Whatever the size and shape of your business, you have a duty of care to prevent harm or damage to all people and property you or your employees come into contact with during the course of business.

It might be a slip or trip that causes injury, a faulty product that damages property, or even an advertisement that unintentionally misleads.

Try as you might to prevent these incidents, they’re often beyond your control. They may not even be your fault. But they could cost your business millions if you don’t have the right cover.

What is General Liability insurance?

General Liability insurance, also known as Public and Product Liability insurance, helps to protect your business in the event a claim for compensation is brought against you for injury or damage arising out of the course of your business. This could include:

Public Liability

Personal injury

Claims for medical costs and damages that result from an injury or illness caused by your business.

Public Liability

Property damage

Claims for physical loss, destruction or damage to tangible property caused by your business.

Public Liability

Advertising liability

Claims for stolen ideas, invasion of privacy, defamation, misleading advertising or unfair competition arising out of your business.

Legal costs

Covers the costs we incur to defend you and your reasonable expenses incurred to defend a claim against your business.

What does General Liability insurance cover*?

  • Injury or damage to third parties and advertising liability.

Which cover is right for you?

Every business is unique, so we work with you and your broker to understand your risk and exposure to provide the right cover to protect you against the unforeseen.We have cover to suit:

Small (micro) businesses

For small businesses with 1-10 employees and turnover under $2 million, our direct Small Business Insurance might be for you. With business liability cover as your base, you can choose from a limited range of optional insurance covers to suit your business needs.

Buy online and tailor your cover

Small and medium businesses

If you are a small or medium sized business with up to $20 million turnover and property assets valued under $10 million, our business packages policy is designed to protect businesses like yours.

Your broker can arrange for a quote or to build your own insurance package to protect your business.

Large business

For larger businesses, we can provide tailored General Liability solutions to suit businesses in a wide range of industries. In addition, we have *optional cover extensions available depending on your risk profile, these include:

  • Cover for products exported to the USA or Canada
  • Cover for your expenses in the event you need to recall a product
  • Cover for an error or omission you may make in the course of business.

Contact your broker to build the right insurance solution for your business.

*Optional cover extensions are subject to risk assessment and limits and exclusions may apply.

Expert support from cover to claim

Our dedicated liability underwriting teams endeavour to provide comprehensive solutions to cover your business risks, no matter how unusual or complex. And in the event of a claim against your business, our specialist liability claims team will be there to support you throughout the process.

Our financial strength and consistent approach to underwriting liability over many years prove that we’re in it for the long haul and you can rest assured that we will be around to provide expertise and support throughout the entire claims journey.

How to buy Public Liability insurance

Our General Liability policy is available through brokers and QBE authorised representatives. They’ll ensure the policy works for you and if you need to make a claim, they’ll guide you through our claims process.

Need a broker? If you don’t have a reliable personal recommendation, please visit the Need a broker website* where you can find an accredited broker. Or see our guide to finding the right broker.

*The brokers on this site are not employees or agents of QBE but are independent entities. QBE is not responsible for any advice provided to you by any broker on this site. Any such advice is the responsibility of the broker concerned.

Frequently asked questions

As a business owner, the financial fallout of legal action brought against you by third parties could be severe if you don’t have the right General Liability insurance.

General Liability insurance can protect your business from unexpected damages or accidents that may arise from your day-to-day operations. Here are some examples:

  • Personal Injury: You own a store and a customer slips on a puddle of water within your store and injures themselves. The injured customer sues your business for damages including medical expenses.

    How QBE can help: We will investigate and determine whether you were at fault for the customer's injury and breached your duty of care. In the event you are found to be at fault, we will deal with the customer's lawyer to reach an agreement on costs and damages, plus the legal expenses involved. The only cost to your business is your agreed contribution (also called deductible or excess) that is required to be paid in the event of a claim on your policy. 

  • Property Damage: You run a building firm. While working on a project, an unsecured ladder falls on a car, damaging its bonnet and roof. The owner of the car has $4,000 worth of repairs done through their own insurance company, who in turn claims the cost from QBE.

    How QBE can help: We will investigate and determine whether you were responsible for the unsecured ladder. In the event that you are found responsible, we will deal with the other insurer to settle the claim and you will need to pay your agreed contribution (also called deductible or excess).

There are some things that are not covered by our General Liability policy which relate to the business’ responsibility to provide the correct information to customers, use the right materials when producing goods and generally acting in goodwill while carrying out their activities. Some examples of things not covered include claims related to:

  • asbestos
  • professional advice or services
  • faulty workmanship
  • assault and battery
  • the ownership, possession, operation or use of motor vehicles
The level of General Liability protection your business needs will depend on the business’ activities and its associated risks, the regulatory environment you operate in, the size of the contracts you work on and the type of customers you have. For example, an electrician might cause a fire while working on a residential home with a loss valued under $5 million, however the loss could be major if the same incident happened while carrying out work in a commercial building with millions of dollars in assets as well as the damage to the building. Talk to your broker or QBE authorised representative to help you get the right level of General Liability cover.
Errors and Omissions cover can be offered as an optional extension to the QBE General Liability policy. It protects a business that becomes legally liable to pay compensation from advice or service provided in connection with their products, provided they did not receive a fee or income for providing that advice or service.

We have dedicated Liability Claims teams in each state ready to help. To lodge a claim contact your broker or email QBE directly:

Liability claims

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