Personal and workers insurance
Insuring yourself and your employees in the event of a workplace accident or illness is essential for protecting your business.
Consider the following workplace insurance obligations:
Injury, illness or death in the workplace can cause severe hardship to your workers, their families, and your business. For this reason it's important that you have adequate protection.
As an employer, it's your responsibility to maintain current workers' compensation insurance to protect against financial hardship as a result of a workplace accident.
In most cases, you must provide accident and sickness insurance for your employees - workers compensation - through an approved insurer. Workers compensation is covered by separate state and territory legislation.
Independent contractors may require their own insurance. See our Independent contractors topic for more information.
Public liability insurance protects you and your business against the financial risk of being found liable to a third party for death or injury, loss or damage of property. It also covers 'pure economic' loss resulting from your negligence or that of your employees. Regardless of business size, it's important that you consider insuring your business for public liability.
Personal accident and illness
If you are self-employed you won't be covered by workers compensation, so it's recommended that you cover yourself for accident and sickness insurance through a private insurer. This policy will compensate you for loss of revenue while you or your employee(s) recover.
As a business owner, you may also wish to consider personal life insurance. There are several types of life insurance available. 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 are designed to cover things that could happen to you, such as:
- Income protection or disability insurance
covers part of your normal income if you are prevented from working through sickness or accident.
- Trauma insurance
provides a lump sum when you are diagnosed with one of several specified life threatening illnesses.
- Life insurance
provides a lump sum or series of payments for you, your partner, or your dependents if you die or in some cases, if you are permanently injured.
- Total and permanent disability insurance
provides a lump sum only if you are totally and permanently disabled before retirement.
The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) considers complaints from policy owners of Australian life insurance companies. The service also assists with superannuation inquiries or complaints if your super fund is administered by a life insurance company. You can phone FOS on 1300 780 808.
What to do...
- Talk to a number of insurance companies, brokers or industry association to discuss what is best for you.
- Contact FOS if you have a life insurance dispute.