Business Insurance FAQs

Answers when you need them

Your business is your livelihood. So, what are you doing to protect it? We'll explain some of the finer points about business insurance; including public liability cover, professional indemnity, and more.

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Business Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

Basics

What kinds of business insurance are required by law?

Workers’ compensation insurance is compulsory by law for all Australian businesses with employees. It covers employees’ wages and medical expenses in cases where they become injured or ill as a result of their work duties. Further information about workers compensation can be found through the Fair Work Ombudsman.

However, you may require other forms of insurance, either by state or federal legislation, for certain industries and occupations. For example, accountants, solicitors, tax agents and migration agents are all legally required to hold a certain level of professional indemnity insurance in order to practise their profession in Australia.  Conversely, public liability insurance is often a mandatory licensing requirement for some trade occupations, such as electricians and plumbers.

Some types of insurance may also form part of the requirements to become a member of a professional body or association, or for certain contractual agreements.

Both professional indemnity and public liability insurance can be purchased via our business insurance comparison service. Through this, you can compare policies from a variety of reputable providers – and best of all, it’s free to use. Alternatively, you can call 1800 645 617 and talk to an expert.

How does business interruption insurance work?

Business interruption insurance compensates the policyholder for any loss of income due to unforeseen closures of their business. Covered circumstances may include:

  • fire damage;
  • natural disasters (storms, cyclones, etc.);
  • theft/vandalism; or
  • any other defined events in the policy.

In these cases, business interruption insurance can cover your loss of turnover (less expenses that you elect not to insure and savings that are made during the time that the business is closed), temporary relocation costs and other expenses that are reasonably incurred to reduce a loss of turnover.

If you believe your business would suffer in the event of an unexpected closure, then business interruption insurance could be a great way to safeguard your livelihood.

Through our business insurance comparison service, you can find a policy that can protect your business against some of the worst-case scenarios – and completing a quote won’t cost you a cent. Or, if you’d rather talk to an expert, call 1800 645 617.

Does business insurance cover theft?

Most insurers will include theft cover if the customer selects the benefit. It provides protection for loss or damage to contents or stock through theft or attempted theft at your premises, usually through forced entry.

To ensure your policy covers theft, you can select it as an option through our business insurance comparison service. If you want someone to take you through the process, you can talk to one of our consultants on 1800 645 617.

Does a small business need workers’ compensation insurance?

Yes – workers’ compensation insurance is required by every business that has employees. While other forms of business insurance are sold through Compare the Market, workers' compensation is a scheme that’s regulated by each Australian state and territory. Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information.

Is business insurance tax deductible?

Yes, business insurance is generally tax deductible on your annual tax return. Premiums can be claimed as a general business expense – however, it’s always recommended to seek the advice a tax professional. Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information.

How do I get business insurance?

If your business is set up and trading (e.g. you have a registered business name and an Australian Business Number), you can take out business insurance straight away. You’ll need to detail some information to the insurer about your business in order to get covered, such as how many employees you have, the type of cover you need and more.

If you’re eager to get covered, start your search through our online business insurance comparison service, or by calling 1800 645 617. You can compare policies from multiple providers in minutes – and best of all, completing a quote won’t cost you a cent.

Cost and level of cover

How much public liability insurance do I need?

The amount you need will depend on many different factors, including the extent of contact you have with your customers or members of the public, the industry you operate in and the type of work you perform, and whether there are any legislative or contractual requirements to hold a certain amount of cover.

Smaller home-based businesses may only require a minimum amount of cover (e.g. $5 million) if they have limited contact with other people. However, they may need a higher amount if they produce and/or sell products, to protect against injury or property damage that could arise as a result of those products. Conversely, businesses that deal with large amounts of foot traffic (bars, live venues, shopping centres, etc.) would generally need a higher level of cover, since having close contact with more people increases the chance of an accident occurring, hence they would be more likely to make a claim. In addition, contractors and trade workers often require a certain level of cover to meet their contractual obligations or to obtain specific licenses.

With the average premium around $80 per month for small businesses*, public liability insurance can be a cost-effective way to cover your business against legal expenses that could potentially run into the millions. So, why not see what’s out there with our business insurance comparison service? You can also talk to an expert on 1800 645 617.

*This average is based on data from BizCover customers in New South Wales – current as of August 2018.

How much is workers’ compensation insurance?

The price of workers’ compensation insurance will depend on which state or territory you live in. The average prices per state or territory are as follows*:

  • Queensland: 1.2% of every $100 of wages.1
  • Victoria: 1.272% of the business’s total wages.2
  • South Australia: 1.70% of the business’s total wages.3
  • Western Australia: 1.585% of the business’s total wages.4
  • Tasmania: 2.27% of the business’s total wages.5
  • ACT: 2.58% of the business’s wages.6
  • Northern Territory: 1.90% of the business’s wages.7
  • New South Wales: Varies depending on the industry. Learn more about the average premium rate in New South Wales (per industry).

Visit the Fair Work Ombudsman for more information about your state or territory’s workers’ compensation scheme.

*Figures accurate as of 17/8/2018. Northern Territory numbers reflect the premium rates measured in 2016.

How much business insurance do I need?

This is much like asking what the length of a piece of string is, since every business has different needs and requirements.

To help decide what types of cover you need and how much to take out, it is important to identify the risks your business is exposed to. Start by thinking about everything that could possibly go wrong – from minor events to worst-case scenarios.

What are the things you need to protect? How much would it likely cost to replace all of your assets if they were damaged or destroyed by a fire? What are your legal liabilities and how much could it potentially cost if a claim was made against you for third-party injury or property damage, or if you were found negligent of providing misleading or incorrect advice and your client suffered a loss?

Prioritise the risks your business faces by considering:

  • the likelihood of the risk occurring
  • the extent of damage each risk could cause
  • the financial impact it would have on your business

You can get a better idea of what type of cover you need by looking through different policy types and business insurance needs of your industry.

Once you know which type of cover you need, use our free business insurance comparison service to see how much your business can be insured for, depending on which product you select.

Need additional assistance? Call one of our specialists on 1800 645 617.

Market stall

How much public liability insurance do I need for my market stall?

Each market stall has different needs depending on the types of risks they present. The amount of cover needed will also depend on the minimum level of cover set by the market organisers, which is often $10 million.  However, when deciding on how much cover you need, it’s important to consider the following:

  • What types of products do you sell, and could they cause injury or property damage? For example, do you produce and sell food that could potentially cause food poisoning? Or cosmetics that could cause a severe allergic reaction?
  • What is the set-up of your market stall like? Do you have electrical cables that somebody could trip over? Do you use big umbrellas that could cause damage if they are blown over by heavy winds?
  • How many people are likely to pass through your stall? The more people, the higher the chance of something going wrong.

To obtain a quote for your market stall, call one of our insurance experts on 1800 645 617.

Will I need public liability insurance for my market stall?

Public liability insurance is an essential form of cover for market stall holders, since events like weekend markets attract large crowds to public spaces, exposing them to a wide range of potential risks. In fact, most markets actually require their stallholders to hold public liability insurance to be able to trade.

If your stall is responsible for third-party property damage or injury to others, you could be held liable. Something as innocuous as a customer tripping on a misplaced item, or somebody suffering personal injury or illness as a result of the products you sell, may lead to a claim being made against you, which could incur legal and compensation expenses that could threaten your livelihood.

To avoid out-of-pocket expenses involved with public liability claims, market stall operators can weigh up their options with our free business insurance comparison service or call 1800 645 617.

Online businesses

Do online businesses need public liability insurance?

Online businesses may not need as much public liability insurance as a bricks-and-mortar business, but cover is essential if your business produces and/or sells products of any kind, or deals face-to-face with customers, suppliers or members of the public. For example, a claim may arise if a customer is injured while visiting your business premises or if you damage someone’s property while out and about undertaking your business activities. Even though these instances might seem unlikely, they could still set your business back if you have to pay out-of-pocket for damages and potential legal expenses.

Online businesses may require other types of insurance. For example, if they’re managing customer information digitally, they may need to consider cyber liability insurance.

Our business insurance comparison service could help you find a suitable policy for your online business in just minutes. Completing a quote won’t cost you anything, so what have you got to lose?

Do I need insurance for an online business?

Even if your business is mostly online, it can still have similar challenges that traditional bricks-and-mortar businesses have, along with several extra concerns.

Here are a few things to consider:

  • Does your online business sell products? If so, you are still liable for damages and injuries caused by the sale of those products, even if you have not manufactured them yourself.
  • Does your business provide professional services or advice online? Providing an online service or offering advice may leave you open to claims of negligence or misconduct.
  • Do you ever meet with clients, partners or suppliers in a face-to-face setting?
  • What kind of information do you store online? Product information (e. schematics, documents, etc.), customer data, banking or credit card records? Your business could be compromised if your systems are hacked and you suffer a data breach. For this reason, online businesses should consider cyber liability insurance.

If you believe your online business might need cover, use our free business insurance comparison service to find policies from numerous providers in a matter of minutes. Or, you can talk to a business insurance expert on 1800 645 617.

Professional indemnity

Where do I buy professional indemnity insurance for a nurse?

Nurses can buy a professional indemnity policy through our free business insurance comparison service or by calling 1800 645 617.

How much professional indemnity insurance do I need?

Estimating how much professional indemnity insurance you need for your business can be a difficult task, especially since there is no one-size-fits-all solution for this type of protection.

Even if there are minimum levels or guidelines set by your industry body or association, this may not be adequate cover to protect your business against potential claims. Here are some factors to consider with selecting an appropriate level of cover for your business.

  1. The number of employees you have. The more people in your business giving advice or performing services, the more likely a mistake could be made, leading to a claim for damages against your business.
  2. If you have any high-profile clients or contracts. Giving inaccurate advice is never ideal, but the stakes could be higher when your clients have more to lose. Think about the maximum amount of compensation that could be awarded against you.
  3. Your potential legal costs. Legal fees can quickly add up, so you’d want to make sure that your policy could cover most – if not all – of any potential lawsuits that might arise from a professional indemnity claim.

If you’re looking for a professional indemnity insurance policy, our free business insurance comparison service can make the search simpler. Not only will it give you several options that break down how much you’re covered for, but it also allows you to compare policies from multiple providers.

Public liability

Who does public liability insurance cover?

Public liability insurance covers the business and its employees, whether full-time, part-time or casual, against claims made by third parties for personal injury or property damage. It’s important to note that any sub-contractors you take on may not be automatically covered under your policy, therefore you may need to contact your insurer to have them added to your policy which will generally increase your premium, or they may need to obtain their own public liability policy.

Learn more about public liability insurance and how it can benefit your business.

How do I get public liability insurance?

You can obtain multiple quotes and purchase public liability cover through our business insurance comparison service or call 1800 645 617. Through us, you can compare policies from various providers, allowing you to weigh up numerous options on one page.

Do subcontractors need public liability insurance?

Even though public liability insurance isn’t mandatory for subcontractors, unless it is required to obtain a particular trade licence, many contractors may experience difficulty obtaining work without it. There is often a minimum level of cover stipulated in contracts for working on building sites and other premises.

Through our business insurance comparison service, you can compare a variety of public liability policies and select one that’s suitable for your lifestyle. Completing a quote takes only minutes and it won’t cost you anything.

Alternatively, call 1800 645 617 to talk to an insurance expert.

Is public liability insurance tax deductible?

Yes – for tax purposes, public liability insurance in most instances may be claimed as a general business expense. Visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information and seek advice from your accountant or tax agent.

What is public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is a commercial insurance policy that protects business owners in instances where third-party injuries to customers, suppliers or the general public, or property damage occurs as a result of their business activities.

If the policyholder is found to be responsible for the damages, public liability insurance can pay for the legal costs along with other expenses involved with the third party’s claim. Learn more about public liability insurance.

If you’re considering obtaining public liability insurance for your business, you can compare products from various insurers with our business insurance comparison service or call 1800 645 617.

Do I need public liability insurance if I work from home?

While the risk of being liable for a third-party injury or property damage is often perceived to be lower than other types of businesses, it is still an important form of cover for home-based businesses, particularly since most home and contents policies don’t cover business risks.

If you have customers or suppliers visiting you, even if it’s infrequently, public liability insurance can protect you against the chance that someone suffers an injury on your property, and will also offer protection if you damage another person’s property, whether at your premises or another location.

Even if the risk is minimal, public liability insurance should be considered if your business regularly deals with customers and clients. Through our free business insurance comparison service, you can compare products from various providers in minutes. Just enter your details and see if you can find a business insurance policy that suits your needs. Or, you can speak to an expert on 1800 645 617.

Will I need public liability insurance for my business?

While it’s not technically a statutory requirement for most businesses, it is an essential form of protection for almost every type of business whether you’re located in an office, retail store, home-based business or you travel around visiting your clients. Furthermore, some trade industries require employees and subcontractors to have public liability insurance as a condition of their registration or contract.

To ensure you’re covered against claims of third-party injury and property damage, you can search for public liability policies using our business insurance comparison service. Through us, you can find policies from a range of different providers on one page. Best of all, it’s free to complete a quote, so you can keep searching until you find a product that suits.

Prefer the personal touch? Call 1800 645 617 for further assistance.

Sole traders

How much is public liability insurance for a sole trader?

According to Bizcover, sole traders in New South Wales tend to pay an average premium of $67.88 per month for public liability insurance (please note: this figure can vary depending on your location and the nature of your business).

Businesses with a greater number of employees can be seen as a greater risk and more likely to make a claim on their public liability policy. As such, sole traders may find that their premiums are cheaper in comparison.

To find a suitable public liability policy, use our business insurance comparison service. Alternatively, you can call 1800 645 617, and with a few details, our experts can sort everything out for you.

Do sole traders need public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance is vital for sole traders since they have unlimited liability, meaning they are legally and financially liable for all their business activities. If they are found guilty of negligence for injury to third parties or damage to the property of others, they may be forced to pay for legal costs and damages out of their own pocket, which may lead to serious financial ramifications. It also means that their personal assets are at risk if a claim is made against them.

With the average premiums around $67.88 per month* for a sole trader, public liability insurance is an inexpensive way to ensure their livelihood is protected against third-party claims. However, the cost of a public liability policy will also be determined by the type of occupation it‘s covering.

Our easy-to-use business insurance comparison service allows you to compare a range of public liability policies in just minutes. It doesn’t cost anything to complete a quote and it only takes a few minutes, so why not weigh up your options?

To discuss business insurance options with an expert, call 1800 645 617.

*This average is based on data from BizCover customers in New South Wales – current as of August 2018.

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