We’ve all heard those stories about people suing companies for damages because they dropped a hot coffee in their lap and have second degree burns, going after a local council because they tripped over on a footpath and broke their hip, trying to squeeze funds out of a betting company because they made losing money gambling too easy…
While it might seem silly and confined to big businesses and government bodies, we can assure you that these incidents are not just isolated outliers – they’re just the ones that you hear about. What you don’t hear about is the business who hasn’t lit a corridor correctly and a client takes a tumble down the stairs. The office junior that accidentally gets printer ink all over a customer’s very expensive new designer handbag.
Public liability insurance gives you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered for these sort of events occurring, and that you won’t how to fork out funds from the company kitty.
Your duty of care
As a business you are liable to provide a duty of care to your customers, and the general public alike. If either of these categories of parties is injured, incurs any property damage, or suffers financial loss as a result of your negligence (or your employees), you leave yourself open to public liability claims against your business.
Whether the damages are just a lazy couple of hundred dollars, or if they end up running into the millions, protecting your business with public liability insurance is crucial to ensure you’re not out of pocket.
Because each business is different, we can help find the ideal level of coverage for your unique situation.
What does public liability insurance cover?
Public liability insurance will cover all claims against your business (except those covered in the next section) which have resulted in injury or damages to a client or member of the public.
Your insurance will cover:
- Your legal costs
- The plaintiff’s legal costs
- Any damages awarded to the plaintiff
Usually, public liability cases will be settled before a court appearance is necessary. In most cases, if it is clear that your business was liable, the process will be smooth and financial restitution offered early.
What doesn’t public liability cover?
Your public liability will not cover your business in the case that it involves:
- Any form of illegal activity
- An event where there was a deliberate attempt to cause harm or damage
- Injury or damage to you or your staff
There are also separate policies that are needed to cover the following cases:
- Claims arising from injury or damage to directors and employees. This is covered under business insurance.
- Claims arising from incorrect advice or services provided by your business. This is covered under professional indemnity insurance.
Depending on your policy, it may or may not cover injury or damages to subcontractors working for your business. If you would like to add this item of insurance, then make sure to request it with us.
Do I need public liability insurance?
It is generally accepted practice that any business that has clients or the public onsite, or is involved with clients or the public in any face to face activities needs to have a public liability insurance policy. While there are some businesses where this type of policy may be unnecessary – for instance if you perhaps ran a remote server farm facility – the vast majority of business should consider this type of policy an essential as a part of their complete business insurance package.
For some industries or business types it is essential to take out public liability insurance. For example, an electrician company will be required to hold public liability insurance.
There are certain industries where you will need a more heavily tailored approach to your public liability insurance. For instance, media and entertainment, real estate, health, and construction. Have a chat to us about your options and what you need to cover for your particular industry.
At DGA, we pride ourselves on helping our clients to find the most appropriate business insurance policies at the best prices. We have been brokering public liability insurance for many years, earning us an esteemed reputation within the Australian market. We’re always around to answer any questions that you may have regarding your insurance policy, or if you have any concerns about potential claims arising.
We understand the ins and outs of the convoluted law field that involves public liability, all so that you and your team can quickly get back to what you do best. In the event of a claim being made against you, we ensure that the process runs smoothly and stress free.
Call us on (03) 8636 9000 to start the conversation about your public liability insurance needs. We’re ready and waiting to help streamline your insurance requirements.
What are some examples of public liability insurance claims?
You run a venue that caters to conference bookings in the city. While a professional IT services company are holding a week long conference in your venue, one of your overhead projectors falls from the roof. Luckily, no one is hurt, however the incident causes several thousand dollars worth of damages to a set of laptops that just so happened to be sitting underneath. The IT services company makes a claim against you for damages to their equipment as a direct effect of the projector falling on them.
You own a retail shop and, during the course of their work, one of your staff has spilt clear detergent on your floor which has made it all slippery. Instead of immediately putting items around the hazard so that people will avoid it, he goes out the back to try and hunt down some implements to clean it up, and gets distracted chatting to another co-worker. A woman shopper comes along, and not seeing the detergent slips over heavily and breaks her leg. She then makes a claim against you for damages incurred by her injury.