We’ve been helping tradies with their public liability insurance in QLD for over a decade.

Whilst we look after thousands of businesses Australia-wide, it is Queensland that we call home!

In this guide we’ll take an in-depth look into public liability insurance, focusing on the following topics:

If you’re more interested in getting a quote than reading our guide, please call us on 07 3856 1301 or hit the orange button below.

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What is public liability insurance?

Before we get stuck into public liability insurance information specific to QLD, it’s worth taking a look at what public liability actually is.

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

The law would find you financially liable for the costs involved in that damage or injury, but your public liability insurance can cover those costs.

Let’s take a look at some claim examples to give you a better idea.

Personal injury example:

Let’s say you’re a roofing contractor replacing some broken tiles on a client’s roof.

You accidentally drop one of the tiles, and it slides down the roof and over the edge, landing on the shoulder of one of the people living in the home.

It’s terrible timing that the person just happened to be walking underneath as you dropped the tile, but it can happen…

The tile causes some serious damage to the person’s shoulder that requires surgery and a couple of months off work since the person can’t use their arm properly.

As your negligence resulted in the injury, you would be liable for all medical costs, plus the lost wages whilst the person was unable to work.

But with public liability insurance, you would be covered.

Property damage example:

Let’s keep it super simple and stick with the above scenario, but instead of the tile landing on a person, it lands on the homeowner’s car parked down the side of the house.

As your negligence resulted in the damage, you would be responsible for the costs involved in repairing the vehicle.

But again, with public liability insurance you would be covered.

Do I need public liability insurance in QLD?

Any small business in Queensland – especially a trades business – should have public liability insurance.

Whether or not you actually need it depends on your trade and the contracts you are entering into.

When it comes to your trade, here in QLD there are certain trades that must have public liability insurance.  We’ll cover these in the next section which looks at compulsory insurance.

Certain worksites and contracts you enter into may also have set public liability insurance requirements.

You might sign a contract as the subcontractor, and the contract may stipulate a minimum amount of public liability insurance.

If you don’t have the insurance in place, you might not have your invoice paid, or you might not even be allowed onto the worksite.

Irrespective of your trade or contractual requirements, operating a business in QLD without public liability insurance is a massive risk for a tradie.

Is public liability compulsory in QLD?

There is no blanket requirement for a tradie or a business to hold public liability insurance in QLD.

However, there are certain trades where public liability insurance is compulsory in order to obtain or renew your licence.

Both electricians and plumbers in QLD must hold public liability insurance as part of their licence requirements.

These requirements are set by the Queensland Government, via WorkSafe (for electricians) and the QBCC (for plumbers).

How much public liability cover do I require?

This number will depend on your trade, your contracts and the types of projects you’re working on in Queensland.

With you trade, the minimum is set by your licence requirements, which for both plumbers and electricians in QLD is $5 million.

For contracts, the required cover can be anything up to $20 million, and even higher if you’re working on large public infrastructure projects.

For public areas such as shopping centres and hospitality you’ll often find that contracts will stipulate a minimum of $20 million cover.

If the minimum is not set by your trade licence or your contracts, or if you want more than the minimum, it’s really up to you to decide.

Often the cost for going from the minimum $5 million to the typical maximum of $20 million isn’t huge, so it may be worth going for the higher cover for greater peace of mind.

How much does public liability cost in QLD?

The public liability insurance cost for your business in Queensland will depend on a range of different factors.

Your trade and the size of your business will have major impact, as will your claims history if you’ve had a number of claims, or a particularly large claim.

With regards to QLD-specific issues affecting your insurance, the main one would be stamp duty.

The Queensland Government charges 9% stamp duty on certain insurance types including public liability insurance in QLD.

Another factor unique to QLD is for electrical contracts, who must a special option known as consumer protection cover included in their public liability.

Depending on the insurer, this can often have an impact on the cost of the public liability insurance.

Am I covered only whilst operating in QLD?

Most public liability insurance policies will cover you Australia-wide.

This is most important for tradies, being such a mobile business type, especially if you operate close to the QLD border.

It’s still worth checking with your insurance company or broker, but it’s generally a safe bet that you will be covered outside of QLD, as long as you’re still within Australia.

Most insurance companies or brokers will ask what percentage of your work is undertaken in QLD and elsewhere, but this is generally only for the calculation of stamp duty and does not restrict you to operating only in those stages.

Do I need to use a QLD based broker?

There is no specific requirement to use a local insurance broker for your public liability insurance in QLD.

Whilst a local broker may have a better understanding of the local market and the insurance requirements, there is nothing stopping brokers from outside of QLD helping local businesses.

About Trade Risk

At Trade Risk, most of our clients prefer to deal with us online or over the phone, but Brisbane locals are welcome to visit our office. We’re based in Hendra, which is around 10 minutes north of the Brisbane CBD.

No matter what your trade is, we can assist with your public liability insurance needs in QLD.

In addition to public liability, we can also help tradies in Queensland with a range of other insurance types including tool insurance, commercial motor, contract works and more.

Queensland Born & Bred

Queensland Trade Insurance

Over the years we’ve found that more of our larger clients tend to come from Queensland.  In this case we’re talking about trade businesses with more than ten staff.

We’re proud to be Queensland born and bred.

Our founder, Shane Moore, was born in Brisbane and has lived here virtually all of his life.

Our office has always been in Brisbane, starting off as a home office in Clayfield, then Albany Creek, then offices in Kelvin Grove, Fortitude Valley, Albion, and finally to our current base in Hendra.

We know Brisbane as well as anyone, and if you’re a tradie based in Brisbane we’d love to help out with your business insurance needs.

Unlike other insurance brokers who may have offices in Brisbane, but are actually Sydney or Melbourne owned, we are proudly 100% QLD owned!

Why use a Queensland public liability insurance broker?

The fact that we have clients in every state and territory of Australia means that we are strong believers in our ability to look after clients no matter where they are.

But sometimes it’s just nice to meet with someone in-person, especially if you’re dealing with a tricky situation such as a claim.

Trade businesses of this size tend to have more complex needs.  They need a lot more than just a public liability insurance policy.

For example they likely have a business premises they operate from with stock and equipment to protect, as well as larger fleets of vehicles.

We like to visit these businesses in-person to get a better feeling for the business, which in turn can allow us to make better recommendations on the insurance needs of the business.

That’s no to say we can’t do the same thing over the phone and via email (we can and do!) but it’s just a little nicer when we can meet face-to-face.

So whilst we don’t believe that it’s necessary to deal with a local broker, it is definitely a nice bonus!

That’s why we love dealing with Queensland tradies so much.

If you just want to stick to email and phone communication that is completely fine, and our staff have great skills when it comes to dealing with people electronically.

But if you like the idea of meeting your broker face-to-face, and you’re live or work in Brisbane, then you’d be crazy not to use Trade Risk!

Does that mean other people should use a local broker?

You might now think that if you’re a tradie based in Sydney that you should use a Sydney broker.

We don’t believe this is right however.

Why? Because we believe you should take advantage of modern technology to access the best services available to you.

At Trade Risk we genuinely believe that we do offer the best service to tradies and trade businesses, and a quick read through our client testimonials will confirm this.

So yes, using a local broker is great, but not if there is someone who can offer a better service from a different location.

The best of both worlds!

This is where the big bonus comes for tradies who live or work in Brisbane and need public liability insurance, or any other form of business cover.

You can deal with one of the leading trade insurance brokers in Australia, but also deal with a local Brisbane broker!

Even if your business is located outside of Brisbane, it’s still nice to know you’re supporting a Queensland owned and operated business that is on your side.

Our office or yours

Unlike dealing with some insurance companies where you’ll be talking to a call centre operator, our staff at Trade Risk have a little more freedom.

Every Trade Risk client has a dedicated account manager. You’ll have their mobile number to contact them anytime you need to.

You can come into our office and talk to the team at any time. You can ask questions, enjoy a coffee and leave with all your paperwork sorted.

If you can’t make it into the office we may even be able to come and see you. This is just another benefit of dealing with Trade Risk if you’re based in south-east Queensland.

Use the Queensland trade insurance experts

So if you’re based in QLD, come and give Trade Risk a go with your insurance needs.

We have the strength of over 5,000 clients Australia-wide, but still the local business focus to look after you on a more personal level.

Drop into our office any time during business hours at 33 Navigator Place, Hendra, or call our friendly team on 07 3856 1301.

Author: Shane Moore.  Last updated: 3/10/2023.