Plenty of tradies need public liability cover, but do you know how much you need to hold?

The minimum amount of cover available is $5 million, but depending on your business you may find yourself needing anything up to $20 million.

So how do you know how much public liability insurance you should have?

Cover Amounts Available

Public liability is generally available for tradies in amounts of $5, $10 and $20 million.  Some insurers also offer $15 million cover.

There are policies available for $50 million, however it’s extremely rare that a tradesman would need a policy of this size.

How Much Do I Need?

There is no magic number in terms of how much cover a tradie will need.

A large proportion of people go with the minimum cover of $5 million, especially if they are working only on residential or light commercial projects.

Generally if you require more cover it will be stipulated in the contract. For example if you have a contract to perform work in a shopping centre, the contract will often stipulate a requirement for $20 million public liability cover.

Schools and other government contracts will also often stipulate higher public liability requirements of either $10 or $20 million.

Some trade licenses will stipulate minimum amounts of cover. For example electrical contractors in most states will need a minimum of $5 million cover in order to obtain their licence.

If a minimum amount of cover has not been imposed under any of your contracts or licenses, it is ultimately up to you how much cover you should have.

Although many tradies in this case go with the $5 million minimum, a growing number are opting for $10 million given that the cost increase isn’t particularly high.


Your public liability cost will increase as the amount of cover you require increases.

The minimum cover of $5 million will be the cheapest public liability insurance available, whilst $20 million is generally the highest.  Some insurers offer $25 million or more, however this is rare.

Whilst the premiums do increase as the cover increases, the good news for tradies is that they don’t increase exactly in line with the amount of cover.

For example if you double your cover from $5 to $10 million, your premiums will increase but it will be far from double. You may find that the premium only increases by 10 or 20 per cent.

Cost is always a concern when taking out any form of insurance, but it’s important not to take out an insufficient amount of cover just because the price is lower.

If you need more cover but the cost is too high, you can always look at pay by the month trade insurance to lessen the impact on your cash flow.

To get a quote on the various levels of public liability insurance available please contact us or complete our online quote request.