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Public Liability Insurance for Contractors

Subcontractors are perhaps the most important users of Public Liability insurance in Australia.

As a subcontractor you are usually responsible for the consequences of your own actions on site, and in most cases you will more than likely not be covered by the insurance of the company or Contractor that hired you.

Public liability insurance is important for all types of contractors and subcontractors, the most common of which is tradespeople.

Why Do Subcontractors Need Insurance?

If you work as a subcontractor you are in effect, running your own small business. Even though you may be at the instruction of a hiring Contractor or a company by whom you have been contracted, you are still responsible for your own actions while completing the work.

If you inadvertently cause property damage or personal injury to other people as a result of your business activities, you are responsible for the financial consequences yourself.

In Australia, the company hiring your services will not cover the costs of such a claim, so it is important for any subcontractor to have their own public liability policy. Every Public liability policy is a little different from the others so it is also important that your line of work and the specifics of your business be included in that cover.

Failing to have the right insurance in place could see you lose your assets in the event of a claim. As Brokers we are beside you every step of the way from placing the cover for you until the end of any claim or dispute. For us its personal and we represent client like its our business we are protecting!

Do I Need Insurance?

Almost all subcontractors require Public Liability as part of their insurance cover. For some, public liability insurance is mandatory in order to enter certain worksites, and for others it is essential to obtain a contractor’s licence.

Subcontractors in the building and construction and mining industries work on sites that are relatively hazardous. It is essential to have public liability insurance in order to protect yourself from the costs of things going wrong.

While Public Liability insurance covers you for property damage and injury to other people, it’s important to remember that it doesn’t cover you for injury or damage to your property.  Nor does it cover the advice you give for a fee please discuss this with your Broker for more advice.

As a Subcontractor its risky to leave the protection of your assets in the hands of a third party. We highly recommend you have your own policy that you know is insured correctly and that has been paid and is current.

Companies Using Subcontractors should be aware

If you are a company that hires subcontractors, you need to make sure that they all have their own Public Liability cover in place. In almost all instances your Public Liability insurance will not cover your subcontractors.

This doesn’t mean you are fully protected if something goes wrong and your subcontractor is at fault. In some instances, it may that both you and your subcontractor are liable for a damage or personal injury claim. “Shared responsibility” can be found and sometimes the costs will be shared by both your policies.

It is also very important that you disclose the use of sub-contractors as that is an underwriting disclosure question and could impact the cover you are offered by the insurer.

We also recommend you request a current Certificate of Currency form every contractor you use to ensure they have current insurance in place should an event happen that results in a claim involving all parties.

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. 

If you are a company that hires subcontractors, you need to make sure that they all have their own Public Liability cover in place. In almost all instances your Public Liability insurance will not cover your subcontractors.

This doesn’t mean you are fully protected if something goes wrong and your subcontractor is at fault. In some instances, it may that both you and your subcontractor are liable for a damage or personal injury claim. “Shared responsibility” can be found and sometimes the costs will be shared by both your policies.

It is also very important that you disclose the use of sub-contractors as that is an underwriting disclosure question and could impact the cover you are offered by the insurer.

We also recommend you request a current Certificate of Currency form every contractor you use to ensure they have current insurance in place should an event happen that results in a claim involving all parties.

Use a Good Insurance Broker in the Hunter

If you are or you hire a subcontractor and would like to discuss getting the most comprehensive yet competitive Public liability cover for your business , specialists at ARMA Insurance are happy to take you through the  cover and the cost options for you.

We are across all industries and have access to all the major insurers and can present you with the most suitable options for your business and circumstances.

Insurance is like most other things in life you get what you pay for and sadly you only evert know how good your Broker and policy is when you have a claim so choose wisely.

To discuss or ask for a quote call ARMA Insurance on 02 4932 4444.
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.


Arma Insurance Brokers Hunter Valley, ABN 60 096 916 184, AFSL 233750

This article originally appeared on ARMA Insurance Hunter Valley and has been published here with permission.

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