Public and Products Liability Insurance

What is public liability insurance?

If an accident or unforeseeable incident causes damage or injury to someone (other than your employees), you may be found legally liable to cover the costs. Public liability insurance can help to protect your business from the financial risk of liability claims – giving you the certainty you need to trade with confidence.

What is product liability insurance?

No matter how stringent your company is, mistakes can happen. For example, you may design or sell a product that causes a customer harm. Even if you’re not at fault, you could risk serious financial damage through legal and court costs if a customer decides to sue you. Product liability insurance is designed to help protect your business if you’re sued because a product you sell, assemble or supply has caused harm to a person or property.

Who should consider it?

While public and product liability insurance isn’t mandatory for most businesses, it is recommended for all companies. That’s because the unpredictable nature of accidents makes them hard to prevent – and the costs of being sued can be extraordinarily high.

“Public liability insurance helps protect you and your business against the financial risk of being liable for negligence.”

Australian Government,

Did you know?


The In 2013, there were close to 32,000 public liability claims made. Of these claims, just over 9,000 were claims for bodily injury.

(Australian Business Rountable, The
(APRA, Review of Claims Trends for Liability Insurance in Australia, 2014)

In 2014, property and business services was the sector with the highest exposure to public liability risk. It was followed by construction; retail; agriculture, forestry & fishing; personal services; and health and community services.

(APRA, Review of Claims Trends for Liability Insurance in Australia, 2014)


Since 2012, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) has recalled an average of 429 products each year.

(Shine Lawyers, ‘China-Australia Free Trade Agreement: potential commercial implications’, 2017)

What can it cover?

Public and products liability insurance helps protect your legal liability to third parties, including clients, customers and the public for injury or damage to their property, caused by your business. It can even cover emotional distress or shock that your business causes another person.
It will generally pay your costs of investigating, defending and settling claims, as well as any compensation payment you are found legally liable to pay.
Depending on your policy, public and products liability insurance can cover:

Type of CoverPotential benefits
Personal InjuryRepair or replacement of property damaged.
Property DamageLoss of trading profit following insured damage to property and additional costs and expenses incurred during a claim.
Advertising injuryRepair or replacement of property stolen.