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, depending on your industry or occupation, other types of business insurance may also be mandatory. 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 practice their profession in Australia.  Conversely, public liability insurance is often a mandatory licensing requirement for some trade occupations, such as electricians and plumbers in some States.

Some types of insurance may also form part of the requirements to become a member of a professional body or association or be required to comply with contractual obligations.

Both professional indemnity and public liability insurance can be purchased via our business insurance comparison service. Through this, you can compare policies from a number of insurers 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 can help to cover the loss of income and increased costs of running your business caused by a specified insured event (such as fire or property damage).  It's intended to assist your business to recover from an insured event by paying ongoing expenses (such as wages or rent).

If you believe your business would suffer in the event of 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 directly, call 1800 645 617.

* Excluding expenses that you elect not to insure and savings that are made during the time that the business is closed.

Does business insurance cover theft?

You can elect to insure your business against theft.  Theft insurance can cover your contents and stock from actual theft, attempted theft or an armed hold up. Theft insurance usually requires the item that's been stolen to have been securely stored before the theft or for there to be evidence of forcible entry.

To obtain theft cover, 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?

If your business has employees, the answer will be yes. While other forms of business insurance are sold through Compare the Market, workers' compensation is not available through this platform.  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?

Always speak with your tax professional or visit the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) website for more information. Generally, business insurance will be a tax-deductible business expense.

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 and the type of cover you need.

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 of public liability insurance cover your business requires is a decision made by you.  Risk factors you might like to consider are 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, or your contractual obligations to hold this type of insurance.

Smaller home-based businesses may select a lower level of cover if they have limited contact with other people.  However, the nature of the business may also be a relevant consideration.  For example, a business that produces and/or sells products may select a higher level of cover to protect the business against personal injury or third party 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.) generally select a higher level of cover. Having close contact with more people increases the chance of an accident, which results in a public liability claim. Contractors and trade workers often require a certain level of cover to meet their contractual obligations or to obtain specific licenses.

Public liability insurance can be a cost-effective way to protect your business against legal expenses associated with public liability claims that could potentially be expensive. 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.

How much business insurance do I need?

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

To help decide what types of cover you need and how much to take out, you must identify the risks associated with your business. You could 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 against? How much would it cost to replace all your business assets if they were damaged or destroyed by a fire? What are your possible legal liabilities? 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

Once you’ve considered the types of cover your business needs, use our free business insurance comparison service to see how much your business can be insured for with our partners.

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

Market stall

How much public liability insurance is available for my market stall?

The market organisers usually set the minimum amount of public liability insurance. However, when deciding on how much cover might protect your market stall, it’s important to consider the following:

  • What types of products do you sell, and could they cause personal injury or third party property damage? For example, do you produce and sell food that could potentially cause food poisoning? Or sell 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’re blown over by heavy winds?
  • How many people are likely to pass through your stall?

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 important form of insurance cover for market stall holders, as weekend markets can attract large crowds to public spaces, exposing your market stall business to a wide range of potential risks. In fact, many market operators require their stallholders to hold public liability insurance 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 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?

Even businesses that are entirely online can benefit from public liability insurance. Third party property damage or personal injury can arise when an online business produces and/or sells products or deals face-to-face with customers, suppliers or members of the public.

Online businesses can consider other types of insurance too. For example, if they’re managing customer information digitally, cyber liability insurance may assist in the event of a cyber attack.

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

Do I need insurance for an online business?

Online businesses can face a mix of traditional business challenges, together with challenges unique to online business operations.

An online business can consider:

  • Does your online business sell products? If so, your business can still be legally liable for property damage or personal injury caused by the sale of those products (even if you have not manufactured them yourself).
  • Does your business provide professional services or advice? Simply providing these services online doesn’t mean you won’t be liable for claims relating to professional negligence or professional 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.g. schematics, documents), customer data, banking or credit card records? Your business could be compromised if you suffer a data breach as a result of a cyber hack. If you believe your online business could do with some business insurance cover, use our free business insurance comparison service to find policies from a range of providers in a matter of minutes. You can also talk to a business insurance expert directly on 1800 645 617.

Professional indemnity

Where do I buy professional indemnity insurance for a nurse?

Nurses can obtain professional indemnity insurance through the following avenues:

  • Purchase it directly through an insurance broker or insurance provider (our business insurance comparison service can be used to help you find relevant cover offered by our partners for small businesses and self-employed nurses).
  • Through professional bodies, defence organisations or trade unions you join.
  • Have it offered to you by your employer.
  • A combination of the above.

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’s no one-size-fits-all solution for this type of protection.

Even if there are minimum levels 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 professional advice or performing a professional service, the more likely a mistake could be made and lead 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, consider if the level of cover is inclusive or exclusive of defence costs (which include legal fees).

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 property damage or personal injury. It’s important to note that your public liability policy may not automatically cover any sub-contractors or labour hire workers you take on. Therefore, you may need to elect to have them added to your policy if that’s your intention. This will generally increase your premium, though. Alternatively, sub-contractors or labour hire workers could be requested to obtain their own public liability insurance 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’s 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 you. 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?

Generally, the cost of a public liability insurance policy can 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 negligent business activities.

If the policy covers a claim, 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 office or site-based businesses, it’s still an important form of cover for home-based businesses, particularly as most home and contents policies won’t cover your business risks or liabilities.

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. It 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. You can also speak to one of our experts on 1800 645 617.

Will I need public liability insurance for my business?

While it’s not a statutory requirement for most businesses, it's an important form of protection for almost every business type – 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 as part of their contractual obligations.

To cover third-party injury and property damage claims, 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 you.

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

Sole traders

How much is public liability insurance for a sole trader?

Because every business is different and costs can vary between providers and where your business is based, there’s no single answer to how much public liability costs.

Businesses with a greater number of employees may 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 important for sole traders as they may have a personal liability if things don’t go to plan – in other words, they can be legally and financially liable for all their business activities. If they’re found guilty of negligence, which causes injury to a third party or causes damage to the property of others, they may be forced to pay compensation and legal costs out of their own pocket, which may lead to serious financial ramifications. It may also mean that their personal assets are at risk if a claim is made against them.

Public liability insurance may be an inexpensive way to protect a sole trader’s livelihood against third-party personal injury and property damage claims. However, your occupation will also affect the cost of a public liability insurance policy.

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, so why not weigh up your options?

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

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