How much does Public Liability Insurance* cost For Tradesmen?

There aren’t many tradies who like paying for Public Liability (PL) insurance, but deep down you know it’s the smart thing to do. It protects you financially if you hurt another person or damage their property on the job, by saving you from forking out shed-loads of money in legal costs and compensation.

If someone kicks up a stink, it’s your best defence. But just how much does it cost?

Well, it all comes down to a number of key factors, including:

  • The type and nature of your business, for example, gas fitters usually pay more than other types of trades for obvious reasons.
  • Business turnover and size
  • The amount of insurance cover required

Other factors that may play a part in determining the cost of your Public Liability policy are the location your business; what is included and excluded in your policy; and the insurance provider you choose.

However, the most accurate way to find out the cost for your business is to simply get an instant online quote.

We’ve conducted some research into the cost of Public Liability insurance for tradies by analysing data from BizCover policies sold during the 2021/22 financial year. Our sample includes more than 18000 policy holders in NSW, which have 10 or fewer employees.

These occupations include:

  • Handyman excluding gas, plumbing and electrical works
  • Carpenter/Carpentry Services
  • Electrician/Electrical Services
  • Painter/Decorator
  • Carpentry Work On Construction Projects
  • Garden And Lawn Maintenance
  • Plumber/Plumbing Services
  • Concretor/Concreting Service
  • Builder – House Construction Alteration Or Renovation
  • Tiler / Tiling Contractor
  • Automotive Servicing – General Mechanical Repairs
  • Electrical Equipment Repairs – Domestic
  • Bricklaying
  • Landscape Construction
  • Lawn Mowing Service
  • Fencing Contractor
  • Earthmoving Contracting
  • Labouring – Contract Plastering and Ceiling Services
  • Plasterer
  • Commercial Air Conditioner Installation and Repair
*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.

What is the average premium for Public Liability insurance?

On average, tradies can expect to pay around $60 per month for Public Liability insurance.

Here’s a full breakdown:

*Data based on NSW BizCover customers

Does the number of people I employ affect the premium?

After looking at the nature of your trade, one important factor that insurers use to determine the cost of your Public Liability insurance is the number of employees your business has. The more employees you have, the riskier your insurer perceives you to be, hence you’ll likely pay a higher premium.

Looking at our data, around 70% of tradesmen insured through BizCover are sole traders and are paying around $50 per month for their PL premium. However, if you have 4 employees, the premium increases to around $119 per month.

*Data based on NSW BizCover customers

How does revenue affect the premium?

Another way insurers price the cost of Public Liability insurance is by looking at the amount of revenue you turnover, as this is another indication that you operate a larger scale business, either working on a higher number of jobs, or jobs of higher value. And the more work you do, the more likelihood of an incident occurring.

A trade business turning over up to $100,000 can expect to pay around $50 or less per month for Public Liability insurance. However, increase the turnover to $250,000 or more, and the premium increases to >$133 per month.

*Data based on NSW BizCover customers

Does the level of cover affect the premium?

It’s fair to say that the more of something you buy, the more it will generally cost. Fortunately, increasing the cost of your Public Liability insurance, however, won’t increase the premium by too much.

The most popular level of Public Liability cover taken out by BizCover tradesmen customers is $10 million, with an average monthly premium of $55. Yet, if you double your cover to $20 million the premium only rises to around $84 per month on average.

Deciding what level of cover to take out can be influenced by a number of things like:

  • the type of risks your business is exposed to
  • any work contracts you take on
  • industry-based requirements, for example, most states make it mandatory for those with an electrical contractor’s licence to hold a minimum amount of Public Liability insurance.

Average monthly cost of Public Liability Insurance by level of cover

Coverage level Average monthly premium
$5 Million $44
$10 Million $55
$20 Million $84

*Data based on NSW BizCover customers

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