What is Public Liability 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).
If you are found negligent, the financial repercussions can be devastating. The cost of defending yourself alone could put you out of business, and then there’s the cost of settlements, whether agreed out of court or awarded by the court. With the right Public Liability cover, your insurance company will provide much needed funds to cover your legal costs and any compensation claims, leaving your business free of financial risk. Phew!
Most public liability policies also extend to Product Liability cover. If you sell, supply or deliver goods, even in the form of repair or service, you may need cover for claims made against you where goods have caused damage or injury. Product Liability insurance covers you if any of these events happen to another business or person by the failure of your product or the product you are selling.
Even the most careful businesses run the risk of damaging something during the course of operations. And you don’t want to be left with empty pockets (and some) because you tried to save a bit of cash by not purchasing the right amount of Public Liability insurance, or worse, didn’t have any at all.
If the risk to your businesses is such that you would go out of businesses should you experience a public liability claim, then you need to have it. It’s as simple as that.
And if you are doing business with another business, make sure they have public liability insurance too, so all’s well that ends well should an accident occur from their negligence.
A Public Liability claim could result from
- Accidental damage to a third party’s personal property
- A faulty or defective product that you have manufactured or sold
- Incorrect installation of equipment resulting in damage to property
- Injury, illness or death due to your negligence that is not covered by the ACC
Do I really need Public Liability Insurance?
The short answer. Yes. The long answer. Absolutely yes. If you or your employees interact with other people while doing business in any way or form then you need it. For example:
- Consultants/Contractors/ Tradespeople who work from home or visit their clients’ premises
- Businesses that have an office, showroom, shop or any premises where your customers or members of the public visit
- ALL business that have interaction with customers or the general public should have Public Liability insurance
Could this happen to your business?
Accidents can happen at any time. Some of our customers can attest to that!!
Here is a real-life claim example:
A landscape gardener who was working at a private residence needed to use a garden power tool to complete the required work. Whilst operating the machine he accidentally lost control of it damaging the side of his client’s house. The landscape gardener’s insurer quickly agreed that he was negligent, as the damage arose out of the operation of the insured’s business activity. They settled the claim with the homeowner’s own insurer within one week. Most importantly however, the homeowner has continued to hire the landscape gardener despite the incident as the matter was able to be settled easily and quickly due to the landscape gardener’s Public Liability cover.