Public Liability InsuranceThe meaty info
Public Liability insurance protects you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage to property. Small business owners have a responsibility to the safety of their customers, employees, suppliers and the community; as well as third party property. If you are found to be negligent the financial repercussions can be devastating, just the cost of defending yourself could put you out of business. With the right Public Liability cover, the insurance company will provide the funds to cover your legal costs and any compensation claims, leaving your business free of financial risk. Phew!
Most public liability policies also extend to product liability. If you sell, supply or deliver goods, even in the form of repair or service, you may need cover for claims against you where goods have caused injury, death or damage. Product Liability insurance covers you if any of these events happen to another business or person by the failure of your product or the product you are selling.
Even the most careful businesses run the risk of injuring someone or damaging something during the course of operations. And you don’t want to be left with empty pockets (and some) because you tried to save a bit of cash and not buy the right Public Liability insurance.
If the risk to your businesses is such that you would go out of businesses should you experience a public liability claim, then you need the insurance. It’s as simple as that.
And if you are doing business with another business, make sure they have public liability insurance too so all’s well that ends well should an accident or injury occur from their negligence.
A public liability claim could result from:
- An unsafe environment where a third party was injured
- Damage to a third party’s personal property
- Injury caused by you or one of your employees from your negligence
- A faulty or defective product
Do I really
need Public Liability Insurance?
The short answer. Yes. The long answer. Absolutely yes. If you or your employees interact with other people while doing business in any way or form then you need it. For example:
- Consultants/Contractors/ Tradespeople who work from home or visit their clients’ premises
- Businesses that have an office, showroom, shop or any premises
- ALL business that have interaction with customers or the public should have Public Liability insurance
happen to your business?
Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Like the happy pub goer falling through an open cellar door which resulted in lots of ‘whining’! Whatever line of business you are in, you need to make sure you are covered for all types of unforseen events.
Here are a couple claims examples:
The haphazard apprentice:
An Apprentice failed to correctly dispose of cleaning chemicals they were using on site, and the chemicals subsequently leaked into the waterways contaminating a neighbouring property. The company was fined $40,000 under the Environmental Protection Act for causing pollutants to escape.
What a tosser:
A hotel owner was fined $12,000 for dumping garbage in the vacant lot next door causing environmental harm. The hotel had been using this site for the last 12 years, like other businesses in the area, and completely unaware that it was illegal.