Public Liability Insurance In Queensland

In this article, we’ll provide you with a detailed guide on public liability insurance in Queensland, including what’s covered by public liability insurance and the types of cover available.
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Risks are an unavoidable part of life, no matter how careful you are, and the risks you face may increase if you’re in business.

If your business provides products or services and deals with customers, suppliers or the general public you may be liable for any harm caused to these third parties as a result of your business activity. Luckily public liability insurance exists to help you protect your business against the risks of your day-to-day operations.

Negligence and public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is designed to protect you and your business if a negligence claim is brought against you by a third party for personal injury or property damage they have sustained as a result of your business activities. In Queensland, you and your business will have acted negligently if1:

  1.  A duty of care was owed to the third party
  2.  That duty of care was breached by you or your business due to negligence
  3.  This breach has resulted in some property damage or injury to the third party

Luckily, public liability insurance is there to help you cover compensation that you might be required to pay in these circumstances.

What exactly does public liability insurance protect against?

Public liability insurance can help protect your business against a claim from a range of events including unforeseen injuries or death or even loss or damage to property that can occur during your everyday operations.

For instance, if you’re running a supermarket and a customer suffers an injury because of a spill on the floor, public liability insurance can cover you for1:

  • Compensation to help cover the claimant’s:
    • pain and suffering
    • medical fees and rehabilitation expenses, - loss of earnings and future loss of earnings, and - living assistance
  • Legal and defence costs

This is only one example of the type of legal risks that you may face as a business owner, and the protection that public liability insurance can provide.

Do I require public liability insurance?

public liability insurance QLD

Much like the rest of Australia, public liability insurance is generally not compulsory in Queensland. However, certain industries may require public liability insurance as part of their licensing requirements. This requirement often exists in the construction trades such as builders and electricians. In addition, some landlords may require you to have it to take out for your leased business premises.

In any event, your decision to take out public liability insurance should be based on the particular requirements of your business rather than licensing requirements alone. You should seriously consider having public liability insurance if:

  • You have interactions with customers, clients, contractors, suppliers or any other member of the public either at your place of business or at other locations
  • You conduct any sort of business where you directly interact with the general public
  • You sell products consumed or used by the general public (product liability cover is typically available under a public liability policy).

Which cover is suitable for your Queensland business?

Which cover is appropriate for your business will depend on what type of business you’re running.

Each business will have its own set of circumstances which brings its own particular exposure to risk. For instance, a business organising large public events, like a music festival, will typically require higher level of public liability cover than a small office based business, such as an accountant.

In order to choose suitable cover for your business, it’s important that you examine all the risks that you may be exposed to, and speak with an advisor about purchasing relevant cover.

Who needs public liability insurance in Queensland?

By now you should be aware that public liability insurance is a must for most businesses.

No matter the size of your business, public liability insurance should be a part of your risk management strategy. Your requirement for public liability insurance will ultimately depend on the type of business you run and how you interact with your customers and the wider public.

Below is just a short list including some of the industries and business that should seriously consider obtaining public liability insurance to protect themselves from risk2:

  • Accommodation and food services: hotels, motels, restaurants, pubs and cafes
  • Administrative and support services: employment services, cleaners, gardeners, pest control
  • Arts and recreation services: live performances, sporting events, gyms, casinos, zoos, national parks
  • Rental services: Rental, hiring and real estate services
  • Retail and wholesale trade: electrical goods, food and grocery, fuel, furniture and homewares

Compare Public Liability policies with iSelect

After reading this article you should have a good understanding of what public liability insurance is, how it works and how it can protect your Queensland business.

iSelect has partnered with BizCover to help you compare small business insurance policies online.

*Please note that all insurance is subject to the terms and conditions set out in the policy wording or Product Disclosure Statement. The information set out above is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.