When it comes to insurance for tradies, public liability insurance is essential cover and it one of the most common forms of insurance that tradies will have in place. Liability insurance is designed to protect you financially while you’re on the job and applies to businesses of all sizes. Today, we take a closer look at public liability insurance so you can be confident that you’re getting the best cover possible.

Defining public liability insurance

Public liability insurance will protect you financially if you’re found liable for damages following a claim where your actions at work resulted in damage to property or injury to another person.  It also covers your legal bills if you’re required to hire a lawyer as part of the claims process. No matter how careful you are, the unexpected can happen and a liability claim could result from a range of scenarios such as someone tripping over cables or your machinery damaging a client’s property.

If you’re found liable following a successful claim, you could be at the receiving end of thousands of dollars’ worth of damages.  Costs that you could potentially be responsible for include medical bills, rehabilitation costs, repairs and replacements. For tradies who generally have higher risk jobs where there is an increased likelihood of something going wrong, public liability insurance is there to protect you from having to use your own money to pay damages. Remember that for many small businesses, a costly liability claim could have financially devastating consequences without the right cover in place.

How to choose the best public liability cover

There are a number of factors you need to consider to ensure that you’re getting the best public liability insurance for your specific situation. For more specific advice about the liability cover for your business, speak with your insurance broker. Some of the things you should consider when choosing your liability insurance include:

Features of the policy

Although cost needs to be a consideration with public liability, you need to also consider the features and inclusions of your policy and make sure it suits your business needs.  Most public liability insurance policies have similar basic features but where they may differ are in the extra benefits that are attached to the policy. Your insurance broker can help with looking closely at the features and benefits of the policy to make sure it is the best fit for your business. Don’t take the risk of taking out a policy and not reading it properly – you could be in for a nasty surprise if you need to claim!

Level of cover you require

One of the most important things to remember with public liability insurance is that you need to opt for the correct level of cover. In terms of choosing a level of cover, insurers will generally offer three levels of cover including $5 million, $10 million and $20 million.  The level of cover you should choose depends on factors such as the size of your business, the number of employees you have and the risks associated with your work.

Specific licencing requirements

While public liability insurance isn’t a legal obligation in Australia, for some trades there are specific licencing requirements which means you must have public liability insurance in place. For example, Queensland electricians need to take out a special form of public liability insurance which includes consumer protection cover.  Also, plumbers in New South Wales have insurance which includes a special extension for plumbers warranty cover. Make sure you’re aware of the specific requirements of your industry membership in your state or territory. 

Service of the insurer

It’s not just the policy itself that you need to consider for your public liability insurance – you also need to be confident that you’ll be getting good service from a reputable insurer. If you’re thinking of going with a certain insurer, take a closer look at the service they offer and their reputation. Are they a leading insurer? What additional services can they offer you? How responsive are they to enquiries?

Contractual obligations

In some cases, a contract with an employer will outline the public liability insurance requirements that you need to have in place. Always ensure that you read and understand the insurance-related aspects of a contract or have your insurance broker take a look. For example, there may be times where a contract specifies that level of cover you need to have in place which could mean that you need to adjust an existing policy.

Risks of your business

Most public liability insurance policies are flexible enough to fit with your business requirements. However, you need to be confident that your cover adequately protects your specific risks. Look for a public liability insurance policy which is tailored to suit the needs of tradies and check the there aren’t any exclusions which would leave you open at claim time. Consider what kinds of risks you need to have covered. For example, do you need product liability includes on your policy?

Insurance for Australian Tradies

At All Trades Cover, we are the tradie insurance experts and we use our industry knowledge to find you the best policy at a competitive price. Because we offer insurance only to tradies, the policies we have access to have specific wording that suits your needs so you know your areas of risk are covered. Our team offers friendly, efficient customer service – let us make your insurance easy!

For a public liability insurance quote, visit the All Trades Cover website today or give us a call on 1300 826 850. With All Trades Cover, you also have access to free legal advice and easy monthly payment options.

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