Public Liability Insurance in Victoria

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Updated 27/04/2022

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Updated 27/04/2022

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What is Public Liability insurance?
What can it cover in Victoria?
Who might find it relevant?
Is it mandatory for some professions?
How much does it cost in Victoria?
Where can I compare a range of policies?

Businesses in Victoria have a duty of care to their customers and the general public. This means they need to take reasonable steps to ensure these people are not exposed to risks or hazards.

However, a member of the public could still get injured or have their property damaged while you’re carrying out your business activities.

In such cases, they might take legal action against you for the damages they’ve suffered – even when you’ve taken the right measures to prevent this.

And in these cases, Public Liability insurance may help cover associated costs.

What is Public Liability insurance?

Public Liability insurance is designed to provide protection for you and your business in the event a customer, supplier or a member of the public are injured or sustain property damage as a result of your negligent business activities. 

Such protection comes in the form of a cover amount – funds that can be used to help you respond to the incident.

What can it cover in Victoria?

When making a claim on your Public Liability Insurance, there are a number of costs it may be able to help cover:

  • Damages resulting from injury, disease or death.
  • Damages resulting from mental injury or anguish.
  • Damages resulting from property loss or destruction.
  • The legal costs that arise from the defence and settlement of the claim.
  • Cover for employees who were involved in the incident and are against whom a claim is made.

However, the specific costs covered by the insurer’s policy also depend on its terms and conditions. So it’s important to review the policy and make sure it meets your needs before committing to anything.

Who might find it relevant?

As noted by the Business Victoria website, Public Liability Insurance can be useful for any business that deals with any third parties such as customers or suppliers on a face-to–face basis. So they recommend considering the cover if:

  • Customers or the general public visit your home or business
  • You visit your customers’ premises as part of your work

This means a number of different businesses might find Public Liability insurance suitable. Including, but not limited to:

  • Restaurants and cafes
  • Beauty salons and hairdressers
  • Hotels and motels
  • Pharmacies
  • Financial services
  • Accounting firms
  • Marketing agencies
  • Health services and chiropractors
  • Tradespeople, including electricians, carpenters, plumbers, builders, painters, cleaners, and gardeners

Retail and wholesale sellers might also consider Public Liability insurance as they can be held liable for any damage caused to people or their property whilst on the job.

Is it mandatory for some professions?

For example, within Victoria, plumbers are required to have Public Liability insurance that covers them for at least $5 million as well as additional coverage required for defects liability, trade practices liability and completed work liability. This is a legal requirement set out as part of the Licensed Plumbers General Insurance Order 2002.

For other occupations, it may not be a legal requirement. However, some organisations will make this a condition of employment.

For instance, school councils in Victoria require that the contactors they hire to hold Public Liability Insurance. And other employers may also require contractors to hold this protection before hiring them.

How much does it cost in Victoria?

Public Liability insurance is paid on a regular basis. These recurring payments – otherwise known as “premiums” – are influenced by a variety of factors, which can include:

  • The cover amount

A higher cover amount will generally translate to higher premiums.

  • Your business turnover

A business that takes in more revenue could incur higher premiums. This is because a higher revenue often signifies a business taking on more work, which it means there could be more opportunities for accidents to happen.

  • The number of employees

A business that hires more employees could also see its premiums rise. This is because any one of those people could cause an accident heightening the risk.

  • The business industry and type

Some businesses and occupations incur greater risks than others, which can also impact the premium. For instance, insurers could regard accounting firms as less dangerous than a busy restaurant or building site.

  • Your claims history

A history of past insurance claims could signify a business prone to hazards and accidents, resulting in higher premiums.

  • Your business location

Businesses located in Victoria could pay stamp duty as part of their insurance premium. However, if you have multiple offices in Australia, the cost of this stamp duty could be determined by the location of your head office.

Of course, the cost of your premiums can also depend on the insurer. So you might also wish to compare different policies to find one for your needs and budget.

Where can I compare a range of policies?

Fortunately, iSelect has partnered with BizCover to help you compare business insurance policies with a range of insurers*. You can click here to get started today!

Get started on comparing business insurance today!

We’ve partnered with BizCover to help you compare from a range of business insurance policies.*

^As with any insurance, cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in your policy document. The information contained on this webpage is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

*iSelect’s partnered with BizCover Pty Ltd (ABN 68 127 707 975: AFSL No.501769) to help you compare small business insurance policies. iSelect earns a commission from BizCover for every policy sold through the website or contact centre. iSelect and BizCover do not compare all providers in the market, or all policies offered by all providers. iSelect does not arrange policies from the providers we compare for you directly, but iSelect will refer you to our trusted partner, BizCover Pty Ltd who can.

Any advice provided on this website is of a general nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You need to consider the appropriateness of any information or general advice iSelect gives you, having regard to your personal situation, before acting on iSelect’s advice or purchasing any policy. You need to consider if the insurance policy is suitable for you. Please read the Financial Services Guide before buying any insurance policy.