Liability insurance can be complex, but we make it simple.
The most common exposure that almost always requires cover
Cover if you manufacture, produce, or sell products of any type
Insure the property of others that you are responsible for
Starting and running a small to medium-size business is a challenging task. From struggling with growth to dealing with customers and staff, there is enough to be worrying about without being blindsided by a public liability lawsuit.
Most business owners simply focus on the public liability portion of these insurance policies without fully understanding the risks they are exposed to for product and contractual liability as well.
And by not planning for the right coverage levels, you could be exposing your business to unnecessary risks.
Whenever your business comes into contact with the public, there is a risk that accidental damage can be caused to a person or their property. This is the case whether you own a retail store with plenty of foot traffic, or you’re a plumber taking care of a job at a client’s home.
But even in situations where only your products come into contact with your customers, e.g., online eCommerce stores, any damage your product may cause can open you up to lengthy and costly lawsuits.
Public liability policies are designed to provide your business with the protection against the losses that can arise from fighting personal injury and/or property damage lawsuits and possibly being forced to pay out large sums of money in compensation and penalties.
Here are some real-life and very common risks that you could be exposed to.
A customer walks into your retail store and trips over something that has fallen off a shelf unnoticed. Despite there being no negligent behaviour, and this being a pure accident, any injuries the customer suffers can become your liability.
You could be forced to hire lawyers to represent you in court and pay a compensation claim decided by the court.
Use of subcontractors is very common in the construction industry, but this also exposes businesses to certain risks. If a subcontractor damages the property of your commercial or residential client and they don’t have their own public liability policy, then you can be held liable.
While you should always ensure that the subcontractors you deal with have their own insurance policies in place, there are some other precautions you can take.
A small business insurance policy for public liability can cover subcontractors, which can help protect your business if one of your contractors has not kept their own liability cover up-to-date.
A restaurant prepares meals with contaminated food, and several customers become ill. Even if the contamination is the fault of the supplier of the raw products in question, you’re exposed to serious legal battles that can quickly run into hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Your business will be the first line of defence, and it can become a very long and difficult battle to prove who the liable party is. Even if you don’t end up being held liable by a court, the legal costs alone can be crippling to any business.
This is a significant risk that many business owners completely underestimate. If a transport or shipping company hires a commercial container and this gets damaged in transport or through a storm, then your business could be liable for that damage, despite it not technically being your property.
This can also be the case if you hire that same shipping container out to another third party. Insurance policy language is very carefully formulated to cover these contractual liability situations, and it is important to review any third party contracts a client or vendor may have.
Starting with the consultation and quoting process, all the way to helping you deal with potential insurance claims, your insurance representative at Aspire Insurance Solutions have the experience and expertise to make a stressful situation more manageable.
You won’t have to worry whether you actually have the right insurance policy to provide the best level of protection, and in a claim situation, we can advise on and handle the claims process for you.
Every business has different types of risk exposure, and our team at Aspire has the experience of dealing with businesses of all sizes and in all types of industries. This has given us a unique insight and understanding of how to best tailor insurance coverage for you.
By choosing the right coverage amounts and policy wording, you can make sure that you strike the right balance between being financially protected and having a cost-effective policy in place at the same time.
Just like any other financial products on the market, the insurance sector is constantly coming up with new and improved ways to offer businesses the protection they need.
Whether this is to cover new types of claims or simply providing a better claim handling process, you should always review your existing policy at the time of renewal.
There is, of course, also a financial interest in doing this as the prices of different insurance providers are in constant competition for your business.
At Aspire Insurance Solutions, you will receive a full annual review of your cover to provide you with the best possible renewal quotes.
If you’ve searched for public liability insurance quotes, then you’ve probably found plenty of online calculators that allow you to buy directly on the website. While this can reduce the price of a policy, it can pose a risk if you don’t fully understand the policy wording.
At Aspire, you will be dealing directly with a specialist insurance representative who will fully advise you on what level and types of coverages you need to fully protect your business from financial risks.
For a completely free assessment of your potential risk and a quote to provide optimum cover for those risks, call us today on 1300 886 781. We can take care of the entire process to make sure you can focus on running your business.
Public Liability exposure is almost unavoidable, whether you own a retail store or café with plenty of foot traffic, or you’re a plumber working at a client’s home or a construction site.
Whenever your business comes into contact with others, there is a risk that of damage to a person and/or their property. This extends beyond just members of the public to anybody outside your business, such as workers from another company, or even a business that you have contracted to perform certain tasks.
Products Liability is relevant to a huge range of industries. From restaurants, cafés and any business that sells food, to mechanics selling & fitting parts, or a retail store that sells anything from clothes to electronics.
If you have the added responsibility of selling products as part of your business, damage to a person and/or their property can result from these products. This is particularly important if you manufacture the product, or import it directly from overseas, but still relevant if all products are sourced from Australian suppliers.
The exposure to each form of liability depends on the nature of the business. For example, an office place may only be exposed to public liability, an online store may only be exposed to products liability, and a restaurant will be exposed to both. The resulting exposure largely dictates which liability can be claimed against and, as such, the resulting cost of the premium.
Public Liability resulting in personal injury – Retail Store
A customer walks into a store and trips over something that has fallen off a shelf, or slips on a wet floor. Depending on the circumstances, any injuries the customer suffers can become damages payable at the store owner’s expense.
Public Liability resulting property damage – Tradesperson
An electrician is working at a client’s home and leaves some roof tiles ajar while working in the ceiling. Heavy rainfall causes significant water damage to the client’s home, resulting in major repairs at the fault and cost of the electrician.
Products Liability resulting in personal injury – Restaurant
A restaurant prepares meals with contaminated food, and several customers become ill. Even if the contamination is the fault of the supplier of the raw products in question, the restaurant owner can easily be deemed negligent for serving it and can be brought into a claim for the resulting damages.
Products Liability resulting in property damage – Manufacturer
A business assembles structural components for residential buildings and supplies them to builders. A faulty product results in a major failure and damage to the surrounding structure, which is traced back to the manufacturer of that product, rather than the installation by the builder.
Limits of Cover
Liability policies are designed to provide your business with protection against the losses that can arise from fighting personal injury and/or property damage proceedings, and the potential of paying out large sums of money in compensation and penalties.
Contractors, Subcontractors & Labour Hire
The use of this personnel is very common in the trade industry, but this also exposes businesses to additional risks. If one of these parties is found liable for personal injury or property damage and they don’t have their own valid & effective policy in place, the contracting party can be held liable. While businesses who contract work should always ensure that their contractors have their own insurance policies in place, there are some other precautions that can be taken. A small business insurance policy that insures liability may be able to offer extensions to help protect your business if one of your contractors has not kept their own liability cover up to date.
This is an important distinction that clients have been consistently caught out on. If you perform a task that needs to be re-done for any reason, most liability policies will not offer any coverage for the cost to your business to undertake this work. This can be a damaging and costly exercise when considering both labour and materials.
Product Recall Expenses
When a batch of products is faulty, inadequate, or potentially damaging, the disruption and resulting cost to your business can be severe. This is another specific circumstance that most liability policies will exclude, but if this is something that could harm your business.