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Insurance

Having the right insurance will help protect your business and minimise its exposure to risk. This may include insuring your business, your income and your commercial risk.

Before you choose an insurance policy, you'll need to evaluate your insurance needs. To do this, you’ll need to look at each type of insurance and work out if it’s something that your business needs. Some insurers also offer insurance package policies specially tailored to cover different business types.

The individual types of business insurance vary and usually protect things like business assets, customers, employees, business owners and your earnings.  See below for a list of the most common types of business insurance.

Please note: the information given in this topic is general in nature and should not replace financial advice. Talk to a licenced insurance broker, business advisor or insurer for detailed advice.

Compulsory insurance

Some forms of insurance are compulsory for Australian businesses, such as:

  • Workers’ compensationworkers’ compensation insurance is mandatory if you have employees.
  • Public liability insurance– public liability insurance covers you for third party death or injury. Certain types of companies must take out public liability insurance.
  • Third party personal injury insurance– if you own a motor vehicle, you must pay for third party personal injury insurance. This is often part of your vehicle registration fee.

Although most of the insurance listed below isn’t compulsory, consider each option carefully to see which insurance suits your business best.

Personal or loss of income insurance

There are several types of personal insurance. Some are investment-type funds where you contribute over a certain time and get back your investment plus interest earnings at the maturity date. Others cover things that could happen to you, such as:

  • Income protection or disability insurance- covers part of your normal income if you’re unable to work through sickness or accident.
  • Life insurance- provides a lump sum or series of payments if you die, or in some cases, if you suffer a permanent injury.
  • Total and permanent disability insurance- provides a lump sum only if you are permanently disabled before retirement.
  • Trauma insurance- provides a lump sum if you have one of several specified life-threatening illnesses.
  • Business interruption or loss of profits- covers you if your business suffers through damage to property by fire or other insured perils. It can help you pay your ongoing expenses and maintain profits.
  • Management liability– covers your personal assets when a manager or director conducts illegal or unethical management practices that cause losses to individuals or businesses. Visit our page on management liability to find out more.
  • Employee dishonesty- covers losses resulting from employee theft or fraud.

Stock, products and asset insurance

If you have important business assets, property, stock or products you can’t afford to lose, consider some of the following insurance options:

  • Building and contents- covers your building, contents and stock against events such as fire, earthquake, lightning, storms, floods, impact, malicious damage and explosion.
  • Burglary - insures your business assets against burglary, and can be important for a retailer or business with property that is not always attended.
  • Deterioration of stock- covers your business when chilled, refrigerated or frozen stock rots following the breakdown of the refrigerator or freezer.
  • Electronic equipment- covers your electronic items from theft, destruction or damage.
  • Farm insurance- this covers things such as crops, livestock, buildings and machinery.
  • Goods in transit- covers the goods you buy, sell or use in your business during their transportation.
  • Machinery breakdown- protects your business when mechanical and electrical plant and machinery at the worksite break down.
  • Tax audit- covers you for the cost of fees in the event of a tax audit or investigation into your business.
  • Property in transit- covers theft or damage of items you use for business purposes that travel with you, such as tools and equipment.

Accidents and liability insurance

Liability insurance protects you in the event you’re liable for damages or injuries to another person or property. Below are some of the insurance options available:

  • Public liability insurance - covers you for third party death or injury.
  • Product liability- covers you for legal action taken out as a result of injury, damage or death from your product.
  • Professional indemnity- covers you for legal action taken out as a result of your professional advice.
  • Management liability- covers your personal assets when a manager or director conducts illegal or unethical management practices.

Visit our liability and professional indemnity insurance page for more information.

Technology and cybercrime insurance

Technology has its own risks and challenges. See what specific insurance is available:

  • Electronic equipment- covers your electronic items from theft, destruction or damage.
  • Cyber liability- this insurance can cover a range of breaches related to the security of electronic information. For details on this type of insurance, see our cyber liability page.

Insurance in your industry

Some industries have insurance requirements before a business can operate. Check our Industry fact sheets to learn more about your industry or talk to your industry association.

Find out more

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