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Does My Small Business Need Public Liability Insurance?

As a small business owner in Australia, public liability insurance is a must to help protect yourself, your business and the public against claims. You could be liable for millions of dollars without business insurance if a  supplier, customer, or member of the general public suffer an injury or property damage due to your negligent business activities.
You can feel assured of protection with public liability insurance coverage. Our brokers at Adroit Insurance & Risk can help you choose a small business insurance package to suit your organisation.
Advantages of Public Liability Insurance 
Small business cover should include public liability insurance which is vital for any small business that interacts face-to-face with customers, suppliers and the general public. Business owners should think seriously about public liability Insurance if their small business activities include the following:
  • If you have to visit your customers’ homes or premises.
  • If members of the general public, clients or customers  (including suppliers or tradespeople) need to enter your home or business premises.
Owners of small businesses have a duty of care towards anyone entering or participating in activities in your premises, and you can be held liable if someone is injured.
Public Liability Insurance Claims 
Public liability insurance can protect your small business against claims for third party death or injury and help cover you and your business if you are liable due to negligence. For example, if your business activities cause:
  • Death or injury, such as customers becoming ill after eating your food or they’re electrocuted or injured when using one of your products. 
  • Suppose your small business or occupation provides a client with professional services and is found negligent. This advice could include guaranteeing a security system, e.g., preventing break-ins when it doesn’t, causing a loss to another business or home.
  • If your business activities cause a person nervous shock, a recognised psychiatric illness or emotional distress. 
  • If your business activities cause property damage, such as via a fire, for instance.
  • Suppose your business negligence causes another business to lose expected revenue – called consequential loss, which rarely occurs.
Do I Really Need Public Liability Insurance?
The obvious answer is yes.  If you or your employees meet face to face with customers, clients or members of the public or employees of other businesses, you should carefully consider public liability insurance. 
As an example: 

Management Liability insurance is designed to provide protection to both the business and its directors or officers for claims of wrongful acts in the management of the business.

A business insurance pack can provide cover for your business premises and contents, against loss, damage, theft or financial loss from an insured interruption to the business.

Purchase up to six products under one Business Insurance Package. 

As an example: 
  • Small businesses with an office, showroom, shop or any premises.
  • Tradespeople/Contractors/Consultants who work from home or visit their clients’ homes or premises. 
  • Any business large or small that interacts with customers or the public. 
You may also need public liability Insurance if your clients ask for it. Many customers or clients may need to confirm you hold public liability coverage before they will sign a contract. Your certificate of insurance can prove your public liability cover. 
Am I Legally Obligated to Have Public Liability Cover?
No, public liability insurance is not mandatory for businesses in Australia. However, as mentioned above, small business owners have a responsibility to provide a safe environment for their customers,  the greater community and third–party property. Without public liability insurance, the financial situation and legal costs arising from negligence claims against you or your business could be enough to end your small business dreams. 
Opt for Peace of Mind
The good news is that when you take out a public liability insurance policy,  you also get peace of mind knowing you are protected with cover for your legal and compensation costs should an unfortunate event occur.
A public liability insurance package may also include cover for public and products liability and professional liability if your business supplies, sells, delivers goods, or is a repair service. Product Liability insurance may protect your small business against third party claims relating to personal injury or property damage your products may have caused. 
Why Take Risks With Your Business Success?
Part of your business success is adequate public liability business insurance cover as an investment in your future. You’ve no doubt worked hard building your small business, so why risk going out of business due to a public liability claim? You also need public liability cover as a BtoB business should an accident or injury occur due to their negligence.  
You could face public liability claims from: 
  • Damage to a third party’s personal property 
  • A hazardous environment in which a third party was injured 
  • A defective or faulty or product 
At Adroit, we can offer you more protection with business insurance options.  With an umbrella public liability insurance package, you can opt for professional indemnity insurance and product liability. This business insurance can cover yourself as a business owner, your workers and any vehicles you operate, own, rent or lease.  Contact our team of expert insurance brokers today on 03 5221 6644 or message Adroit Geelong for peace of mind. 
General Advice Warning: This advice is general and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and your personal circumstances. Before you make any decision about whether to acquire a certain product, you should obtain and read the relevant product disclosure statement.

All information above has been provided by the author.

Adroit Insurance & Risk, ABN 75 078972 700, AFSL 244 348

This article originally appeared on Adroit Insurance & Risk Blog and has been published here with permission.

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