Annual Insurance Reviews

Insurance Policy

There are plenty of questions to answer when taking out a new business insurance policy, but your responsibilities don’t end once the policy is in place.

If your business is like most other successful businesses, it will be continually evolving as you look at ways to improve it.

Whilst some businesses might not change a lot from year to year, others are changing rapidly from month to month, or even day to day!

For this reason it is important to keep your insurance broker or company in the loop to ensure that you and your business are properly protected.

Your Responsibilities

It’s easy to fall into the trap of only answering the questions when they are asked, but you are still required to update these details at each renewal and even in between renewals.

An ideal opportunity to review your business insurance needs it at renewal time, which will ensure that you are reviewing your cover at least annually.

It’s not simply a good idea to review your business and keep your broker updated.  It is in fact part of your duty of disclosure to ensure that your insurer knows about any relevant information which could affect their risk.

Areas for Review

There are many things which can change within a business over time, and some of the most common ones include changes to:

  • Business activities (both new activities and ceased activities)
  • Annual turnover / revenue
  • Staffing numbers
  • Use of subcontractors or labour hire
  • Working locations (particularly hazardous locations)

These aren’t the only changes that you need to make your insurer aware of, but they are certainly some of the more common changes which can impact upon your business insurance.

Whilst some of these changes may result in increased premiums, others can actually result in reduced premiums.

For example if your revenue and/or staff numbers have reduced, or you have ceased certain business activities, you may find that telling your insurer will result in a saving on your insurance.

Consequences

The consequences of not reviewing your business insurance can be extremely serious.

If you need to make a claim on your policy, and it is found that you have not notified the insurer of a relevant change to your business, you may find that the claim will be declined.

For example let’s say you’re an electrician and you have recently started a new contract working on a mine site, but you have not notified your insurer of this work.

If you need to make a claim for work you have done on the mine site, the insurer will most likely deny the claim because you have not disclosed this work to them.

If the claim was for a few thousand dollars you might be able to pay it out of your own savings, but if the claim is for a few hundred thousand, or even a few million, you could find yourself in serious financial trouble which can impact upon both your business and your family.

Reviewing Your Business Insurance

At each annual renewal you should speak with your insurance broker about you cover and whether or not it is still suitable for your needs.

In between renewals you should also inform your insurance broker (or the insurer directly if you do not have a broker) of any changes to your business which could affect your cover.

Whilst in some cases your premiums could increase after a review, it is much better to know that you are properly covered rather than taking the risk of being underinsured.

Public Liability Insurance Gold Coast

Gold Coast

The Gold Coast is a great place to live and work, and there is no shortage of business owners who call the Coast home.

With a population of more than 600,000 and annual visitor numbers of around 10 million, there is always something going on.

But with so many people pouring in and out of local businesses every day, it’s important to ensure your business is properly insured if something is to happen to one of those people.

This is where public liability insurance can help your Gold Coast business.

What is Public Liability Insurance?

If someone was to enter your place of business and injure themselves, or if you were doing some work for them and you caused property damage or personal injury to them, they could sue you and/or your business for serious money.

Public liability insurance can protect you and your business from this risk by covering the cost of a claim against you for property damage or personal injury suffered by others.

You can learn more at our ‘what is public liability insurance’ guide.

Which Gold Coast Businesses Require Cover?

If your business has the potential to cause property damage or personal injury to another person, then you will most likely need (or should at least have) public liability cover.

This captures pretty much any type of business, from the small shops along Cavil Avenue, the cafes, restaurants and bars elsewhere in Surfers Paradise and many other business types throughout the Coast.

If someone can slip, fall and sue, then you need cover!

The other big user of public liability insurance is the building and construction industry.

Whilst a tradie isn’t going to be at risk of slip and fall type claims in the same way that a shop could be, they are still exposed to the risk of causing property damage or injury whilst on the worksite.

The reality is that very few businesses on the Gold Coast (or elsewhere in Australia for that matter) could survive a serious claim without having the right public liability insurance in place.

Special Local Requirements

There aren’t any major differences in the insurance requirements between local businesses on the Gold Coast and elsewhere in Australia, but there are a couple of exceptions.

Both electricians and pool inspectors on the Gold Coast (and elsewhere in Queensland) have special requirements for their business insurance, and without the right cover they can’t obtain their licence.

Generally speaking you should be okay to use an insurance broker from anywhere in Australia, but if you do fall into one of the special categories then you may be better off using a local broker.

Quotes and More Information

There are a few ways in which you can obtain quotes and advice on your public liability and other forms of business insurance.

The most popular option for Gold Coast businesses is to use a local broker who specialises in business insurance.  They will be able to run through your options with you and provide you with quotes.

An increasingly popular option is to go online via websites such as this one which allows you to request quotes and even take out cover over the internet.

You can request a quote from us via our online quote form.

Our network of insurance experts are mostly located in Queensland (Brisbane in particular) and will be more than capable of assisting your Gold Coast based business.

Useful External Links

Tradies Insurance

For tradies there is one form of insurance that is by far the most common – public liability insurance.

As a self-employed tradie, including subbies, public liability is vital to protect you and your business if something goes wrong on the job.

In this guide we’ll look at what public liability for tradies covers, how much it costs and exactly who needs it.

If you just want to get a quote, click here.

What is public liability?

Public liability insurance is designed to cover a tradesman in the event that their negligence results in property damage or personal injury to a third party.

At the lower end we have small claims involving property damage.

A small property damage claim could involve the classic foot through the ceiling accident.  The insurance would cover the cost of repairing the damage and repainting the ceiling.

At the upper end we have claims involving personal injury, or even death.  This is where things get serious.

If your negligence resulted in the death of a third party, and you were sued for damages, your policy would respond.

These cases can stretch into the hundreds of thousands for serious injuries, and potentially millions for a death, so having the right insurance in place is absolutely vital.

Public liability cost for a tradie

Despite offering a huge amount of protection, public liability insurance is actually very cheap for a tradesman.

For the standard trades such as carpentry and electrical, a $5 million dollar policy can cost as little as $400 for a one-person business.

The larger your business, and the more hazardous your occupation, the higher the premium will be.

Also affecting the cost of your insurance will be the locations you work in.  Specifically, and locations that are considered hazardous or major public spaces.

Such locations can include airports, railway stations, power stations, oil rigs and the like.  If you work in or on any of these locations, you can expect to pay more for your insurance.

It’s vital that you do tell your insurance broker about this type of work, otherwise you may find that your policy does not cover you in the event of a claim.

To find out exactly how much this important form of tradies insurance could cost you, follow this link to our online quote form.

Which tradies need public liability?

If you have an ABN, then you’ll probably need public liability insurance.

Any self-employed tradie, whether you operate as a sole trader, partnership, trust or company, will need public liability insurance.

This includes those who subcontract to other builders.  Don’t think that the builder’s insurance will cover you, because in most cases it will not.

In terms of how much cover you need, it really depends on the work you are doing.

Cover is available in amounts of $5 million, $10 million and $20 million.

For a typical residential tradie, $5 million will be sufficient.  That being said, the cost to go from $5m to $10m isn’t much, so many tradies choose to double their cover.

If you are working in locations such as shopping centres and schools, there is a good chance you’ll be required to have the maximum cover of $20m.

Changing your level of cover is easy though, so even if you start with $5m and have to increase it later, it’s really not a big deal.

Purchasing a policy

There are a few different ways for a tradie to purchase a public liability policy.

For most tradies undertaking standard trades work, the easiest and cheapest option will be to go online.

Online providers such as Trade Risk can provide you with instant quotes via their website, and you can buy the policy online and get a certificate of currency emailed straight away.

It’s always important to read through the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before purchasing a policy, to ensure the policy is right for you.

If you’re unsure, then it’s highly recommended that you speak with an insurance broker who can run through everything with you.

Most brokers will happily deal with you over the phone or even via email, so there’s no need to make an appointment at a local broker’s office like the old days.

Public liability is super important for tradies, as well as being very affordable and easy to buy.  It’s undoubtedly a vital part of your toolkit.

Bricklayers Insurance

Bricklaying Insurance

Public liability insurance for brickies

For most self-employed bricklayers public liability insurance is a must.

Many worksites will have mandatory public liability requirements, but many tradesmen are unsure exactly why they need this insurance and how it might help them.

In this guide we will look at what this form cover actually does for bricklayers, which ones need it and how much it will cost.

What is it?

Public liability can protect a bricklayer from the costs of a claim involving property damage or personal injury to another person.

If you are found to have acted negligently you could be up for some serious costs, but with the right insurance in place you can rely on the insurer to cover the costs.

Claims for property damage and personal injury can occur very easily for bricklayer, or for any tradesman for that matter.

A minor property damage claim could arise from something as simple as dropping a brick chipping an expensive tile.

A personal injury claim on the other hand could involve collapsed brickwork which results in a serious injury or even death.

Which brickies need it?

Generally speaking it is bricklayers who work for their own business or as a subcontractor who need public liability cover.

If you are working on wages you will generally be covered by your employer’s insurance, but it is still worth checking with your employer to ensure you are not left exposed.

Some worksites have mandatory public liability requirements for all tradies on site, but even if that’s not the case for you it is still worth considering.

How much does it cost?

Bricklayers are generally considered to be a fairly low insurance risk for public liability, which is great news because it means the premiums are also quite low.

The public liability cost for a brickie can be from as little as $400 for someone doing standard residential work on their own.

Getting a quote is the best way to find out the cost of your insurance, and you can do this easily by completing our online quote request or talking to your existing broker.

Other policies

Although our website focuses mainly on public liability, there are other forms of cover that a brickie can benefit from.

Income protection is the common form of bricklayers insurance behind public liability, and other popular covers include tool insurance and life insurance.

If you would like more information about public liability or any other form of business cover please contact us.

Tree Lopping Insurance

Tree Lopper

There are some occupations and business types which need insurance more than others, and tree loppers definitely fall into that category.

As a tree lopper you know there are some serious risks that you face every day when it comes to personal injury and property damage.

Although the potential risks are high, you can protect yourself with public liability insurance.

Public Liability Insurance

Public liability is arguably the most important form of insurance for people involved in tree lopping.

This form of insurance can protect you and your business in the event that you cause property damage or personal injury to another person as a result of your business activities.

Anyone who has been in the industry will know how easy it is to cause injury or damage through falling branches or entire trees, not to mention the potential for chainsaw mishaps.

For these reasons public liability is a must for anyone running their own business or working as a subcontractor in the tree lopping industry.

Insurance considerations

The main issue you will have with public liability insurance as a tree lopper is the heights you can work at.

If you are a gardener, handyman or landscaper who does some lopping as part of the job, most insurers will have height restrictions of 3m to 5m. Some actually exclude tree lopping completely.

If tree lopping is your full time role, you will find that some insurers do not offer cover at all. In this case you will have to shop around to find an insurer who can offer you appropriate coverage.

Quotes and more information

To find out which insurers will offer cover to suit your tree lopping activities, and to find the insurers that will offer the most competitive premiums, the best option may be to use an insurance broker.

You don’t have to use a broker, but it will save you a lot of running around, and it may also save you a considerable amount of money if the broker can secure you a better deal.

The cost of your public liability cover will depend on your specific business activities, including what heights you are working at and what percentage of your time is spent on lopping.

Income Protection

Although we specialise in public liability, it would be remiss of us not to mention income protection insurance.

Handling a chainsaw at whilst perched ten or twenty metres up a tree can be quite risky, and there are plenty of news articles out there covering some nasty injuries to tree loppers.

Public liability won’t cover you for injuries that you suffer yourself, but you can still protect yourself with forms of insurance such as income protection and TPD insurance.

For more information about these forms of cover you should speak with a qualified financial adviser. By ticking this option on our online quote request we can put you in touch with a suitable professional.

Should You Use a Local Broker?

Once upon a time if you wanted to use an insurance broker you would use one from your local area, but these days things are different.

The internet has brought about major changes in so many areas of our lives, and this includes the ways that we interact with business professionals such as insurance brokers.

Whilst the rise of online services means that we can access services from anywhere around the country (or even the world), is this a good idea for you and your business?

So the question is, are you better off using a local insurance broker or looking elsewhere?

Benefits of using a local

One of the best things about using a local insurance broker is that you can speak with them face to face.

Not only is this good in terms of building a business relationship, but it also means that your broker can visit your place of business and see for themselves what potential risks need to be insured against.

Whilst this may not be a big deal for many small business types, it can become more important for larger businesses and those with a complex range of potential risks than need to be assessed.

Disadvantages of going local

The major downside to using a local insurance broker is that you’re restricting yourself to a small pool of expertise.

For example you may run a fairly unique business type in one area, but all of the brokers specialising in your industry are located interstate.

A local broker may still be able to help you, but by limiting yourself to the local area you are missing out on the specialist advice available elsewhere.

Benefits of going elsewhere

Technology means that we can now deal with a business insurance broker from anywhere in the country.

We can find a broker via an online search, we can research them and learn more via their website, and we can communicate with them via email, phone, online chat and even video conferencing.

This means that you can find the most suitable insurance broker for your business without being limited to a certain geographic area, and you can deal with them at any time that suits you.

If you are dealing with an insurance brokerage that only deals with clients via phone and email, you may also find that they can offer lower premiums due to their lower operating costs.

The downside of dealing with a remote broker is that you cannot deal with them face to face.

However, in most cases you still have the peace of mind knowing that you’re dealing with a qualified and licensed broker, and any decent broker will provide you with their mobile phone so that you can contact them whenever you need to.

With advances in online technology, there is no reason why insuring your business with an insurance broker who deals via phone and email should be any different to using one who deals face to face.

Insurance for a New Business

Establishing a new business is an exciting time, but along with the fun jobs there are also a few less exciting tasks to be done.

Some of the fun jobs include choosing a business name and having a logo designed, as well as finding your new premises and fitting it out.

The less exciting tasks can vary, but in most cases business insurance will definitely fall into this category!

Whilst insuring your business may not be the most interesting part of setting up a new enterprise, it is certainly one of the most important if you wish to protect yourself and your business.

What are your risks?

Insurance isn’t just about choosing a policy and paying the premium. It is about protecting yourself and your business against the risks that you face.

Therefore the first step in looking after your business is to consider all of the risks to your business.

Many businesses will have common risks, but they will also have their own unique risks depending on the business type.

For example a cafe business and a tradie may seem very different, but there are in fact many common elements between a cafe insurance pack and a tradesman insurance pack.

Both business types have the risk of causing injury to another person. For the cafe it could be through slip and fall injuries, whilst for the tradesman it could be through workplace incidents.

Likewise the cafe owner and the tradesman both have property to protect. For the tradesman it will be his tools, and for the cafe owner it will be their fit-out and stock etc.

So the first step for your new business is to assess your risks. Some of the common ones to consider include the risk of:

  • Causing personal injury to others
  • Causing damage to the property of others
  • Providing advice which results in a financial loss
  • Having your property stolen or vandalised
  • Having your property damage through fire or storm
  • Being unable to operate your business for a period of time

Covering your risks

Thankfully a new business can cover many of the risks listed above with insurance.

The risks of causing property damage or personal injury to another person can be covered by public liability insurance, whilst the risk of providing negligent advice can be covered by professional indemnity.

Risks associated with loss or damage to property can be covered by a range of different covers designed to protect against theft, vandalism, fire, accident and storm damage

Getting good advice

If this is your first business and you have never required business insurance in the past, the best thing you can do is seek professional advice.

An insurance broker will be able to run through all of your business risks with you in order to determine which types of insurance you require.

The broker will also be able to obtain multiple quotes for you in order to get you the best deal on your cover, which is important since we all know the importance of keeping costs down in a new business.

We have put together a guide on choosing your first insurance broker to help with finding the right fit for you and your business.

Setting up a new business is an exciting time, and by getting your insurance right the first time you can save yourself a lot of time, money and heartache down the track.

Small business insurance Brisbane

BrisbaneBrisbane is home to a large and diverse range of small businesses.

From cafes in New Farm to manufacturers in Darra, and everything in between, Brisbane is home to a thriving small business community.

It’s important to protect these businesses, and one of the most effective ways of doing so is with insurance.

So what do you need to know about insuring your business?

Importance of insurance

As small business owners we all know just how much work it takes to build and maintain our businesses.

We put huge amounts of effort into growing our businesses and building up financial security for ourselves and our families.

We also understand the importance of protecting our businesses and doing everything we can to reduce the risk of things going wrong.

But there are certain things that our out of our control.  No matter how much care we take, there are some things which are going to happen regardless of what we do.

This could be anything from a car crashing through the front of your restaurant to the recent floods that ravaged parts of Brisbane in 2011 and 2013.

And this is where insurance comes in.

Insurance is there to help your small business when things go wrong.

Small businesses (and their owners) arguably have more to lose than any other business type when it comes to things going wrong.

If a big business suffers a major loss it might put a small dent in their quarterly profit, but the same loss could be catastrophic for a small business, sending it and its owner bankrupt.

It’s just not worth putting all of the blood, sweat and tears into a small business if there a chance that you could lose it all.

Especially if you lose it all to something which could have been covered by insurance.

Using an insurance broker

When considering small business insurance there are two main options.  You can go directly to an insurance company, or you can use an insurance broker.

Here in Brisbane there are plenty of options either way.  You could use a local insurance company such as Vero, or you could use a local insurance broker.

The better option for small business owners is generally to use an insurance broker.

Why is this?

Because an insurance broker has the skills and knowledge, not to mention the qualifications, to provide you with personalised advice on your business insurance needs.

By going to an insurance company directly you will be able to obtain quotes easily enough, but generally their call centre staff are unable to provide personal advice to you.

An insurance broker on the other hand can analyse your small business and come up with a set of recommendations that suit your own personal needs and objectives.

When choosing an insurance broker it’s important to choose one who knows your business.

Choosing a broker whose office is just down the road might be convenient, but if they have limited experience with your type of business it might not be a great match.

By using a broker who knows and understands your business and your industry you are giving yourself the best chance of obtaining the right coverage at the right price.

More information

For more information on small business insurance in Brisbane please speak with an insurance broker.

If you do not already have one you can try the ‘need a broker’ service offered by NIBA, which is the National Insurance Brokers Association.

We also have a range of articles on our website which you can read, however please remember that online guides and articles are no match for professional advice.

Other Business Insurance Types

Qld Business OwnerOur website is all about public liability, but it’s also important for Qld businesses to consider other forms of cover.

In this guide we’ll look at some of the other forms of business insurance available.

Which of these insurance types are necessary for your business will depend on the type of business you operate, but it will give you an overview of the covers available.

Property Damage

Once you’ve insured yourself against damaging other people’s property (via public liability insurance) the next step is to insure your own property.

Property damage insurance will cover your business property from a range of risks including fire, storm and malicious damage.

Cover for flood damage is also available, but keep in mind that not all business policies provide full flood coverage, which is especially important for businesses located in Queensland.

Theft, Glass & Money

These are actually three separate covers, but they are typically bundled together under a business pack.

Theft will cover your contents and stock in the event of burglary, whilst glass provides cover for all fixed glass within your premises such as windows and shelving.

Money covers a set level of cash held on your premises or in transit either to or from your premises.

General Property

General property insurance is separate to your standard property damage and theft covers, and is designed to protect your portable items such as tools or laptops.

The cover is more expensive than the standard property options, but does have the added benefit of protecting your tools and equipment anywhere in Queensland or around the country.

Professional Indemnity

In some ways this insurance is similar to public liability, but whilst public liability covers your physical actions, professional indemnity covers the advice or service you provide.

That’s quite a simplistic way of putting it, but it gives you an idea of what is covered.

Professional indemnity is generally only required if you provide a professional service, such as an account, solicitor or anyone else who charges for their advice.

Business Interruption

If you operate your business from dedicated premises, business interruption can protect you in the event that you cannot operate from the premises.

A claim would occur if your premises where damaged by fire or storm for example, and your business lost revenue due to not being able to trade for a period of time.

Other covers

There are other forms of cover available, and we recommend speak with a broker about which forms of insurance are right for your business.

For more information about the other covers available to Qld businesses please contact us.

Sydney Cafe Insurance

Coffee beans

When operating a cafe in Sydney there will be a range of business insurance types required.

One of the most important is public liability, and that is the one this article will focus on.

Some of the topic we’ll be looking at include what the policy covers, how much it costs and why it’s important for your cafe.

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance will cover your cafe business in the event that your business activities result in property damage or personal injury to another person.

A common potential claim for a cafe is the classic ‘slip and fall’.  If a customer was to slip or trip in your cafe and suffer an injury, you could be found liable for their costs.

Another potential claim which is less common, but still worth knowing about, is that of coffee and hot drink scalds and burns.

If you were found to be liable and responsible in any of these cases, your public liability insurance policy would cover the costs of a claim against you and your business.

What are the costs?

The cost of public liability for a cafe in Sydney will generally be quite low, especially when included in your overall cafe insurance package.

In terms of what will impact upon your costs, generally it is a case of the larger the business the more expensive the premium will be.

The insurer will look at factors such as the number of staff, your annual revenue and the number of seats in your cafe when determining your premium.

Why do cafes need it?

It’s all about protecting yourself and your business from the costs of a claim against you.

If you are found to be responsible for someone’s loss and therefore liable to pay their costs, the money involved can be huge.

A small claim for a customer who has sprained their ankle whilst in your store may not send you broke, but if that client was to suffer a serious back injury which affected their ability to work then you could be up for hundreds of thousands.

Whilst a typical cafe owner in Sydney may not have a spare couple of hundred grand laying around, your insurance policy can cover you for anywhere from $5 million to $20 million.

Get a quote

To get a quote on your insurance please complete our public liability quote request form.

You have worked hard to build your cafe business, so don’t risk not having the right cover in place.