Why professionals shouldn't forget Public Liability risks

Public Liability Risks

Most professionals are aware they need Professional Indemnity insurance cover. Indeed, a Professional Indemnity certificate is often a requirement of practicing your profession. After all, Professional Indemnity is designed to protect consumers if something goes wrong – and it can also protect professionals against both genuine and vexatious claims.

Fewer professionals realise that Public Liability insurance is also essential to minimise the risk of doing business by protecting them against potential bodily injury, property damage and resultant legal defence costs.

 

How do Professional Indemnity and Public Liability Insurance differ?

Simply put, Professional Indemnity protects you, your clients, and customers from any adverse results of your professional practice whether or not you have been careless or negligent.

Examples are:

  • Delayed settlements that cause financial loss.
  • Incorrect advice for the client's financial situation.
  • Failure to comprehensively explain the terms and conditions of financial products.
  • All parties to a contract not being fully aware of their obligations.

A Public Liability policy may protect you when there is an injury to a client, or member of the public from slips or falls at your property. This also applies for damage to other people's property that you are responsible for.

Of course, Public Liability insurance may cover damage you or your clients cause to premises you are leasing from the property owner – and is frequently a contractual requirement of the venue when you’re exhibiting at trade shows or networking events.

 

When Public Liability may be required

Public Liability Insurance protects a professional individual and their business from the costs of lawsuits brought by members of the public. So, when might you be at risk of a public liability claim?

  1. If you operate a business from home, your domestic home policy may not extend to cover your business activities.
  2. If you attend trade shows, markets, fairs, networking events, as an exhibitor or an attendee.
  3. If you make visits to your client’s homes or workplaces you could be at risk of a claim for damages to their property or causing injury to someone.
  4. If a customer enters your business premises and trips on a broken floorboard or rug and sustains an injury.

If an allegation of injury to a person or damage to property is made against you and or your business the costs to defend your position can be significant for a small business.

If there is a settlement or remediation required, the total costs can be enough to seriously impact your financial position.

 

Triple protection

In summary, Public Liability Insurance can protect professionals in three additional ways – over and above what’s provided by their Professional Indemnity Insurance:

  • Bodily injury
    Public Liability protects against the risk of someone being injured on your business property and making a claim for medical expenses, loss of earnings, and pain and suffering. If the accident is serious and involves a child or young adult the amounts awarded can be significant. Coverage usually includes areas outside the property, such as walkways and car parks.
  • Property damage
    Protection for allegations of damage to someone else's property when they are at your premises or when you are at their property or if there is damage to a property that you lease or rent.
  • Defence Costs
    The cost of hiring and paying a legal team to represent you and your business in a lawsuit brought by a customer or someone else.

The cost of a Public Liability insurance policy for a mortgage broker starts from as low as $231*. A small outlay for a policy that provides the protection mentioned in this blog.

If you have any questions about Public Liability or Professional Indemnity Insurance, please contact our Customer Service team on 1300 444 142 or email mortgage@ihgroup.com.au.

*Indicative premium only, based on minimum sums insured and turnover.

Our advice is general in nature to read the full General Advice Warning click here.

 

About Robyn Styles

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