How much does Public Liability Insurance* cost For Restaurants and Cafes?

A public liability claim is every restaurant or café owner’s worst nightmare. The high risk of injury and illnesses occurring makes Public Liability insurance an important form of cover for any business operating within the hospitality industry. But just how much does it cost?

It comes down to a number of key factors, including:

  • The type and nature of your hospitality business: for example is it licenced? does it provide take-away food? is food cooked using a deep fryer or wok?
  • Your business turnover and size
  • The amount of insurance cover you require

For example, we analysed our NSW BizCover policies sold during the 2016-2017 financial year to obtain some average figures around the cost of Public Liability insurance for restaurant and café businesses.

We know, sometimes you just want a quick idea of how much your insurance is actually going to cost. However, it’s important to note that the data included within this article was sourced in July 2018 and is intended as a guide only. It may not reflect pricing for your particular business as individual underwriting criteria will apply. Get a hassle-free quote for your business here.

What is the average premium for Public Liability insurance?

On average, in 2016/17 restaurant and cafe owners in NSW could expect to pay a premium of around $75 per month^ for Public Liability insurance
Below is the full breakdown:


^Data based on NSW BizCover customers

How does revenue affect the premium?

One method insurers use to determine the size of the risk associated with your business the amount of revenue your business turns over each year. A higher turnover provides an indication that you are operating a busy restaurant or café, potentially serving hundreds of customers hot food and beverages each day, which can present a higher risk than a less bustling venture.

A café in NSW turning over up to $100,000 could in 2016/17 expect to pay around $70 (or less) in premium per month for Public Liability insurance However if your turnover increased to $500,000 per year the premium increased to around $100 per month.^

Below is the full breakdown:


^Data based on NSW BizCover customers

Does the size of my business affect the premium?

When asking how much Public Liability insurance costs for a restaurant or café, you’ll need to factor in the number of people you employ, with more employees indicating a larger business and a higher risk involved. Employees can make mistakes at work leading to third party personal injury or property damage.

Looking at NSW BizCover customers in 2016/17, a sole retail trader could expect to pay around $68 per month for Public Liability insurance, however, employing five people will increase the premium to around $96 per month.^

The below graph shows the full breakdown:


^Data based on NSW BizCover customers

*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.

Does the level of cover affect the premium?

Generally, yes.  But the cost of Public Liability insurance does not increase at the same rate as the level of cover. For example, in 2016/17 in NSW, taking out $20 million worth of Public Liability cover would cost around $79 per month. However, reducing the level of cover by half, to $10 million, only reduced the premium by about $7 per month.

The amount of cover that businesses in the hospitality industry select is usually influenced by a number of things, such as the type of risks your business is exposed to, the size of the business, as well as any requirements set by the commercial lease agreement for the premises.

Average monthly cost of Public Liability Insurance by level of cover

Coverage level Average monthly premium
$5 Million $61.73
$10 Million $72.10
$20 Million $78.92

*Data based on NSW BizCover customers