What does Public Liability Insurance cover?

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What does Public Liability Insurance cover?

No matter how big or small your business is, an accident can happen at any time. And sure enough by Murphy’s Law, if anything can go wrong it might just happen within your business premises.

Public Liability (PL) insurance is designed to provide peace of mind when these unforeseen incidents occur.

PL insurance protects your business by providing compensation for property damage and personal injury or death in circumstances not covered by the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC).

The ACC looks after most of the exposure in New Zealand for accidental personal injury. However, it doesn’t provide protection for all businesses. For example, it leaves out those who export products or any businesses at risk of cr food poisoning claims – an area that food and hospitality businesses need protection in.

The purpose of Public Liability insurance is to give your business protection against unwanted and unforeseen risks. While you may not be found negligent of the allegation or claim, the related legal and defence costs could be enough to potentially put you out of business for good.

Public Liability commonly covers:

  • The costs to repair or replace damaged property
  • Compensation for personal injury or death to third parties where the ACC does not provide cover
  • Legal and defence costs

When would I need Public Liability insurance?

Public Liability insurance is designed to protect businesses from the financial impact of claims made against you.

While there are many situations in which a Public Liability policy can operate, these are some of the common reasons why someone may make a claim.

  • Damage to a third-party’s property
  • Financial loss as a result of damage to property
  • Financial loss as a result of damage caused by a faulty or defective product that you have manufactured or sold
  • Inappropriate installation of equipment causing damage to property
  • Injury, illness or death caused by your negligence that is not covered by the ACC.


The policy also commonly covers the cost of rectification of faulty workmanship up to $100,000.

Protect your business today.

What could cause a claim?

While sometimes damage can occur instantly, other situations may take time for the damage to manifest. Either way, a claim could have a devastating impact on your financial situation. Having the right Public Liability insurance in place is vital to ensuring you stay in business for the long run if you were to face a claim.

Different types of claims will occur in different types of businesses. For example, cafes and retail spaces have potential liability to their landlords. This is why landlords will often insist on Public Liability cover being in place before leasing a property for commercial use.

Trade businesses often open themselves up to entirely different set of risks that could still result in them being liable if a claim were to be made. For example, a trade business has the potential to cause damage to property when carrying out works. This could result from accidentally knocking down the wrong wall during a renovation or spilling paint all over the carpet.  This is where cover for rectification of faulty workmanship can assist.

The point is that different businesses often face vastly different risks. Therefore, what could cause a claim against you depends on your business’ circumstances. This is why it’s essential to consider what cover is right for your situation so you and your business can be adequately protected.

What is typically NOT covered by Public Liability insurance?

While Public Liability insurance covers your business for a variety of claims, there are some situations that it does not provide you and your business protection. Some of these reasons, such as if an injury were to occur to employees, require a different type of cover. Public Liability insurance also does not apply to being compensated for personal injury if it is covered by the ACC. And while PL covers claims of negligence, you still need to take responsibility and ensure your business operates in a professional manner.

Public Liability policies will NOT cover:

  • Injury to your employees
  • Damage to your own property
  • Compensation for personal injury when covered by the ACC.

Get the cover that’s right for your business

With BizCover there are four levels of Public Liability cover to choose from: $1 million, $2 million, $5 million, and $10 million.

Policies are typically tailored to suit the type of industry your business operates within. However, the amount of cover required will vary from one business to another. When deciding on how much cover you need for your business, consider the following factors:

  • Do any of your contracts require a minimum level of cover?
  • Has your industry body set a minimum level of cover for membership?
  • Does your business or trade license require a minimum amount of cover?
  • Do the terms of your lease require a minimum level of cover?
  • Finally, think about what your level of risk and exposure could be. What kind of accidents could occur, and what could be the potential cost of a claim?

How do I make a claim on my insurance policy?

Need to make a claim? No dramas! We’re here to assist you through the process and get you back to business. All you need to do is download, complete the Claim Notification Form and return to claims@bizcover.co.nz.

We’ll manage the process with the insurer for you, whilst our dedicated claims consultants keep you informed every step of the way. Alternatively, if you would like to contact us by phone, our customer service team are here to help you on Ph. 0508 249 268.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is difference between Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance?

Public Liability insurance protects you and your business against the financial implications if you are found liable for loss or damage to other people’s property, or cause illness or injury that is not covered by the Accident Compensation Commission (ACC).

Professional Indemnity (PI) insurance is an important form of protection for businesses that provide specialist services or professional advice. It is designed to respond to claims against your business for losses as a result of actual or alleged negligent acts or omissions in the provision of your professional service or advice. PI Insurance will also assist with the legal costs associated with responding to or managing claims which are covered by the policy.

Need Help?

Visit our Contact Us page, where you can find out how to get in touch with one of our business insurance professionals.

You can also access quick links to our self-service portal, where you can download your Certificate of Currency, update your payment details, amend your cover and download your policy documents.

* As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording.  The information contained on this web page is general only and should not be relied upon as advice.

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