Business Insurance For Sole Traders

If you’re a sole trader, you may need some form of sole trader insurance. This article will help you understand If sole trader insurance could be of benefit to you, and what type you may find suitable for your business.
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Public Liability Insurance for sole traders

Sole Trader Public Liability Insurance* is compulsory for certain Australian businesses. It helps cover legal fees and compensation costs, should a member of the public, or a supplier, sue for injury to them, or damage to their property resulting from alleged negligent business activity.

What does Public Liability Insurance typically cover?

As with all insurance, Sole Trader Public Liability Insurance cover varies between providers, so you’ll have to check your own policy to find out exactly what you’re insured for.

As described above, Public Liability Insurance can help cover you if your business is deemed to be negligent in a case where a member of the public, or a supplier, is injured, or suffers damage to their property, as a result of that negligence. It will help cover the costs of compensation awarded as well as other costs (depending on your specific policy). Such costs may include:

  • Legal costs which you or your business incurs during the claim process.
  • Compensation required to be paid for loss or damage to other people’s property.
  • Compensation payable if someone is accidently injured as a result of your negligent business activities, resulting in first aid costs or loss of income compensation.

What does Public Liability Insurance typically not cover?

Again, this varies between providers, so you’ll have to check your specific Sole Trader Public Liability Insurance policy to see what it includes.

Generally speaking, the following things usually aren’t included:

  • Workers’ compensation: You won’t be covered for things like responsibility for injured workers.
  • Incidents involving asbestos: To get cover for this, you’ll need special asbestos liability insurance.
  • Fines or Punitive Damages: If the court decides your actions were negligent to the point of awarding further penalties, beyond mere victim compensation, Public Liability Insurance won’t cover you.
  • Gradual Pollution: This refers to environmental damage caused by leakage or damage caused by pipes or underground storage tanks. Special ‘Pollution Liability Insurance’ or ‘Environment Impairment Insurance’ usually covers this sort of damage.
  • Product Recall: If you need to recall a product, obviously there will be costs involved, but these aren’t typically covered by your Public Liability Insurance.
  • Aviation products: Sole traders dealing with aircraft will probably need to take out a specific ‘Aviation Insurance’ policy.

Public Liability Insurance is usually a very important consideration, so it’s wise to know the ins and outs. We’ve given you an outline in this article, but you can find more in-depth details, here.

Now, let’s have a look at other types of cover that may be of interest to sole traders:

Tax Audit Insurance

If your business is subjected to an audit by the Australian Tax Office, there will be costs involved. Tax Audit Insurance* helps cover you for the costs of accountants and certain other professional fees that you incur as a result of being audited.

Personal Accident and Illness Insurance

The unexpected happens in even the most professional and organised businesses. And if you’re a sole trader, that could mean being unable to run your business for a while. Personal Accident and Illness insurance* can provide you with an income during that time (depending on the policy terms), relieving the stress and pressure, while you recover enough to get back to work.

Portable Equipment Insurance

Most sole traders rely on some form of equipment to carry out their work. From tools to electronic gear or business equipment. Damage to, or loss of, this equipment can be a setback to your work. Portable Equipment Insurance* can help cover specified items and help get you up and running again. Policies vary, but a comprehensive option will generally cover you against accidental damage and events such as fire, theft, storm damage or explosion.

Find a suitable business insurance policy

It seems complicated, but at iSelect we’ve teamed up with BizCover to help make it simple. BizCover’s comparison service makes it easy to cross-check and compare business insurance policies from a range of Australia’s leading insurers. Click here to get started comparing online today.

* As with any insurance, cover is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.

Last updated: 08/09/2021