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Public Liability Insurance In WA: Key Facts And Information
The most important part of running a business is your interactions with people. However, it’s important to remember that along with opportunity these interactions in business also carry a certain risk. Luckily public liability insurance is there to help you protect your business against the risks of your day-to-day operations.
In this article you’ll learn what you need to know about purchasing public liability in Western Australia, including who it may be suitable for and what’s generally covered.
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance is a form of insurance cover that is designed to protect your business from certain types of negligence claims which are commonly brought against business operators.
As a business you owe a duty of care to those people that come into contact with your business. These people could be customers, contractors, suppliers or any other member of the general public. If someone is injured (or even dies) or sustains property damage as a result of your company acting negligently in its day to day activities you may be required to pay damages.
Luckily, public liability insurance is there to help protect you from the financial risks associated with liability for these type of negligence claims so you can keep trading even if the worst were to happen1.
What is covered by public liability insurance?
If your business has in the course of its operation caused reasonably foreseeable harm to a third party leading them to sustain damage, public liability insurance will help you cover:
- Compensation for property damage (including loss of property)
- Compensation for death or injury – if a third party is injured or dies as a result of your business operations
- Legal costs awarded to a third party following a successful public liability claim
- Defence Costs – reasonable legal costs associated with defending a claim against your business
This is not an exhaustive list of the protection that public liability insurance can provide, and the cover you decide on should be tailored to your specific needs.
What isn’t covered by public liability insurance?
Although public liability insurance can help protect your business from negligence claims it does not cover liability in all cases. Instances where public liability insurance will not cover your business include:
- Damage to your property
- Asbestos claims
- Intentional Misconduct
- Worker’s Compensation claims or employee injury
- Punitive damages
- Known claims and circumstances
- Professional negligence claims
Again, this is not an exhaustive list of exclusions that will apply to public liability insurance, and you should check your policy to ensure you know when you’re not covered.
Do I need to have public liability insurance?
Generally, there is no specific legal requirement for a business to hold public liability insurance in Western Australia.
However, your decision whether or not to take out public liability cover should be based on your specific business needs. If your business deals with customers, contractors, suppliers, or the wider community, then public liability insurance is an excellent way to protect yourself from financial risk.
When considering public liability insurance you should also take into account any specific requirements for your industry or licensing body2. For example, trades involved in the construction sector may require public liability insurance before they can begin operating onsite3.
Who needs public liability insurance?
Hopefully what you have read so far has demonstrated the importance of public liability insurance to your risk management strategy. The scope and level of the cover you choose for your business should be determined by your specific needs.
Below is just a short list including some of the industries and business that should seriously consider public liability insurance to protect themselves from risk2:
- Building and construction sector: site preparation, land development, civil engineering
- Arts and recreation services: live performances, sporting events, gyms, casinos, zoos, national parks
- Manufacturing: food, drinks, textiles, clothing, chemicals
- Retail and wholesale trade: electrical goods, food and grocery, fuel, furniture and homewares
- Accommodation and food services: hotels, motels, restaurants, pubs, and cafes
How much does public liability insurance cost in Western Australia?
The cost of your premiums for public liability insurance will vary depending on the specific needs of your business. Typically, the size of your business, the type of work you do and the industry you are in will have the most impact on the cost of your premium.
Get covered for public liability with iSelect and BizCover
After reading this article you should have a good understanding of what public liability insurance is, how it works in Western Australia and how it can protect your business.
To find a public liability policy that’s suitable for your business, you can compare business insurance policies online with iSelect who have partnered with BizCover.
*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.
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 product sold through the website or contact centre. iSelect and BizCover do not compare all brands in the market, or all products offered by all brands. iSelect does not arrange products from the brands we compare for you directly, but iSelect will refer you to our trusted partner, Bizcover Pty Ltd who can.
Any advice provided in this article or on iSelect’s 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 product. You need to consider if the insurance product is suitable for you. Please read the Financial Services Guide before buying any insurance policy.