Sole Trader Business Insurance

Working as a sole trader has some great benefits, with one of the major drawcards being the simplicity of this structure.

Whilst running your business as a sole trader does have its advantages, there are some additional risks that need to be considered.

As a sole trader, you and your business are considered to be a single entity. This means that if your business is sued, your personal assets can also be on the chopping block.

Rather than potentially risking your family home and facing bankruptcy, a better idea is protect yourself with public liability insurance.

Insurance for Sole Traders

There are various forms of insurance that sole traders will either need or should at least consider.

One the most common forms of sole trader business insurance is public liability cover. This form of insurance protects business in the event of property damage or personal injury being caused to others.

Other forms of insurance for sole traders include property, glass, theft, business interruption, and for some business types professional indemnity insurance.

Here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we can help you with quotes on public liability along with a number of other forms of sole trader business insurance.

Public Liability Cost

The public liability insurance cost for a sole trader will depend on a range of factors. Two of the main factors will include the type of work you do and the size of your annual turnover.

Generally speaking, the higher risk your work is and the higher your turnover is, the more you will pay for your insurance.

Most insurance brokers and advisers will be able to assist you with a quote on your public liability and other forms of cover.

You will need to provide the broker with a range of information including your business type, your annual turnover and any information about special location you may work in such as airports, mine sites and other high risk locations.

Advice for Sole Traders

Getting your insurance right is absolutely vital for sole traders in Australia, especially considering your personal assets are on the line if things go wrong.

The best option for most sole traders is to use an insurance broker or adviser who specialises in business insurance.

A business insurance broker will be able to assess your needs and make recommendations on exactly what forms of cover you need. This may include public liability and other forms of business cover.

Your broker will not only be able to tell you what cover you need and how much you need, but they will also be able to tell you which policies will provide the most competitive premiums and value for money.

If you do not already have an insurance adviser, you can request a quote through our website and we will put in contact with an insurance broker or adviser who can assist with your business insurance needs.

Medical Public Liability Insurance

All business types face various forms of risks, but arguably the medical and allied health sectors face more risks than most.

There are numerous forms of insurance that a business in the medical sector will have to consider. Some of them are common to all business types, whilst others are unique to the medical sector.

In this guide we will be concentrating solely on public liability insurance, however our network of insurance experts can assist with all forms of insurance used in the medical sector.

What Is Public Liability Cover?

Public liability is one of the most important forms of insurance that any business can have.

The cover is designed to protect your business against financial costs that result from property damage or personal injury being suffered by another person as a result of your business activities.

A public liability policy can cover you for incidents caused by your staff as well as by your equipment and premises.

What Does It Cover?

Property damage and personal injury are the two main events covered by a public liability policy. For the medical sector, generally it is personal injury which is the more common claim.

Personal injury can be as a result of an accidental injury caused directly by a staff member, or it could be something as simple as a patient or visitor slipping on liquids or another obstruction within your premises.

Generally your business will be liable for any financial damages suffered in such an incident, but with the right public liability insurance you can rely on the insurance company to take care of things whilst you get on with the business.

How Much Do I Need?

Public liability policies are generally available in amounts of $5, $10 and $20 million. How much you need will depend on your business and its own needs and objectives.

The best way to determine how much cover you need is to speak with an insurance adviser who specialises in the medical sector, and specifically in the type of business that you run.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of public liability insurance will depend on a number of different factors.

The size of your business or practice will have a major influence on your premium. This can be looked at in terms of the number of staff and contractors (including doctors and other medical professionals) as well as the turnover of the business.

Also impacting upon the cost will be the type of work that is being conducted. For example a GP clinic may have a different premium compared to a day surgery or a dentistry practice.

Getting a Quote

Before you start looking for quotes on public liability cover for your medical practice or business, it is important to understand exactly what you need.

There are plenty of risks involved in running a business within the medical and allied health sectors. Whilst many of these risks can be managed with insurance, it is important to have the right types of insurance in place for the system to work.

The best option is to speak with an insurance adviser or broker who specialises in the medical sector. Here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we have access to such professionals and can assist with your needs.

For more information or to obtain a quote please complete our online quote or enquiry forms.

Is Public Liability Insurance Compulsory?

Most business owners agree that public liability insurance is important, but few know whether or not this form of cover is actually compulsory.

There are some business types which public liability will be compulsory for, and some that it is not compulsory for. But even for businesses that don’t have mandatory cover, it can still be a good idea to have some cover in place.

Before we look at whether or not this form of cover is compulsory for your business, it is important to run through a quick refresher. If you already know about it you can skip to the next heading.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability insurance is intended to protect businesses and their owners from the financial consequences of any property damage or personal injury that they cause to another person or entity.

For a retail business this could include compensation for a slip and fall event, or for a tradesman it could it could be a claim involving faulty workmanship.

These are just two examples of the huge range of risks which businesses face every day, and that public liability insurance can protect against.

Who Is It Compulsory For?

When looking at whether or not public liability insurance is compulsory for you, it is important to keep in mind that there are two ways in which the cover can be compulsory.

Some businesses will be required to have public liability due to government legislation, whilst other will be required to have it by other businesses which they work with.

Government Requirements

The various state governments around Australia have a range of rules and regulations in place when it comes to public liability cover.

Tradesmen are often affected by these regulations. For example electricians in Queensland and Tasmania must have at least $5 million cover, as must plumbers in Victoria.

These requirements have been written into law, and tradespeople in these states will not be able to apply for or renew their contractor’s licence without the correct cover in place.

Company Requirements

Whilst only a handful of business types have mandatory public liability insurance set by the government, many more business must have cover due to the other companies they work for or with.

If you do any work within a shopping centre for example, the centre management will in most cases require that you have public liability insurance in place. If you do not, they will not allow you to work.

There are many examples of companies which have compulsory public liability insurance requirements, and these requirements will generally be detailed in the contracts between your business and theirs.

Should It Be Compulsory For Everyone?

There is a strong argument out there that public liability insurance should be compulsory for all businesses which deal with members of the public.

The reason for this is not just because of the protection given to the business, but also to people and other entities which are affected by a business’s activities.

Unfortunately there have been cases where companies have gone bankrupt in the event of causing someone else property damage or personal injury. This is a bad outcome not only for the business, but also for the person who is not likely to receive no compensation.

If all businesses where required to hold adequate public liability cover this situation may be able to be averted.

Given that the benefits far outweigh the public liability costs for most businesses, it certainly makes sense to have cover regardless of whether or not it’s compulsory for your business.

Does Public Liability Insurance Cover Employees?

One of the most common questions we get regarding public liability insurance is whether or not it covers a company’s employees and subcontractors.

The answer to this depends on what you mean by ‘covered’, and in this guide we will take closer look at how public liability insurance works when it comes to employees and subcontractors.

Before we get started, it is important to remember that this is not legal advice, and is simply general information about insurance. For more specific advice you’d need to speak with an insurance broker.

Are My Employees Covered?

Your employees will be covered in some cases, but not all. In defining what an employee is, we are generally looking at employees on wages or salary (not subcontractors), directors, shareholders and executives of the insured company.

– For Damage They Cause

Property damage or personal injury caused by your employees as a result of their work will be covered, provided that the person suffering the injury or damage is not another employee of the company.

– For Damage They Suffer

Employees are not covered by public liability insurance for any injury or damage they suffer themselves, regardless of who was at fault.

This type of risk would need to be covered by workers compensation or a personal income protection policy.

Are My Subcontractors Covered?

Contractors and subcontractors are considered to be any person or business that does work for you but is not on wages. Generally you would be invoiced by the person or business and they would have their own ABN.

– For Damage They Cause

The majority of public liability insurance policies will not cover your subcontractors for any property damage or personal injury that they cause.

There are some policies available which provide this level of protection, but generally they are far more expensive.

Generally it is better to ensure that all subcontractors have their own public liability cover in place.

– For Damage They Suffer

In some cases your subcontractors may be covered for an injury or property damage that they suffer, however this will only be the case if it can be proven that your company was at fault.

This is a more complex area of public liability insurance, and you should speak with your insurance broker about your specific situation to see how you would be covered.

Who Is Covered?

After all this you may be asking who exactly is covered by a public liability policy.

Basically it will cover your company and its employees for any property damage or personal injury caused to another person (such as a customer or member of the general public) as a result of your business activities.

Different types of businesses will have different needs when it comes to liability, so the best option is to speak with a specialist public liability insurance broker who can assess your needs and provide you with expert advice.

If you do not already have an insurance broker, please complete our contact form or quote form and we will attempt to refer to you a suitable insurance professional.

Business Insurance Types

For Australian businesses there are a range of insurance types to protect the business, its staff, management and owners.

Business owners face a huge number of risks, many of which vary depending on the type of business which they are running.

Although the specific risks faced by different business types may differ, overall the risks can be placed into a number of categories as follows:

  • Loss or damage due to fire, storm, etc.
  • Loss due to theft
  • Property damage or personal injury to others
  • Loss of business income due to outside events
  • Loss of personal income due to injury or illness
  • Lost revenue due to the loss of a key staff member

There are plenty more risks out there that business owners face every day, but these are certainly some of the major risks.

Thankfully there are insurance products available to protect businesses and their owners against many of these events. We will take a look at some of them now.

Loss or Damage

A business can suffer loss or damage to property in a variety of ways. Fire is probably a business owner’s biggest fear, but there are plenty of other potential dangers such as storm, flood and other freak events.

All business property, including buildings and stock, should be properly insured through a business insurance package.


Theft can come in many forms. For a retail store it could be through shoplifting, whilst for a tradesman it could come through the theft of tools and equipment from their vehicle.

There are a number of different insurance policies that will cover a business for theft of stock or equipment, and the type policy required will depend on the specific needs of the business.

Personal Injury & Property Damage

When it comes to personal injury and property damage, we are specifically talking about incidents suffered by customers and members of the general public as a result of the business’s activities.

This type of risk can be protected against with a public liability insurance policy. This type of cover results in the insurance company covering the costs rather than having it come out of the business profits.

Loss of Income

Loss of income for a business can come in a number of different forms.

The first type is the loss of income that results from some form of interruption. This could be as a result of a fire on the premises, where the business is unable to operate or generate revenue whilst the repairs are undertaken.

This risk can be managed by having a business interruption policy in place, which can replace part of the business’s revenue for a period of time, meaning that they can still pay their bills and keep the business afloat.

Another important form of loss of income is the risk that a business owner could be unable to work for a period of time due to injury or illness. This personal income risk can be covered through the use of an income protection insurance policy.

Business Insurance

There are many more potential risks that businesses face, and many more insurance solutions which can be used to manage those risks.

The best option for business owners is to use an insurance broker or adviser who can analyse your business needs and recommend a business insurance package which will provide optimum protection whilst still delivering good value for money.

Cleaners Public Liability Insurance

The home services industry is booming, and cleaners are a big part of that growth.

Many cleaners are required to have public liability insurance, especially if they are doing work for real estate agencies or commercial clients.

What Does It Cover Me For?

Cleaners public liability insurance is designed to cover you for any personal injury or property damage that your cause whilst engaged in cleaning activities.

If your cleaning activities cause damage to someone else’s property (including your client’s property) or personal injury to someone (including your client) you would normally be liable for any financial costs resulting from the incident.

With a public liability policy in place, the financial responsibility moves from you and your business over to the insurance company, provided that the incident is covered by the policy.

Do I Need Public Liability?

Almost all cleaners, domestic or commercial, can benefit from holding public liability insurance. There is always a risk that you could cause property damage or personal injury, and financial costs can often be extremely high.

Some cleaners will need to have public liability cover due to the locations they work in or the people they work for.

For example cleaners working for real estate agents will almost always be required to hold insurance, and those cleaning in shopping centres will also be required to hold a high level of cover, often as high as $20 million.

It is important to remember that public liability is designed for self-employed cleaners (including subcontractors) and is not required by cleaners who work for someone else on wages.

If you are unsure of your insurance requirements, speak with the people who are hiring you to see what they require.

How Much Does It Cost?

The cost of public liability insurance is generally based on the potential risk that you pose to the insurance companies.

A cleaner doing residential and light commercial cleaning will always pay a lower premium than someone cleaning shopping centres or other major public places.

The type of cleaning you do can also impact upon your public liability insurance cost. For example a high rise window cleaner will pay a lot more than most other cleaners.

The quickest and easiest way to find out your public liability cost is to request a quote. Insurance brokers can provide you quotes from multiple insurance companies, and can also provide advice and recommendations.

Insurance For Cleaners

Whilst public liability is one of the most important forms of insurance for cleaners, there are a number of other covers worth considering.

For self-employed cleaners who don’t have access to sick leave, income protection insurance is very important as it can replace the majority of your income if you cannot work for a period of time due to illness or injury.

An insurance specialist will be able to discuss these covers with you, and they should also be able to advise which covers are most beneficial and offer the best value for workers in the cleaning industry.

Questions About Public Liability Cover

Most business have a basic idea of what public liability insurance is and what it covers, but there still plenty of common questions when it comes to public liability and what it covers.

In this guide we will run through some of the most common questions that business owners have about public liability insurance.

Who needs it?

Virtually all businesses can benefit from the protection that public liability insurance provides, but more specifically it is required by any business that faces the risk of causing personal injury or property damage through its business activities.

Common business types requiring public liability include retailers, tradespeople and any business where clients come onto the premises.

Some business types are actually required to hold public liability insurance in order to hold their licence. Common examples of this include Tasmanian and Qld electricians, as well as Victorian plumbers.

What does it cover?

Public liability covers a number of different risks, but primarily the cover is designed to protect businesses against the financial consequences of property damage and personal injury.

In the event that you are required to pay financial compensation to a customer or other member of the public, your public liability policy will cover the costs rather than having to come out of your business’s profit.

Does it cover my own staff?

The policy will cover the actions of your own staff that result in personal injury or property damage to other people, but it will not cover any property damage or personal injury suffered by your staff.

How much does it cost?

The public liability insurance cost for each business will vary based on a variety of factors. For some businesses the cost can be as low as $400. This would be for a sole-trader working as a carpenter for example.

Other businesses could pay a lot more depending on the type of work they do and the size of the business. The easiest way to check your public liability cost is to request a quote through our website.

Where can you get it?

Most insurance companies offer public liability insurance to Australian businesses. You can contact the insurers directly to take out cover, or you can use the services of an insurance broker.

Generally using an insurance broker is the preferred option, as they will be able to obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies and help you to choose which is best for your business.

More questions

There are of course plenty of other questions and answers when it comes to public liability insurance. If you have questions which have not been answered above, the best option is to speak with an insurance broker.

If you do not already have an insurance broker who can assist you, please complete our online form and we will be able to put in contact with a suitable public liability insurance broker who can answer your questions.

Buy Public Liability Insurance Online

What’s the easiest way to get your public liability insurance? A growing number of business owners are saying that online is the answer.

The internet has made it easy to shop for and research products from the comfort of your home or office. Online options for home and car insurance became popular a number of years ago, and public liability insurance is following quickly behind.

Buying public liability insurance online won’t be the best option for all companies, especially those with complex needs, but for the average business is can be a good way to go.

Why Buy Public Liability Online?

There are numerous reasons why buying public liability insurance online can work for business owners.


All business owners and managers are busy people, and the thought of having to make time to visit an insurance broker is generally not too attractive.

By checking your public liability insurance cost online and even proceeding with the cover online you can save time and get everything you need from the comfort of your own home or office.

Reduced Premiums

This won’t always be the case, but sometimes you will be able to secure a reduced premium by taking out your public liability insurance online.

The reason for this is that the insurance provider is reducing their costs by operating online, and in some cases they will pass these savings onto you as the customer.

What Are The Other Options?

If you’d prefer not to deal with your insurance needs via the internet there are still plenty of other options.

One of the most common options amongst business owners is to use a public liability insurance broker who can meet their needs.

Alternatively, many of the insurance companies will deal directly with you in order to take out cover. Generally this is only available over the phone however, as very few of the major insurance providers have staff who can deal face-to-face with you on business insurance.

Tips for Buying Public Liability Online

If you are going to buy your public liability insurance online there are a few things that you need to look out for.

Not all online providers are the same. Some websites are backed by a licensed insurance broker, which means that they can quote on a variety of insurance companies.

Other websites are backed by a single insurance company, meaning that you are not necessarily being given the best possiblepublic liability insurance quote available in the market.

Some online public liability websites have no facility for providing you with advice, which means that you need to know exactly what you are looking for, otherwise you could risk taking out a policy which does not suit your needs.

What’s The Best Option?

One of the best options is to use a website that allows you to obtain quotes from multiple public liability insurance companies, but still gives you access to qualified insurance brokers who can provide you with support and advice over the phone.

Public liability can be a complex form of insurance, and getting it right is absolutely vital for the security of your company. If you are unsure at all about your needs you should speak with a qualified insurance broker before taking out any policy.

How to get Public Liability Insurance

Do you need public liability insurance for your job, business or event?

Public liability insurance is one of the most common forms of insurance required by Australian businesses, and in many cases it is a mandatory form of cover.

Getting yourself or your business covered withpublic liability insurance is generally a straightforward process, and there are a number of ways in which you can get the cover.

In this guide we will look at some of the common methods used to get public liability insurance, as well as the pros and cons of each method.

Information Required

Before we look at the different methods used for getting public liability insurance, it is important to look at what information you’ll need in order to take out cover.

At the quote stage you will generally need provide information regarding the type of work that you and your business will be performing, along with your expected annual revenue and staff numbers.

When you are ready to proceed you will need to provide additional information such as your company name, ABN, start date for the policy and any other information requested by the public liability insurance companies.

Going Direct

In the past it was necessary to use an insurance broker in order to take out public liability, however many of the insurance companies now allow you apply for cover directly with them.


  • Cuts out the middle-man (the insurance broker)
  • Can save on premiums (as some brokers charge additional fees)


  • Most direct insurance companies are no licensed to provide advice
  • If comparing quotes, there is a lot of running around to do
  • Can be a dangerous option if you do not know the policies well

Using a Broker

The most popular method for taking out public liability has traditionally been to use an insurance broker.

Whilst you can use a specialist public liability insurance broker, generally any insurance broker who works with business products should be able to assist you.


  • Licensed to provide personal advice and recommendations
  • Can obtain quotes from multiple insurance companies at once
  • Can assist with choosing the right insurance company for your needs
  • Provision of ongoing service, especially with regards to claims


  • Cover can be more expensive if additional broker fees are charged
  • Potential for a broker to provide biased advice due to commissions

Going Online

The internet is quickly become the first place that small business owners go to when considering public liability insurance.

There are a number of online services which allow you to get public liability insurance online with a few quick and secure forms.


  • Can obtain quotes and take out cover at any time of day
  • No need to visit an insurance broker or insurance agent
  • Some sites have the ability to compare multiple quotes


  • Personal support (i.e. phone support) can be lacking
  • Personal advice is generally not available
  • You could be on your own at claim time

What is the Best Option?

The best option for you and your business when it comes to how to get public liability insurance really depends on your own needs and preferences.

Many business owners prefer the personal service that only an insurance broker can provide. This is especially true of more complex businesses which may not fit within the standard insurance categories.

Using a website to find out your public liability insurance cost can be a great way to get the ball rolling, and just because you get a quote online doesn’t mean you have to proceed with the policy online.

There is no single method which is best for everyone. It could be a good idea to get some quotes online, then use the services of an insurance broker for any areas where you require assistance.

Public Liability Insurance Broker

Whilst most Australians now go direct to the insurance companies for their home and car insurance, when it comes to business insurance, brokers are still the preferred option.

There are many benefits in using an insurance broker for your public liability insurance and other forms of business cover, and in today’s guide we will take a closer look at some of those benefits.

Getting the Best Premium

Now more than ever business owners are looking to cut costs and get the best value for each dollar spent. Insurance can be an easy area in which to make serious savings, but you have to do it properly.

You could do all the shopping around yourself, but aside from getting quotes from multiple insurers you also need to know enough about public liability insurance to ensure you are comparing apples with apples and getting the right cover for your needs.

You could take the time to explain your business operations and needs to multiple insurance companies, or you could deal with a single insurance broker who understands your business and can get multiple quotes from various insurers in a much shorter time frame.

An insurance broker can help you to find the most competitive premiums thanks to their access to multiple insurance companies, often through a single system that is not available to the general public.

A broker will generally be the best avenue for securing the lowest public liability insurance cost for your business.

Added Confidence

All business owners are very smart and capable people. You need to wear multiple hats to ensure your business runs smoothly every day, and with enough time any business owner or manager could look after their own insurance needs.

But if like most business owners you don’t have days to spare, you could risk trying to sort out your insurance in a short period of time without being able to properly research everything involved. And even then, could you be 100% confident in what you’ve done?

An insurance broker lives and breathes insurance, and you can be confident that they will be doing the right thing for you and your business. And if things go bad, you can enjoy some level of comfort knowing that the insurance broker will hold mandatory professional indemnity insurance.

Industry Specialisation

Whilst any business owner will know their own industry very well, not all will know how their industry affects their insurance requirements.

There are a growing number of specialist insurance brokers who provide advice and service to businesses in specific industries.

Common industries for brokers to specialise in are those which have specialised insurance requirements. These include the medical and health industries, as well as the trades and building industries.

By using a broker who specialises in public liability and other forms of insurance for your industry you can enjoy the added confidence of knowing that you broker understands your industry and the specific risks that you need to protected against.

Keeping Paperwork Simple

Insurance can be loaded with paperwork and red tape, but many of today’s brokers have implemented systems which help to keep paperwork to a minimum.

Your insurance broker can also help you through the public liability application and paperwork process so that you can concentrate on running your business instead of shuffling papers.

Claims Assistance

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of using an insurance broker is having someone there to assist you in the event of a claim.

Whilst property claims can be quite straightforward, public liability insurance claims can sometimes become very complex and can stretch out over months or even years.

You could handle the claim yourself in conjunction with the public liability insurance companies and your solicitor, but the preferred option for most business owners is to have an insurance broker on their side that understands how the claims process works and can guide them through it.

There are many benefits in having an insurance broker who can assist with your public liability and business insurance. If you would like to be put in contact with a suitable broker please get in contact with us or complete our online quote form.