Choosing Your First Broker

So you’ve decided to use a business insurance broker for the first time. Congratulations!

If you’ve already decided that an insurance broker is right for you then you probably don’t need to hear about their benefits again, but there is no doubt that using a good one can benefit your business.

Once you’ve decided that using a broker is the right option for your business, the next step is to choose a broker. In this guide we’ll look at some of the factors to consider.

All Brokers Are Different

At first it’s easy to think that all insurance brokers do much the same thing, but in fact there are many differences.

Some brokers only specialise in certain types of insurance, such as domestic or business, and many brokers have differing levels of knowledge, experience and qualifications.

With this in mind, you need to understand the important of choosing a broker who is right for you and your business rather than choosing the first one that comes along.

Factors to Consider

There are a number of factors to consider when choosing a business insurance broker, and below we have listed some of the most important factors.

Qualifications and Licensing

Here in Australia all insurance brokers and adviser must be suitably qualified and licensed before they can provide any insurance advice to clients.

At a minimum your insurance broker should have a certificate IV in insurance broking, and preferably they should be at diploma level. For larger corporate brokers ideally they should be degree qualified.

Some insurance brokerages will hold their own Australian Financial Services Licence (AFSL) which allows them to provide advice and deal in insurance products.

Many insurance brokerages do no hold their own AFSL, and instead operate under the authority of another licence holder.

Operating under the licence of a larger AFSL holder is becoming more and more common in Australia due to licensing and compliance costs, and brokerages operating in this way should not be considered inferior to those holding their own licence.

As this is likely your first foray into the world of insurance brokers, it will probably be a good idea to ask any prospective brokers about how they are licensed. You can also find more information about licensing on the ASIC website.

Knowledge and Experience

This is perhaps one of the most important factors to consider when choosing your first insurance broker.

You need to find a broker with a level of knowledge and experience that is adequate for your needs, but also one who is willing to work with a new business that has never used a broker before.

It is also important to consider the type of knowledge and experience that the broker has. Someone may have twenty years experience in domestic insurance, but that might not mean they know anything about public liability or other forms of business insurance.

Most brokers will be more than happy to tell you all about their experience and knowledge, and increasingly you can find this information easily on their company website.


The specialist insurance broker has become more and more prevalent over that last decade.

Many brokers try to be all things to all people, but some brokers (and their clients) are seeing the benefits of specialising in specific areas.

It’s not uncommon for a broker to specialise in business insurance, but some brokers are drilling down further into specific industries. Common industries for specialisation include the medical and trades sectors.

If you are looking for a specialist broker the easiest method is to search Google for your industry + insurance broker. For example try searching for ‘medical insurance broker’ or ‘tradesman insurance broker’.

Using a specialist insurance broker won’t guarantee better service or advice, but in many cases a specialist will have a better understanding of your industry which should result in better outcomes for you and your business.

Other Factors

There are plenty of other factors to consider, and one of those is the simple question of whether or not you get along with the broker.

Depending on the type of business you run you may find yourself having a fairly close working relationship with your broker, so it’s important that you can work with them on an ongoing basis.

Whilst you don’t have to be best friends with your broker, you do need to feel comfortable with them, especially considering the amount of information that you will have to provide them with about your business.

Choosing a Broker

There’s no doubt that using a broker can lead to better insurance outcomes for your business, but it’s important to choose your first broker carefully to get the most out of the relationship.

Reviewing Your Business Risks

No matter what type of business you run, there will always be a range of risks that need to be considered and managed.

Some risks can be eliminated entirely by adjusting your business practices, but there are many risks which are partially or completely out of our control.

For those risks which we cannot eliminate or control completely, the next step to consider is business insurance.

Types of Business Risk

There are various types of risk which must be considered by a business. Statistics show that new businesses are generally at greatest risk, but it is also important for established businesses not to become complacent about risk.

Some of the major risks faced by Australian small businesses are as follows:

Property Damage & Personal Injury

This category of risk can be split into two separate but equally important areas. The first is property damage and personal injury caused to your own business and staff, and the second is damage or injury to others caused by your business.

Damage or Injury to Your Own Business & Staff

This risk will vary depending on the type of business you run. If you are running an office based business the risk may be relatively low, but if you run a factory or trades business it could be one of your major risks.

Damage to your own property can be managed through property insurance. Whilst no policy can stop the damage of course, it can cover the costs of such damage to your business.

Damage or Injury Caused By Your Business

This is one of the most serious risks for any business. If your business is found to have acted negligently and caused property damage or personal injury to another person you could be up for serious costs.

Thankfully this risk can be covered by public liability insurance. This form of insurance will cover the costs of such a claim provided that it is covered by the policy wording.

Loss of a Key Person

Finding and keeping the right staff is one of the biggest challenges for any business. Whilst you may be able to keep them on board by offering a competitive salary package, you cannot control their health and ability to work.

If you have a key staff member who has a major impact on the revenue of your business, insuring against their loss or inability to work for a period of time is vitally important.

This risk can be managed through key person insurance, which can cover you business in the event of a key staff member’s inability to work due to injury, illness or death.

Managing Risk via Insurance

No form of insurance can stop a particular event from happening, but it can help to manage the financial consequences of such an event.

Of course it is better to prevent such events from happening through prudent business processes and procedures, but there are many risks which are simply outside of anyone’s control.

A qualified insurance broker or adviser will be able to work with you to assess your business and identify any risks which can be managed through insurance.

More Information

To be put in contract with a qualified insurance professional the first step is to contact us here at Public Liability Insurance Australia.

You can complete our online quote request if you already know what types of business insurance you require, or you can simply call or email our office with your questions.

Insurance is one of the most effective ways of managing risk within your business, and we are here to help you to protect yourself and your business in the most cost effective way.

Mining Contractors Insurance

There are plenty of tradesmen and other contractors working on mine sites around Australia, and many of them are required to hold insurance.

If you work as a subcontractor on a mine site, you will most likely need public liability insurance. You may also know by now that getting cover can be a little tricker than normal.

All of the major insurance companies in Australia consider mine sites to be high risk locations, and for this reason many of them exclude any work conducted on mine sites from their policies.

Thankfully there are some specialist insurers who will offer cover for mine workers, and here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we know who they are and have full access to them.

Insurance Requirements for Miners

The most commonly required form of insurance for subcontractors on mining sites is public liability.

As subcontractors, these workers are generally not covered by the insurance of the mine site or the company that is hiring their services.

In most cases subcontractors and self-employed workers will be require to hold public liability insurance when working on the mine site. The minimum amount of cover will generally be $5 million however this is subject to change.

Some workers on mine sites may also be required to hold income protection insurance. This is because subcontractors and other self-employed workers are generally not covered by sick leave or worker’s compensation.

For more information about your insurance requirements you should speak with the mine or contracting company that is hiring your services.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

As public liability insurance is a common requirement for workers on mine sites, it is important to know what it actually covers.

Primarily, public liability insurance is designed to protect you from the financial consequences of causing property damage or personal injury to other people through negligence.

On a mine site there is considerable potential for major property damage or serious personal injury. If your negligence results in damage to expensive machinery or serious injury to another person, the financial costs could be huge.

With the right public liability insurance in place you can enjoy the peace of mind knowing that you have cover in place for such events.

Getting Quotes and Cover

When seeking public liability quotes for anyone working in or around mining sites, it is vitally important to tell the insurance company or broker everything about the locations you work in.

If you don’t tell them about your mining work you will get your insurance for a much lower premium, however any claim relating to mining work will be declined and you could find yourself in trouble for breaching your duty of disclosure.

Here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we have access to a range of specialist insurance companies that will offer cover to tradesmen and other workers on mining sites.

Our network of insurance brokers and advisers have assisted many workers and small business owners involved in mining and they would love to assist you with your insurance needs.

To obtain a quote on your public liability and other forms of insurance please complete our online quote request or give us a call here at the office.