Business Insurance Guide for the Self-Employed – Part 1

There is nothing like being your boss. The freedom, the opportunity to pursue your passion and being in control of your career pathIt also comes with the responsibility of managing your finances, marketing and other key plans for success. Any solid business plan should have a focus on risk management strategies and protection for your business for the long haul.  

From candle-makers to accountants, there are a variety of business insurance solutions that cater specifically to your profession. We’ve put together a jargon-free series to help with understanding some of the main types of business insurances on the market. Starting with Public Liability insurance. 

What is Public Liability Insurance? 

Public Liability insuranceprovides protection* for  you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or a member of the public are injured or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities.   

Public Liability is one of the fundamental types of business insurance that can be relevant to  pretty much every profession or industry. If you interact with third-parties, members of the public or suppliers in any capacity, then Public Liability is worth considering. 

Typically a Public Liability insurance policy will also include Product Liability insurance cover*, but you should check your policy wording/product disclosure statement or contact your insurance provider for details. 

Cover for Product Liability protects your businesses against claims by third parties relating to property damage or personal injury caused by your products.  

What does Public Liability Insurance typically cover*? 

Compensation for: 

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

**Many public liability policies also provide cover for product liability. 

What is not typically covered*? 

  • Injuries to your employees 
  • Damage to your own property 
  • Costs of rectifying faulty workmanship 
  • Professional negligence 
  • Contractual liability 
  • Events occurring before or after the policy period 

Why do self-employed workers need to consider Public Liability insurance? 

Here are a few examples of when a self-employed worker may require Public Liability insurance. 

  • Home-based officeThe risk of a client accidentally injuring themselves on your property is a reality and one that could be very costly. Public Liability insurance protects your business, even if it is a home-based operation. 
  • Market stall-holders A minimum level of Public Liability insurance is often required when having a stall at a market. Iyou are selling products you have made at your stall, make sure that your Public Liability insurance policy includes coverage for Product Liability. 
  • Mobile business– Public Liability insurance protects your business anywhere in Australia. If accidental damage were to occur to a client’s property or an accidental injury to a third-party while delivering your services, you can relax knowing your business is protected. 

A hypothetical example of a Public Liability claim  

Assume that the insured was a personal trainer who provides training services as a sub-contractor at a gym. A client attending an exercise class held by the trainer, sustains severe injuries to her knee as a result of tripping over some barbells the trainer left on the floor right behind her. The client claims against both the trainer (the insured) and the owner of the gym for damages.  

The client could receive a substantial settlement sum based on non-economic loss, out-of-pocket expenses, future medical treatments, past economic loss due to needing time off work for treatment, future economic loss and need for domestic assistance. In addition, the legal costs that would be incurred to defend the insured if the matter became litigated could exceed $25,000. 

If you need to sort out your business insurance or find out more, get in touch with the friendly BizCover team to experience insurance made easy. Receive multiple quotes from some of Australia’s leading insurers in the click of a button, hassle-free. 

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

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