Tradies Public & Products Liability Insurance

Insight

Published

10 November 2021

Everything you need to know about Public & Products Liability insurance

What is Public & Products Liability insurance

If you are responsible for property damage or personal injury as a result of your negligent business activities, you will generally be liable for the resulting damages. Public & Products Liability insurance is available to protect the tradie against the cost of these damages, including legal defence costs.

The cost of damages can range from hundreds of dollars for a minor claim up to millions in extreme circumstances. Whilst Public & Products Liability insurance will cover a tradie for any property damage or injuries to people they are liable for, it won’t cover any injuries to themselves or damage to their property.

Why does a tradie need Public & Products Liability insurance

The nature of trade work often requires tradies to work in hazardous environments. A self-employed tradie or sub-contractor is responsible for their business activities while on a job site. They could cause property damage or personal injury while on the job, and this could result in being liable for financial damages.

Public & Products Liability insurance is important for all tradies who are self-employed or who are working as sub-contractors. For some tradies it is mandatory, for others it is simply a smart way of protecting their businesses.

Working on building sites

Many worksites operated by building and construction companies will have mandatory Public & Products Liability insurance requirements for all tradie sub-contractors working on a site. Without an insurance Certificate of Currency they won’t be permitted to work on site. 

More specifically on building sites, it is important to note that the head contractor’s Public & Products Liability insurance policy may not cover tradie sub-contractors who have been employed for a job. Even if the head contractor’s Public & Products Liability insurance responds in the event of a claim for which the tradie sub-contractor is liable, the head contractor’s insurer may recover the claim costs from the sub-contractor. In this instance, the tradie sub-contractors could use their own public liability policy to claim costs. 


Requirements to have insurance 

Some tradies will require Public & Products Liability insurance before they can work for different franchise groups and also licensing requirements, depending on their trade and the state which they are located in. Examples of mandatory public liability insurance includes electricians in Queensland and Tasmania, and plumbers in Victoria.  Without a policy in place for these tradies they will not be able to apply for or renew their contractor’s licence. 

Even if Public & Products Liability cover is not mandatory for your situation, if you are a self-employed tradie it is still a very effective way of protecting your business against financial loss. 

How much will Public & Products Liability insurance cost?

A tradies occupation, turnover, wages and claims history determine the cost of Public & Products Liability insurance. The easiest way to find out how much your public liability cover will cost is to request a quote. Howden Australia offer an easy online simple process to obtain an instant quotation that can be followed by immediate confirmation of cover and issuance of a Certificate of Currency. 

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