What does Public Liability Insurance cover?

By Polina Kesov    August 27, 2019

Public liability insurance covers the expenses of legal and compensation claims made against you or your business by third parties. ‘Third parties’ generally means a member of the public or a customer, and does not include people who are part of your business. Public liability insurance can cover:

  • Damage to third party property
  • Injury or death to a third party
  • Financial loss due to negligence

Public liability is one of the most important but often least appreciated insurance types for businesses. Many don’t realise how important it is until it’s too late. This is because having public liability insurance is often a requirement for businesses to operate, so people can first see it as just ticking a box before they realise the true value and importance. Public liability insurance covers many different scenarios and can make the difference between a small business being able to stay afloat instead of being bankrupt in the case of an incident.

Who needs public liability insurance?

Any individual or business who deals with members of the public needs public liability insurance if they want to protect themselves from the cost of claims brought against them by third parties.

Recent Public Liability Insurance clients at ii-A range from tradies, cleaners, shop owners and business consultants.

Do I need an insurance broker for public liability insurance?

Insurance Brokers are more than just a channel for purchasing insurance. Most Insurance Brokers include advice and support before and after claims. That means they look at specific industry requirements, and help in the case of a claim. At ii-A, our clients are given end to end help from a dedicated broker. In the event of a claim you should never admit liability and always notify ii-A straight away of any claims so we may notify the claim to your insurer and facilitate the necessary assistance.

There are many types of public liability insurance, and there isn’t a one-size-fits-all policy. An insurance broker can help you navigate through exactly which type of cover you need. The aim at ii-A is to make the whole process as easy as possible for the customer so you get the appropriate insurance quickly and easily.

Examples of real public liability cases

Below are some real life examples from ii-A client claims, where the clients were extremely glad to have public liability insurance cover.


One case was from a cleaning company, where a cleaner had a regular client whose property they cleaned. They thought everything was fine, and as part of the job the cleaner took ‘before and after’ photos to show the boss. Then one day the cleaning company were contacted and told an $18,000 stone bench-top had been destroyed due to chemicals the cleaner had used. The case went to a small claims court, and the cleaning company was billed for $18,000. Luckily they had public liability insurance. ii-A assisted the client with the claim to facilitate a prompt claim settlement from the insurer. All the client (the cleaning company) had to pay was $500 excess for the insurance claim.

Homewares Shop

Another case was at a Homewares Shop, where a shop customer claimed she broke her leg in the shop. No evidence was found on CCTV and the shop customer commenced legal proceedings against the shop owner which lasted 9 months. It was very difficult to prove the injury had happened in the shop. In the end the insurer was able to resolve the claim covering the shop owners legal costs.

Water pressure cleaning company

A window cleaning company used a high-pressure water cleaner on some old windows, which shattered. The cost to replace the windows was several thousands of dollars and the property owner brought a claim against the window cleaning company for the replacement of the windows. As liability was clear ii-A was able to facilitate the insurer to provide prompt settlement. Both the window cleaning company and the property owner were grateful for the ease in finalising the claim. In cases like this, often the third party sees the value of public liability insurance and ensures they get insured too.

Do I need public liability insurance cover?

Any individual or business who deals with members of the public needs public liability insurance if they want to protect themselves from the cost of claims brought against them by third parties. For an informal chat about your insurance needs, and whether public liability insurance is right for you, contact me Polina Kesov.


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 suitable 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.

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