Personal Injury Claims

There’s a lot of confusion out there on what is covered when it comes to personal injury.

Although this is too complex a subject to cover comprehensively in a single article, we will try to explain a few things and make it easier for business owners to understand.

If you have any specific example you’d like to discuss, the best option is to speak with your insurance adviser or the insurer directly.

Is Personal Injury Covered?

Personal injury is covered, and it is a major part of public liability insurance. What is more important is how personal injury is covered.

A public liability policy will cover personal injury suffered by another person where you or your business is found to be liable for that injury due to negligence.

If for example a member of the public tripped and injured themselves in a trench you had dug which was insufficiently marked, the policy would cover their costs.

Legal liability is a complex area, and whilst it is impossible to list examples of every possible claim, generally speaking you will be covered if you’ve tried to do the right thing, but through some form of negligence on you or your business’s part things have gone wrong.

Are Staff Covered?

There are two ways in which this question can be looked at. Firstly, are staff covered for injuries that they cause, and secondly, are staff covered for injuries that they suffer?

For the injuries that they suffer, no they would not be covered by your public liability policy. This is a risk that would be covered by a worker’s compensation policy.

For the injuries that they cause, yes they would be covered provided that the injury was caused due to negligence and occurred during normal business activities.

It’s important to keep in mind that to be covered under the company policy a worker must be an employee and not a subcontractor or other form of contractor.

What Costs Are Involved?

The costs involved in personal injury claim can range from a few thousand dollars through to millions of dollars.

The average claim for a broken arm or sprained wrist may extend to a few thousand dollars for medical costs and maybe a few days lost income, but in the case of death or serious disablement the costs can be enormous.

One such case which has been in the news recently is that of a young girl who was left severely disabled allegedly due to food poisoning.

In this case a judge ordered KFC to pay a total of $8 million to the young girl and her family.

Whilst this is an extreme case (and an extremely sad case) it does show that claims relating to personal injury can involve enormous sums of money that would send most businesses bankrupt without the right insurance in place.

Advice Warning

As we’ve already pointed out, legal liability can be a very complex area, especially when it comes to personal injury.

Although we’ve tried to ensure the information in this article is accurate, it is important that you do not take any action (or fail to take any action) based on this information without first seeking professional advice from a qualified person.

If you would like to discuss your cover or have any specific questions you should speak with your insurance adviser or contact your insurer directly. You can also refer to your product disclosure statement (PDS) and policy schedule for more information.

Handyman Insurance

Public liability insurance for handymen

There are various forms of insurance available for handymen, but without doubt the most commonly required form of cover is public liability.

In this guide we’ll take a look at what this form of insurance covers, which handymen need it, how you can benefit from it and how much it will cost you.

What Is Public Liability?

Public liability is designed to protect a business owner financially in the event that through negligence they cause property damage or personal injury to another person.

If you are found liable for such an incident you will be responsible for a range of costs, which could range from a few hundred dollars through to a few million dollars.

A minor claim for a handyman could involve basic property damage, such as breaking a sliding glass door whilst walking through a house with a ladder. Although with an average excess of $250 for property damage, you would only claim if the amount was above the excess amount.

A more serious claim could involve personal injury or even death. For example you may have left a power cord laying across a hallway without taking the proper precautions, and someone has tripped over and injured themselves.

Personal injury claims can include all sorts of costs, such as medical and rehabilitation expenses, lost income and other forms of compensation.

A handyman can protect themself against such costs by ensuring they have the right public liability policy and coverage in place.

Which Handymen Need It?

Any handyman who works for himself will need to consider public liability. Whist it is not mandatory for all handymen, it will often be so if you undertake work for real estate agents or property managers.

If you work for a company on wages, and they cover expenses such as tax and workers compensation for you, generally you will be covered under their public liability cover.

If you have your own ABN, issue invoices and pay your own tax, then you will almost certainly not be covered by anyone else’s insurance and will need you own.

How Much Does It Cost?

The public liability insurance cost will depend on two main factors for a handyman. This includes the size of your business in terms of revenue and staff numbers, as well as the type of work you are undertaking.

Many handymen work for themselves as sole traders or one-person companies. In this case the cover will be very affordable provided that you’re not doing any ‘out of the ordinary’ types of work.

Whether or not you do any commercial work will also have an impact on the cost of your insurance. If you do residential work only the premiums will be quite low, but they can increase if you are doing work at any commercial or industrial premises.

The most accurate way to find out how much your public liability is going to cost is to request a quote. You can do this by selecting the amount of cover you require from the menu above, then following the prompts and entering the requested information.

For more information on public liability for handymen in Australia please contact us or your preferred insurance broker.

Policy Options – General Property Cover

There are various options that can be chosen with a public liability policy, and one of the most common is general property cover.

General property cover allows you to cover various tools of trade against a range of risks including theft and various forms of damage.

In this guide we’ll take a look at what general property insurance covers, how much it costs and why you should consider this option for your business.

What Is General Property Cover?

Commonly referred to as tool insurance, the cover can be used to cover virtually any items in your business which could be considered as ‘tools of trade’.

The policies offered by each insurer will differ in terms of the specific coverage offered, but generally you will be covered for theft from a secure location, fire and storm damage, and damage caused in a vehicle collision or rollover.

Most policies offer portable cover, meaning that your property is covered wherever it is stored. There are requirements regarding security however, which we will touch on shortly.

If you do suffer a loss on your tools or equipment, the insurance company will cover the cost of repair or replacement depending on the situation.

Which Items Can Be Covered?

Virtually any property that is regarded as ‘tools of trade’ can be covered. For a tradesman the obvious items are their tools, and this is a very popular form ofinsurance for tradies.

For white collar workers their tools of trade may include their laptop and mobile phone, whilst for a cleaner it would be their cleaning equipment.

Items such as vehicles and trailers need to be covered separately and cannot be classed as general property.

How Is Theft Covered?

Theft is the most import form of cover for most business owners, but not all policies will automatically include theft, and even when they do the coverage can still differ.

Some policies cover theft only from a secure location, and for a successful claim to be made there must be evidence of forced entry used to gain access to the property.

There are some policies which offer an option for ‘open air’ cover of property. This basically means that the property will be covered regardless of how it is stored. Naturally this cover is more expensive.

Unfortunately some insurers do not include theft cover at all in their basic policies, and we have seen a situation where a broker was recommending this cover to tradies without knowing it didn’t cover theft.

The key point here is that you need to double check your policy documents to ensure that theft is covered, and to what extent it is covered.


The cost of general property insurance will vary depending on three main factors, which include the type of business you run, the replacement value of your tools and the location where you or your business is based.

Here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we can assist you with quotes on general property insurance, but only when packaged with a public liability policy.

To obtain a quote simply visit our online quote form and one of the questions will ask you if you would like to include cover for tools or equipment insurance.

General property is undoubtedly one of the most common forms of cover taken with a public liability policy, and for the relatively low price it is a great value cover for your business.

Hard To Place Risks

For most businesses public liability insurance is relatively easy to obtain, but if you’re doing anything outside or the norm you could find that things get a little trickier.

As with all forms of insurance, public liability is priced based on the risk that the insurer believes you pose to them. This becomes even more of an issue if they don’t have a good understanding of your risk.

If the insurer believes that your business activities present a higher-than-usual level of risk, or a level of risk that they don’t understand, there is a good chance that they won’t offer cover.

The good news is that there are plenty of specialist insurers and underwriters who are willing to help such businesses even after the mainstream insurers have said no.

What is a ‘Hard to Place Risk’?

The term ‘hard to place risk’ is insurance industry jargon for a business that is going to be difficult to obtain insurance for.

Whilst many businesses that fall into this category are undertaking activities which are well outside of the norm, many are just normal businesses that happen to do some work considered higher risk.

A common trigger that can change a business from being a standard risk to a ‘hard to place’ risk is the types of areas it undertakes work in. Some of the following work locations are ones to look out for:

  • Mine sites
  • Quarries
  • Airports
  • Railway stations
  • Oil rigs

Whilst some of these may seem obvious, others, such as railway stations, are less obvious.

Other businesses considered to be a ‘hard to place’ risk are often those which do not fit into the standard business categories that the insurance companies use.

Although the major public liability insurance companies have vast amounts of data on many thousands of different business types, there are some businesses that just don’t fit the mould, and often these end up having to go through specialist underwriting agencies.

Duty of Disclosure

If your business falls into this category you will likely receive one of two possible outcomes from your insurance broker or company.

The first outcome is that the insurer will simply decline to offer any cover, and the second outcome is that they will offer cover, but at a higher price.

Following this outcome, some business owners are then tempted to approach a different insurance company or broker for cover, but without telling them the full story.

This could mean you end up paying less for your insurance, but it is definitely not a good idea!

By failing to tell the insurance company or broker everything that is relevant to your business you will be in breach of your duty of disclosure, which means your policy could be null and void.

Ultimately this means that any claim will not be paid, and therefore you might as well have not had insurance anyway.

As well as having your claim denied, which can be financially devastating in the event of a large claim, your business will also be unlikely to be issued a new policy from any other insurer in the future.

Use a Professional

If you are having difficulties getting public liability insurance for your business at a reasonable price, or even getting any cover at all, your best option is to speak with an insurance broker.

A good business insurance broker will be able to assess your business and use their knowledge and experience to get you the best possible outcome.

A good option can be to use a broker who specialises in your particular field or industry. To find a broker in your area you can use the Need a Broker service offered by the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA).

For more information on hard to place business cover please contact your insurance broker or use the services offered by NIBA which we have linked to above.

Income Protection for Business Owners

Business owners need to consider a variety of insurance covers to ensure that they and their business are properly protected.

Whilst our website has a strong focus on public liability insurance, we are well aware of the other forms of cover important to business owners.

One of the most important forms of cover is income protection, and in this guide we will take a look at this type of insurance.

What is Income Protection?

Most people in business will be familiar with the basic principle of income protection. Essentially it will replace a percentage of your income whilst you cannot earn for yourself.

If you are unable to work due to injury or illness, an income protection policy will replace up to 75% (or 80% in some cases) of your income for a period of time until you are able to return.

Why is it Important?

Employees are lucky enough to receive benefits such as sick leave and worker’s compensation, but as a business owner you may be on your own if you cannot work.

Instead of having to dig into your savings – or worse, credit cards – to pay your living expenses whilst you cannot work, an income protection policy can look after bills such as the mortgage and groceries etc.

Income Protection Options

There are a number of options when it comes to income protection for business owners.

The two main options relate to the waiting period and the benefit period. The waiting period is the length of time you must be unable to work for, and the benefit period is the maximum amount of time you will be paid for.

When considering the options on a new income protection policy it may be best to speak with a financial adviser who understands the needs of business owners.

How Much Does it Cost?

The cost of income protection can vary greatly depending on a number of different factors including your age, health, business or occupation type and the amount of cover you require.

A very basic policy for a young business owner could be had for as little as $50 per month, but a larger and more comprehensive policy could stretch out to thousands of dollars per year.

Here at Public Liability Insurance Australia we have partnered with a number of financial advisers who specialise in income protection for business owners.

If you are also requesting a quote for public liability, just tick the extra box for income protection and answer the additional questions.

If you do not require liability and would just like a quote on income protection, please contact our office and we will be happy to assist you.