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Protecting Your Business With Public Liability Insurance

By Author: Chris Meier
Total Articles: 4

Operating a business brings with it many risks, regardless of whether you are a sole trader, small to medium enterprise, or even a new start-up. And depending on the nature of your business, public liability could be one of your biggest risks, resulting from anyone being injured or harmed by your business, products, services, or even your advertising. While you obviously would have taken steps to prevent harm or injury, it is impossible to plan and guard against all accidents and events that could see you being liable for compensatory costs. Which is why some form of Public Liability insurance is essential for all businesses, irrespective of industry. But Public Liability insurance isn’t a one-size-fits-all type of insurance, so it is important to consider a few things to ensure your business is properly protected against third-party claims.

Know the Requirements

The state or territory you operate in will certainly have regulations that govern minimum requirements for Public Liability insurance, but depending on the nature of your business, professional bodies and industry associations you belong to might have additional requirements. Additionally, if you are renting or leasing your business premises, your landlord will also have stipulated requirements for Public Liability insurance. At the very least, any Public Liability insurance you take out should meet or exceed all of these requirements. And any time your insurer notifies you of changes to your policy or cover, check that these changes don’t negate any requirements you are obliged to meet.

Make Sure the Level of Cover is Sufficient

Meeting the minimum requirements of your landlord, local regulations, and industry associations isn’t always sufficient. You need to also assess your level of risk, and the type of claims you could be subjected to, with some businesses carrying a higher risk than others. Having a lower level of cover might be tempting because it also means lower premiums, but if you are subject to a significant claim, your insurance might not cover the full value, exposing your business to unnecessary financial burdens that could be crippling.

Get Cover for all Your Business Activities

With Public Liability insurance you don’t only need to consider having the right level of cover, you also need to ensure that all your business activities are covered. Read through the policy wording carefully, paying close attention to the terms and conditions, and looking out for exclusions. Ask potential insurers or your broker specific questions about who is covered, and what activities are included, and questions raised by your reading of the policy. While it is difficult to predict what – if any – claims you might be faced with in future, you don’t want to discover you are inadequately covered when a claim is lodged.

Continually Reassess Your Risk

Your risk exposure isn’t static and will grow and shrink continuously, with a multitude of influences affecting it. Some of these influences will be outside of your control, and you will need to ensure that your insurance cover is still sufficient, while there will also always be a few things you can do to reduce your risk exposure, such as training of employees, and implementing or improving health and safety measures. Make sure your insurer works with you regularly to assess your risk exposure and make adjustments to your coverage to provide the best protection at fair value.

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