What is public liability insurance?

A public liability insurance policy is your best defence against potentially costly claims that result from something you do or fail to do. This policy will defend you and pay compensation if you are found legally liable for injury to a third party or damage to their property. In most cases we find our clients know they need this type of cover but are not exactly clear why.

As a community group you have a duty of care or negligence to members of the public who come into contact with your organisation or products. If an accident which causes injury to them or damage to their property occurs due to your negligence a third party can sue your organisation which could result in you being obliged to pay for the injury or damage you may have caused.

In our view, the question should really be – what is Public & Products Liability insurance? While public liability insurance is the most common type of insurance requested by our clients, in our experience, not many understand the difference between just public liability cover and public and products liability cover.

What is Public & Products Liability Cover?

It is really important you have both Public & Products Liability under the one insurance policy. Some insurance providers only offer Public Liability, which means you are not covered for the products you sell. This is important because if your products injure someone, cause someone to become ill, or damage property you could be found liable, but without the Products Liability component in the policy you do not have any cover for this risk.

For example, if you put on a sausage sizzle fundraiser and the sausages you sell to the public are not cooked properly and cause those people to become seriously ill, this policy will cover you. However, if you only had public liability cover only and not products, the policy would not respond in this instance and you could be required to pay compensation out of your own pocket. Examples of what Public & Products Liability insurance covers

How do I protect against third party personal injury?

Our Public & Products Liability insurance cover will protect you against personal injury to a third party or member of the public. It will defend you and pay compensation if you are found legally liable for personal injury or illness to a third party, or damage to their property.

What is professional indemnity insurance and what does it cover?

Professional indemnity insurance in Australia is a specific type of policy designed to protect professionals who provide advice and services for a fee against claims for incorrect advice, breach of duty, poorly delivered professional services where there may have been an error or omission.

If you are a community organisation providing disabled or age care, educational services, , or providing advice for a fee then you will likely need a Professional Indemnity policy but the majority of smaller community based groups will be adequately covered by an Association Liability insurance, which covers the management liability exposures of running a club and provides cover for Professional Indemnity insurance exposures.

Why is Association Liability insurance so important?

Officers of incorporated clubs and community groups do not always understand that in undertaking their duties they also assume a potentially large personal liability. This is why it is so important for an incorporated body to have this cover. Being an incorporated body protects the ordinary members from most liability but Officers may still be liable for mismanagement of the organisation.

Any indemnity provided to Officers in the Rules or Constitution is only as good as the ability of the group to pay it and if your group does not have funds then how is this done? This is where an Association Liability insurance policy can help.

A component of cover within our Association Liability policy is Professional Indemnity insurance, again if your orgnaisation is specifically selling services or advice.

Both our Public & Products Liability and Association Liability covers complement each other to provide broad professional indemnity insurance.

Why do I need both public liability and professional indemnity insurance?

Public liability and professional indemnity insurance work hand in hand. This is why we have included professional indemnity as an added benefit to our Public & Products Liability cover. Furthermore, the cover provided by our Public & Products Liability complements the cover provided by our Association Liability policy, which also includes a professional indemnity component. Both these policies will give you broad coverage from a variety of common risks associated with your group’s activities.

There may be circumstances where one policy doesn’t cover your liability, but the other will. For example, while our Public & Products Liability policy includes professional indemnity in some respects, the policy would not cover a ‘wrongful act’ committed or allegedly committed by an Officer of your club, association or community group. It’s these ‘wrongful acts’ that cause claims to arise and therefore our Association Liability policy can respond.

How much does professional indemnity insurance cover cost?

The cost of professional indemnity insurance cover can vary depending on a variety of factors such as the limit of liability, the nature of your organisation’s activities, and your estimated annual income from these activities. Each of these factors alters the level of risk and therefore the amount of premium to be paid.

If you are a community group seeking this cover and it can be incorporated under the Association Liability policy, it takes just a couple of minutes to get a quick quote with us online by providing just a few details about your organisation.

If you have a more complex risk profile a separate and specific Professional Indemnity Insurance policy may be required.

What is event public liability insurance or one off event insurance?

As the organiser of a single one-off event there are several key aspects when it comes to insurance and risk management to be considered. Our Community & Family Event Public & Products Liability policy will protect you against claims for personal injury or property damage against your organisation by members of the public who attend your one off event. While in our experience Event Public Liability is the most commonly known type of cover, there are others to be considered that will broaden your protection, such as Event Cancellation insurance.

What is event cancellation insurance?

At LCIS we appreciate all the effort, including time and money, our clients put into organising their events and it’s because of this we recommend client who are organisaing an event to consider Event Cancellation insurance. This type of cover can protect your organisation’s financial investment should adverse weather or other unforeseen circumstances that are beyond your control cause cancellation, abandonment, postponement or interruption of your event. This policy can cover the financial loss suffered by your organisation as a result of these situations.

What is market stallholder insurance?

The most common type of market stallholder insurance is public liability, or as we provide, public and products liability. As a stallholder it is really important you have both Public & Products Liability. Some insurers provide only public liability which means you are not covered for the products you sell. This is really important because if your products injure someone, cause someone to become ill, or damage property you could be found liable. Without the products liability component in the policy you do not have any cover for risks associated with being a market stallholder.

Risk management vs insurance – what’s the difference?

Arranging insurance policies to cover your risks is not proper risk management. While insurance is an important component of risk management, by transferring the risk, it does not necessarily mean you have adequately managed the risks. Put it this way, would you rather have your house burn down and have insurance pay to have it re-built, or not have your house burn down in the first place but still have a risk transfer mechanism there just in case it did. If you’d prefer the latter, which most do, then consider the things you can do to prevent your house from burning down. This is risk management.

Community groups and organisations have an obligation to identify risks and hazards in relation to their activities. As groups grow, change and mold so do their risks. This is why risk management should be an on-going priority for your organisation. Minimising risks will help you to maintain a safe environment for your members and members of the public who come into contact with your organisation.

What is risk management?

Risk management is the process of identifying, analysing and responding to risk throughout your organisation or event. Proper risk management needs control of possible risk types and is proactive rather than reactive. Our basic Risk Management Principles & Processes can help guide you through this process.

What are risk management strategies?

Risk management strategies provide a planned approach to identify, assess and mitigate risks. At LCIS, we promote the following risk management principles and process to help our clients manage the risks associated with their activities, including those at events:

  • Identify the hazards – hazards are risks.
  • Assess risks by identifying the potential impact of these hazards.
  • Implement controls to mitigate, lessen or alleviate the impact of these hazards.
  • Monitor risks and performance.

While risks can be transferred through an insurance policy this should not been seen as a way for you to waiver your responsibilities in regards to the safety and security of those who come into contact with your organisation. You still need to apply risk management strategies because you have a duty of care (a legal liability) to do so.

Why is risk management important?

It’s key for your organisation to understand the importance of risk management. The better you manage your risks the less likely you are to have a claim, but mainly it is about creating a safe environment for people to participate in your groups activities or enjoy your event.

Your organisation’s members and members of the public expect to partake in your event and/or activities safely and securely. Therefore we constantly remind our clients of the action they must take to eliminate or minimise risks which would result in your event or activities being unsafe for those who come into contact with your organisation.

What is enterprise risk management?

Enterprise risk management involves methods a processes used by organisations to manage risks and seize opportunities to achieve particular objectives. Like any good business, community groups and not for profits should consider incorporating these enterprise risk management strategies to best manage their risks and identify new ways of carrying out particular activities. Not only can this minimise the likeliness of particular risk occurring or the negative affects they can have, but it can improve or benefit your organisation.

Implementing a risk management policy can ensure your member consider and consistently apply risk management strategies when carrying out activities in relation to our group.

At LCIS, we work with thousands of community groups to understand their unique risks so we can provide relevant risk management advice and the right level of insurance cover.

Why should I use a risk management checklist?

Our Risk Management Checklist is design to assist organisations to identify risks. It’s a simple one pager which can be used as a guide to identify problems and hazards that cause risks and therefore require your attention to mitigate or transfer through appropriate insurance.

What is a risk management plan?

A risk management plan is way of documenting foreseeable risks that have been identified. This includes recording:

  • the nature of each risk
  • the potential impact these could have
  • the measures you have put in place to mitigate or transfer the risks
  • your review of the effectiveness of your risk management.

Your risk management plan should also incorporate a risk management matrix to identify the positive and negative effects each risk or hazard can have on your event or organisation. If this all seems a bit complex, we can assist you with all your risk management needs. Further information can be found here, otherwise please contact us via insurance@lcis.com.au

What is premium funding?

Insurance premium funding enables clients to pay their insurance premiums through easy to manage monthly instalments. At LCIS, we understand some not-for-profit or community group may have limited cash flow, and this is why we give our clients this payment option. If you would like to take up this option please advise us and a Premium Funding form showing the monthly debit instalments can be generated for your consideration.

How do I cover our volunteers?

We understand your volunteers are one of the most, if not, the most important asset to your group. This is why we provide a Volunteer Workers Personal Accident cover option for our clients.

Having this type of cover is a way of showing your support to those who support you. This cover benefits your members/volunteers by providing them with financial compensation for personal injury sustained when undertaking an activity on behalf of your organisation in an official capacity.

Will our Public Liability policy cover injury to our volunteers?

A Public & Products Liability cover will not cover personal injury to your volunteers because this is specific to cover members of the public who come into contact with your organisations products or services. To financially compensate your members/volunteers for personal injury sustained when undertaking an activity on behalf of your organisation in an official capacity you will need a separate policy.

Our Volunteer Workers Personal Accident will provides this type of cover for members such as Committee Members, Fundraising Officers, volunteers setting up for an event, or volunteers travelling to and from activities.