If you work for yourself in the trades, public liability insurance is vital.

Many tradesmen will actually find that public liability cover is mandatory in order for them to work. In some cases this is set by the relevant state licensing authority, and sometimes it is set by the big building companies and work sites.

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Even if public liability is not mandatory for your particular trade, there are still some major benefits to holding this form of insurance.

What Is Public Liability Insurance?

Public liability is a form of insurance which is designed to protect businesses and their owners from the financial consequences of any damage or injury they may cause.

If your business activities result in someone else’s loss, regardless of whether it was through negligence or just a pure accident, your business could be liable for any financial loss that the person or entity suffers.

We wouldn't want to insure this tradie!

These types of claims can be quite minor in some cases, but they can also be seriously huge at times, stretching into the millions of dollars. With trade public liability insurance, many claims could easily send a business bankrupt.

There are two main types of claims which are covered by public liability insurance, which are property damage and personal injury.

Property Damage

This type of claim occurs when your business activities or actions result in damage to property owned by another person or entity. This could be suffered by a customer, or by any other member of the public.

A property damage claim could be the result of damage you cause to a customer’s home whilst working on it, or it could be damage suffered by any other random person, for example if you damage someone’s car that is parked in front of the work site.

Many property damage claims are relatively small, and may be the result of a minor incident on the job site. They can climb much higher though, and there have been instances where an entire home or building has been destroyed.

Personal Injury

Personal injury claims are often much more serious in terms of dollars at stake. We’ve all read about people suing for millions for personal injury, and often this money comes from a public liability policy.

A personal injury claim can be relatively minor, but they can also be enormous in some cases. A minor example of a claim could be one where a passerby has tripped over a power cord you left out, which has resulted in a sprained ankle.

In this case the claim amount may be for medical expenses and a small amount of lost income. Whilst this sort of claim may not put you out of business, it could potentially wipe out a few weeks or more worth of profit.

Of greater concern are the claims involving death or permanent disability. These types of claims can easily stretch into the hundreds of thousands, and potentially millions in some cases.

Why is it Important for Trade Workers?

Working in a manual trade will always have an element of risk. There are risks that you could hurt yourself of course, and also the risk of causing property damage or personal injury to someone else.

If you are a subcontractor or self-employed tradesman, you are liable for any claim made against you and your business. A small claim could knock out a few weeks’ profit, whilst a large claim could knock you out of business completely.

With this in mind, it is absolutely vital that tradesmen have public liability insurance in place. It is by far one of the best ways to protect yourself, your business and your family.

How Much Does It Cost?

Depending on your trade, public liability insurance is generally very affordable for most tradesmen and trade related business.

There are a few exceptions of course, but for the standard trades such as carpentry, plumbing and electrical the premiums will be well under $1,000 for a standard level of cover. In some cases the cover will even be less than $500 for the year.

Public liability is one of the most important forms of tradesman insurance available, and for the relatively minor cost it is certainly worth considering and holding.

Trade Public Liability Quote

Obtaining a quote on your trade public liability insurance is easy. All you need to do is complete our online quote request and we will organise for a qualified broker to contact you with your quotes.


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