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Insurance Law and Requirements for Business in Australia
Australia’s business environment is becoming increasingly complex and regulated. One of the key areas of the law that a business should become accustomed to is insurance. Insurance law in Australia varies widely according to the insurance policies and coverage in question and is regulated by several levels of government.
In Australia specific types of insurance are required by law. These types of insurance and legal requirements can be extensive and include compulsory third party insurance, public liability, professional indemnity insurance and employer liability such as Workers Compensation.
Public Liability Insurance
Public liability insurance covers your business’s potential liabilities to third parties for personal injury or property damage if your business is found to be negligent. It insures the business if something happens to people who come to your premises or events you hold. This type of insurance is particularly relevant in industries which have laws that impose a ‘duty of care’ upon certain people, including employers, owners of property and suppliers of goods. If you have breached your duty of care, you may be liable for damages.
Workers Compensation Insurance
In Australia workers compensation is compulsory and almost every company with employees is required to have workers compensation insurance. Employers must provide it for their staff, to ensure they are protected when affected by a work related injury or disease. This also applies to employees working in a home based work place or home office. In New South Wales, businesses must be covered for workers’ compensation insurance if they pay more than $7,500 in wages, employ an apprentice or trainee, or are part of a group for premium purposes. However, the law varies between different states and territories and it is important to check what requirements you have under the various legislations.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Professional indemnity insurance protects your business against civil liability claims arising from potential damages or losses that arise from your professional services. It is necessary for work in a service industry providing advice or other services that other people might use and rely on. This type of insurance is available to professionals across a range of industries and covers the costs and expenses of defending a legal claim, as well as any damages payable. In some industries, professional indemnity insurance is mandatory, and is required by law.
Deciding on the relevant insurance policies and coverage to acquire for your business can be confusing enough. Many individuals and businesses frequently experience difficulties when attempting to make a claim under an insurance contract or policy, including:
- The insurer denies a claim which seems valid in the contract or policy
- The insurer may refuse to pay out for an unreasonable amount of time
- The insurer lays the burden of proof on the insured party
What Can We Do?
It is beneficial to seek the advice and guidance of legal professionals when dealing with insurance matters as they tend to be complex and delicate. At The Quinn Group, our firm’s lawyers understand Australia’s legal insurance requirements for ensuring that policy holders are properly protected and that premiums are appropriate to the cover provided, as well as the minimum standards that must be met by insurance contracts and policies. We can help you decide on the best insurance based on your business needs in order to protect your business against risk and financial responsibility. Contact us to organise a consultation. Please send an online enquiry or call us on +61 2 9223 9166.
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The Quinn Group operates Quinn Consultants, Quinn Lawyers, Quinn Financial Planning and Quinn Financial Solutions. The Quinn Group provides related information in regard to legal, accounting and financial planning issues. Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation* *other than for the acts or omissions of financial services licensees.