Public and Products Liability

In 2014, property and business services was the sector with the highest exposure to public liability risk. It was followed by construction; retail; agriculture, forestry & fishing; personal services; and health and community services. In 2013, there were close to 32,000 public liability claims made. Of these claims, just over 9,000 were claims of bodily injury.

“Public liability insurance helps protect you and your business against the financial risk of being liable for negligence.”
Australian Government, Business.gov.au

What is Public Liability Insurance?

If an accident or unforeseeable incident causes damage or injury to someone (other than your employees), you may be found legally liable to cover the costs. Public liability insurance can help to protect your business from the financial risk of liability claims – giving you the certainty you need to trade with confidence.

What is Product Liability Insurance?

No matter how stringent your company is, mistakes can happen. For example, you may design or sell a product that causes a customer harm. Even if you’re not at fault, you could risk serious financial damage through legal and court costs if a customer decides to sue you. Product liability insurance is designed to help protect your business if you’re sued because a product you sell, assemble or supply has caused harm to a person or property.

Who should consider it?

While public and product liability insurance isn’t mandatory for most businesses, it is recommended for all companies. That’s because the unpredictable nature of accidents makes them hard to prevent - and the costs of being sued can be extraordinarily high.

What can it cover?

Public and products liability insurance helps protect your legal liability to third parties, including clients, customers and the public for injury or damage to their property, caused by your business. It can even cover emotional distress or shock that your business causes another person. It will generally pay your costs of investigating, defending and settling claims, as well as any compensation payment you are found legally liable to pay.

Depending on your policy, public and products liability insurance can cover:

  • Personal Injury - If somebody is wrongfully injured by your actions or your product, public and products liability insurance can cover you for your liability to pay damages to the claimant

  • Property Damage - If property is damaged due to your actions or your product, public and products liability insurance can cover you for your liability to pay damages to the claimant

  • Advertising Injury - Liability arising out of advertising carried out by or on behalf of the insured

What usually isn’t covered?

Exclusions, the excess you need to pay and limits of liability can vary greatly depending on your insurer. Policies generally won’t include cover for:

  • Cost of rectifying faulty workmanship

  • Damage to your own product

  • Claims by employees

  • Claims arising out of the use of a registered motor vehicle

  • Claims related to asbestos

Important note

This information is provided to assist you in understanding the terms, implications and common considerations in public and products liability insurance. It does not constitute advice, and is not complete, so please discuss the full details with your Tudor insurance broker.

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Did you know that what is actually covered can vary considerably between insurers? Often with exclusions or high excess payments that you may not be aware of. You need a broker who can assess your individual situation, offer the right insurance and explain precisely what is and isn’t covered.

It's easy to pay too much for insurance, but it's just as easy to pay too little then find out too late that you're not covered. There's a lot of flashy online insurance calculators out there but they focus only on price. Talk to Tudor and you talk to a real person who knows the what level of cover should be recommended and who will personally help you with a claim.

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