Whatever the size and shape of your business, you have a duty of care to protect your customers and business partners from harm. 

It might be a slip or trip that causes personal 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 Public Liability insurance?

Public Liability insurance, also known us General Public and Product Liability insurance, helps to protect businesses in the event you become legally liable for claims of compensation brought against you by third parties caused by an event in connection with your business. This may include any claims against your business for: 

 Public Liability 

Personal injury costs

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

 Public Liability

Property damage costs

Claims for physical loss, destruction or damage to tangible property.

 Public Liability

Advertising liability

Claims for stolen ideas, invasion of privacy, defamation, misleading advertising or unfair competition.

 Public Liability

Legal costs

Covers the costs we incur to defend you and your reasonable expenses incurred with our consent to defending a claim against you.

What does Public and Product Liability insurance cover*?

  • Property Damage, Personal Injury or Advertising Liability – up to $50 million

Optional covers

  • Cover for goods in your care, custody, and control – up to $5 million
  • Product recall expenses – up to $5 million
  • Product errors and omissions cover – up to $20 million

* Covers listed are subject to terms and conditions. Limits and exclusions apply, however QBE can extend the cover for certain risk profiles where a higher limit of liability may be required.

Which cover is right for you?

Every business is unique, so we work with you and your broker to understand your risks and provide the right cover for your needs. We have cover to suit:

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 are designed to protect businesses like yours.

Call one of our brokers for a business insurance quote or to build your own insurance package to cover your business against public liability, professional indemnity, property damage, business interruption, theft, glass breakage, machinery breakdown and more.


Large business

For larger businesses, we offer tailored Liability insurance solutions to suit businesses in a wide range of industries. And if you need cover for other business-related risks, we have underwriting expertise across Professional Indemnity insurance, Management Liability insurance, Commercial Property insurance, Industrial Special Risks and more. Contact your broker to build the right insurance solution for your business.

Expert support from cover to claim

We have dedicated liability underwriting and claims teams who look for solutions to cover business risks, no matter how unusual or complex.

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

How to buy Public Liability insurance

Our General Public and Product Liability cover is available through brokers and QBE authorised representatives. They’ll ensure your cover 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, the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA)* can help you 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 Public Liability insurance.

Public Liability insurance can help 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 grocery store and a shopper slips and injures their shoulder on a bunch of grapes left on the floor. The injured shopper sues your business for medical costs as well as damages, as they were unable to return to work for three months.

    How QBE can help: We investigate and conclude that you were at fault for the shopper’s injury. We deal with the lawyer for the shopper and reach an agreement to cover their medical costs and damages, plus the legal expenses involved. The only cost to your business is the agreed contribution (also called deductible or excess) you are required to pay for a claim on your policy.

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

    How QBE can help: You pay the agreed contribution to QBE and we’d pay $4,000 to the customer’s insurer, settling the claim.

There are some limits and exclusions to Public Liability insurance 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. QBE Public Liability insurance policy will not cover claims arising:

  • directly or indirectly from asbestos in any form or quantity
  • in respect of defamation
  • from your provision, or failure to provide professional advice or services
  • due to faulty workmanship
  • due to assault and battery committed by you or at your direction
  • directly arising out of the ownership, possession, operation or use of vehicles by you or on your behalf.
The level of Liability cover your business needs will depend on the business’ activity and its associated risks, the regulatory environment you operate in, the size of the contracts you work on and the type of clients you serve. For example, an electrician might cause a fire while working on a residential home with a home and contents 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 business assets alone as well as the damage to the building. Talk to your broker or authorised representative to help you get the right level of Liability cover to meet your needs.

Professional indemnity insurance in Australia covers Professional Service providers such as accountants, IT consultants and real estate agents, if the business owner is found liable for negligence, if they breach their professional duty or if they make mistakes, errors or omissions that result in financial loss for another person or company.

If your occupation relies on you to provide a professional service or advice to other businesses or people, QBE Professional Indemnity insurance is designed to cover the legal costs to defend a claim or allegation made against your company and also covers any damages payable if you’re found legally liable for that claim or allegation. For more information about this type of business insurance contact your broker to get the right Professional Indemnity policy to meet your needs.

Product Errors and Omissions cover can be offered as an optional extra on QBE Public and Product Liability insurance. It protects a business that becomes legal liable to pay compensation from advice or service provided in connection with the Insured’s products, provided they did not receive a fee or income from providing that advice or service connected with their product.

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

Professional Indemnity claims

You might also be interested in...

Professional Indemnity insurance

A financial safety net if you’re unavoidably sued for damages caused by negligence, mistake, or omission when providing a service or advice to customers.

Commercial Property insurance

Cover for business’ physical assets, from stock and machinery to buildings and contents.

Small and Medium Business Packages

A one stop shop cover for liability, property damage, business interruption, theft, glass breakage, machinery breakdown and more.

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