controlled by others. Many businesses that manufacture or sell products also take out Public Liability Insurance given that it often also includes product liability cover.

What Does Public Liability Insurance Cover?

A typical policy* will cover:

  • personal injury suffered by a third party (e.g. a customer, supplier or member of the public) due to your negligent business activities
  • damage to property owned by a third party due to your negligent business activities
  • legal and defence costs associated with a covered claim

Some common examples from which a public liability insurance claim could arise include:

  • An unsafe environment where a third party is injured, for instance, slipping or falling on wet or inconsistent flooring, an obstruction in a walkway, or inadequate lighting, or an unstable display that collapses on top of your customer
  • Damage to a third party’s personal property, for instance, a drink spilt on your client’s laptop; or accidentally knocking over and breaking an antique vase whilst you’re visiting your client at their premises
  • Accidental injury or sickness caused by you or your employees from negligence, for example, your customer suffers food poisoning from the food you have served them, or spilling hot water or liquid over your client causing burns
  • A faulty or defective product you have sold that has resulted in third party injury or property damage
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How Do I Choose the Right Policy?

When considering a Public Liability insurance policy, it’s important to consider the risks your business is exposed to, as each industry and business is exposed to different types of risks

There’s no one-size-fits all policy when it comes to Public Liability insurance, with policies able to be tailored to suit your individual type of business. Comparing quotes and understanding what type of cover your business needs can help you ensure you have the appropriate policy in place. offers multiple quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers so that you can compare policies without the need to ring around or visit numerous websites. With no tricky paperwork to complete you can get immediate coverage and your policy documents are emailed to you instantly.

How Much Cover Do I Need For My Public Liability Insurance?

With  you can choose from 3 limits of liability (levels of cover): $5million, $10 million or $20 million.

Policies can be tailored to the unique needs of individual businesses. One business may require a different amount of cover compared to another.

When deciding on how much cover you should have to think about factors like:

  • Do any of your contracts require a minimum level of public liability cover?
  • Has your industry body set a minimum level of public liability cover for membership?
  • Does your business or trade licence require a minimum amount of public liability cover?
  • What kind of accidents could occur due to your business operations and what could be the potential cost of a claim?

*As with any insurance, cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in your policy document.  The information contained on this webpage is general only and should not be relied upon as advice

Public Liability Australia is a business name of BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975; AFSL 501769)

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