When you’re working as a contractor, you need to make sure you’re protected with the right insurance. Without the correct cover, it could have serious financial implications for you and your business. Public liability insurance is one of the most widely used forms of insurance for contractors and it offers ongoing financial peace of mind. Let’s take a look at what you’re covered for with your public liability insurance.
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance offers financial protection if you cause damage to property or injury to a person as the result of your actions at work. It can also help with legal bills if you need to hire a lawyer as part of the claims process. Public liability insurance helps protect you against the unexpected – all it takes is for someone to trip over in your office or for a third party’s property to be inadvertently damaged for you to find yourself on the receiving end of a claim.
Although public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement in Australia, there are a number of contractors, particularly those in trades, who will require liability cover as part of their licencing requirements. In a lot of cases, employers will also require contractors to have liability cover in place and you won’t be able to enter a lot of worksites without it. More importantly, public liability insurance provides ongoing peace of mind that you’ll be covered financially when things go wrong. Given that a claim could cost you thousands, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars, it’s easy to see why you need to have liability insurance in place.
What does public liability insurance cover?
Damage to property – public liability insurance will cover damage or loss of a third party’s property. This could include incidents such as breaking an item in a client’s home while you’re carrying out other work. Your liability insurance will covers costs such as repairs or replacements.
Injury to a person – if a third party is injured due to your actions at work, your public liability insurance will cover the costs associates with this including medical bills and rehabilitation costs. This could include injury that occurs in your workplace or while you’re at a different worksite.
Legal costs – in many cases, contractors need to hire a lawyer when faced with a liability claim. Even if the liability claim itself isn’t successful, you could still be facing expensive legal bills which can also have a financial impact on you. Liability will cover the costs of legal bills associated with the claims process.
People acting on your behalf – your liability insurance doesn’t just cover your own actions at work. It also provides cover employees who are acting on behalf of your business. This is why you need to let your insurer know if you take on new employees as they will also need to be covered under your policy.
It’s important to remember that public liability insurance policies will differ so you need to familiarise yourself with the specific exclusions and inclusions so you can be confident that you’re getting the right level of cover.
What doesn’t public liability insurance cover?
Although your public liability insurance provides excellent cover when things go wrong, there are certain scenarios that your liability insurance won’t cover. The main ones include:
Injury to employees – while your public liability insurance extends to third parties, it won’t extend to either yourself or your employees. If your employees are injured at work, this will be covered under workers compensation insurance.
Business property – your liability insurance won’t cover damage caused to property under the control of your business. This includes the property of your employees – they’ll need to arrange their own cover related to their vehicles and tools.
Additional costs – if a liability claim is successful, your liability insurance will cover most of the costs associated with a claim. However, your insurance won’t cover additional costs such as punitive damages, taxes and fines.
Illegal or deliberate behaviour – we all know that accidents can happen which is why you have public liability insurance in place. However, your liability insurance won’t cover you if your actions or the actions of your employees are found to be illegal or deliberate.
There are also additional exclusions which generally apply to public liability insurance cover, including:
How much does public liability insurance cost?
Well, it depends. The cost of your public liability insurance will depend on a number of factors including the type of work you do, the size of your business, the number of employees you have and the location of your work. The more risk exposures your business has then the higher your premiums will be. The cost of your public liability insurance will also depend on the level of cover you need – if you’re insured for a higher amount, then you’ll pay for your premiums. When you’re getting quotes, remember to take a closer look at the policy so you can be confident that you’re receiving a quality product.
Here at Contractor Cover, we provide public liability insurance Australia so you can be confident that you’re covered. Liability insurance is included in our contractor pack, which includes the most common forms of insurance used by contractors. We’ve packaged together multiple policies into one bundle to make life easier for you – you get high quality cover at a competitive price without the need to mess around with separate policies.
For a public liability insurance quote, contact Contractor Cover today on 1300 438 268. You can also get the ball rolling with a public liability insurance online quote by filling in our online enquiry form.