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.