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Frequently Asked Questions


If you are operating as a sole trader or small business owner you have a responsibility to your customers, clients, suppliers, employees, and the general public if their property is damaged as a result of your business activities.

Public Liability insurance is designed to protect you, your business, and your employees against compensation awarded for claims of negligence arising from property damage and the legal costs of a defending a claim.

Unfortunately, the likelihood of a claim is unpredictable and just one simple event, whether you’re found liable not, could have a devastating effect upon business, as well as damaging your reputation.

Public Liability insurance is important to have, especially if your customers visit you or you go out and about to see them, either at their premises, in public spaces, or places owned or controlled by others. You also need it if you are in the business of manufacturing or selling products.

What does Public Liability Insurance cover?


Public Liability insurance can cover a whole range of potential claims from anything from a simple incident to a catastrophic accident.

A typical policy will cover:

  • Third party damage claims for property damage caused as a result of your business activities
  • Legal costs and expenses incurred from defending yourself and your business
  • Investigation costs to investigate claims
  • Compensation for personal injury or death to third parties where the ACC does not provide cover
  • Damage or loss of third party property in your custody, care or control


Some of the common examples which a Public Liability insurance claim could arise from include:

  • Damage to a third party’s personal property, for instance, a drink spilt on your client’s laptop; or accidentally knocking over and breaking an antique vase whilst you’re visiting your client at their premises
  • A faulty or defective product you have sold that has resulted in third party property damage


These are just a few of examples but the claims for Public Liability insurance are endless!

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How do I choose the right policy?


When thinking about Public Liability insurance, it is important to assess the risks your business is exposed to as each and every industry and business vary differently.

There isn’t a one size fits all when it comes to insurance policies, with most being designed to meet individual business needs. To find the right policy, get a few quotes and compare the costs and the different levels of cover offered by a variety of companies.

Having a few policies to look over will help give you options to select the policy which will suit your business needs without paying too much for your policy. makes comparing insurance policies from New Zealand’s leading insurers easy, providing multiple quotes at the click of a button. There’s no need to ring around or visit numerous websites and no hassle of tricky paperwork to complete! gives you immediate coverage and your policy documents are emailed to you instantly.

How Much Cover Do I Need For My Public Liability Insurance?


Each business has different needs and will require a different amount of cover. The typical amount is between $1M to $10M. To make it easy, we found these are some of the questions you need to ask when deciding on a policy:

  • Do any of your contracts require a minimum level of cover?
  • Has your industry body set a minimum level of cover for membership?
  • Does your business or trade license require a minimum amount of cover?
  • Do the terms of your lease require a minimum level of cover?
  • Finally, think about what your level of risk and exposure could be. What kind of accidents could occur and what could be the potential cost of a claim?

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