Introduction

Public liability insurance covers any damages or losses sustained by any third party that arises when it comes into contact with the insured business. The third party can include customers, visitors, passers-by, contractors and the general public. Businesses have a duty of care to take reasonable action to avoid third party injury, death, loss and property damage. Consequently, businesses open to the public are particularly vulnerable to these types of incidents, which can lead to expensive public liability claims.

Typically, public liability insurance covers:

  • Loss or damage to property, including the loss or damage to a third party’s property in the business’s care (i.e. a vehicle in a private car park). This also covers a third party’s property if it is damaged while performing a service (e.g. a mechanic repairing a car).
  • Legal costs arising from the defence or settlement of a claim.
  • Injury to a third party, e.g. when a customer or member of the public walks onto a business premises and slips or is electrocuted or has something fall on them. The insurance also covers first aid expenses during the injury occurrence, pain and suffering, economic and non-economic loss including loss of future income, bereavement, medical rehabilitation and living assistance costs.

The type, location, size, risk and previous claim history of a business directly affects the level of public liability insurance that is required and the premium payable. For example, a white water rafting adventure company holds a greater risk of injury to customers than an accounting office. There are also state-specific public liability requirements that vary throughout Australia. As a general rule, public liability is not compulsory but is often mandated for specific licensed occupations or by industry regulatory bodies.

There are also different types of public liability insurance:

  • General and tenant insurance which covers the business if a member of the public or a tenant is injured on the property.
  • Product liability insurance which covers a business from damages resulting from their products.
  • Defective workmanship liability which covers injuries that result from manufacturing defects.
  • Contractors liability, which is specific to businesses involved in the construction industry.

Cover normally starts at $5 million and can range up to $20 million.

Some events are often excluded from public liability insurance:

  • An employer’s responsibility for injured workers, which is covered through workers compensation insurance.
  • Punitive damages, which are the additional damages awarded by a judge if the court deems the business’s behaviour was exceedingly negligent.
  • Expenses associated with a product recall.
  • Gradual pollution caused by substandard infrastructure such as rusting pipes and leaking tanks that contaminate groundwater. These type of events are normally covered by a specific environment impairment insurance policy or pollution liability policy.
  • Asbestos - It is possible to obtain a separate asbestos insurance policy for this contingency if it is deemed a risk, e.g. a business seeking to undergo renovations to an older building that is likely to contain asbestos within the walls and ceiling.

At the bottom of this profile are brief details of a number of the experts that Expert Experts represents. Call our office to discuss your requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget.

What Expert Evidence

Experts in public liability insurance can give an opinion on the reasonableness of the clauses in the policy contracts, the level of the premium, and on the many issues that can arise if a claim is disputed in court. Experts will be familiar with the principles of duty of care, allocation of fault, and estimating the losses, damages and medical costs. Most public liability claims arise out of negligence and our experts will be aware of recent reforms to the industry on this issue.

Sample Reports

For some fields of expertise we have some sample sections of de-identified reports. Please contact our office if you are interested in a sample.

Cost

The overall cost of expert opinion depends on the services required. Some of the key factors that affect the cost of advice include:

  • The need for a view or inspection of a location
  • The quantity of documentary material to be reviewed
  • Whether there are reports of other experts to be reviewed and commented on in detail
  • Whether there is a need for conferences with the expert either in person or by telephone/Skype
Relevant Articles Public liability compensation laws at centre of reform push

A nationwide push is underway to change compensation laws for those who slip or fall in public places, with the aim to reduce insurance premiums.

Relevant Cases ZURICH AUSTRALIAN INSURANCE LIMITED -v- METALS & MINERALS INSURANCE PTE LTD [2007] WASC 62

This case in the construction industry was concerned with the entities who were liable where sub-contractors were injured on a worksite.

Related Field of Expertise

Profiles of Experts in Public liability

Below are short profiles of a few experts with expertise in this field. Please contact our office to discuss your specific requirements and to obtain a recommendation that suits your needs and budget. Expert Experts are experts in finding the right expert for your needs and you pay no more to use Expert Experts than if you searched and found the expert yourself.

  • #ID1996

Chemical Engineer / Safety, Health and Environment

ID1996 has more than 30 years’ experience as a Chemical Engineer with expertise in safety, health and environmental issues, dangerous goods, hazardous chemicals, process reviews and project management across a vast array of industries.


  • #ID12521

Dangerous Goods and Chemical Safety

ID12521 is a workplace safety consultant with expertise in relation to dangerous goods and chemicals. He is extremely well-versed in the interpretation of state, national and international legislation and codes relating to the storage, handling, transport and use of such substances.


  • #ID11193

Toxinologist

ID11193 is a highly qualified and experienced Toxinologist who has researched many areas over his broad career. Currently working as a Professor at a prestigious Australian university, his research revolves around the extraction of native Australian venoms for use in drug development.


  • #ID7374

Electrical Engineer

ID7374 has worked as an electrical engineer for over four decades in a variety of positions, and currently heads an independent engineering consulting firm as the Managing Director and Principal Consulting Engineer.


  • #ID1920

Specialist Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeon

ID1920 is a specialist plastic and reconstructive surgeon with particular expertise in gender reassignment surgery. He performs a variety of cosmetic, reconstructive, hand and therapeutic surgery and can also advise on non-surgical procedures such as cosmetic denervation and dermal fillers.


  • #ID12317

Microbiology and Virology

ID12317 was trained in Microbiology and Molecular Virology at an Australian university and hospital / institute under leading Professors in the field.

Since that time his work has focused on understanding the structure and assembly of hepatitis viruses, and the use of this information to design better diagnostics, vaccines and antiviral therapies for control of major viral infections in humans.


  • #ID7391

Structural and Civil Engineer

ID7391 is a Director and Principal engineer with over 25 years’ experience in design and delivery of structural and civil engineering projects. He provides insight and judgment that assists in guiding clients through the many decisions required to deliver a successful outcome, and he does this in a considered, collaborative manner with our clients and other consultants sharing a common goal.


  • #ID12286

WHS - Safety and Emergency Response Consultant

​ID12286 has a career spanning more than two decades, initially within emergency response and he now owns and operates a highly successful international consultancy firm specialising in high risk workplace WHS/OHS.


  • #ID1703-1

Martial Arts Expert / Human Movement Specialist

ID1703 is a martial arts professional with a competitive career spanning over 20 years and more than 1,000 fights, both in Australia and internationally. He continues to stay within the martial arts industry as a world class training facility owner, teacher and coach to students and professional fighters.


  • #ID2393

Forensic and Investigative Civil Engineer

ID2393 has more than 60 years’ experience in civil engineering, building, property development and management, real estate and contract administration. He provides expert opinion on approximately 50 cases each year with about 30% as an expert witness in Courts and Tribunals.


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We are always looking for experts to join our team of leading experts across an ever expanding range of fields. We recommend that you join our mailing list so that we can keep you informed about what is happening in the world of “expert opinion”


  • #ID11008

Engineer – Materials Scientist, Ceramic Engineering

ID11008 has over 30 years’ experience as a materials scientist / engineer and has worked in Australia and internationally in the design, development, testing and analysis of materials used in industrial environments, with an emphasis on forensic analysis of production, installation and in-service failures.


  • #ID8109

Psychologist

ID8109 is a registered psychologist specialising in workplace injury matters and behaviour modification. More specifically, his focus is on human behaviour in workplace environments, and how modification techniques can be used to alter the way in which workplaces function and to prevent workplace psychological injuries.


  • #ID3450

Engineer – crash investigations, structural impact and stress engineering

ID3450 has over 25 years’ experience and is an expert in vehicle & structural crashworthiness, crash & incident investigations & reconstruction, human injury prevention, crash & laboratory testing, computer simulation of crashes, impacts & injury mechanisms, structural impact and stress engineering.


  • #ID7385

Orthopaedic surgeon

ID7385 is a consultant orthopaedic surgeon with appointments to various public and private hospitals within Australia.

ID7385 graduated from University in 1972 with Honours and has 40 years of experience in orthopaedic surgery. ID7385’s university and hospital duties include lecturing and he is an examiner for a national medical school. He has previously held the position of Orthopaedic Department Head and executive positions on the Board of AOA.


  • #ID1824

Biomechanics and Injury Investigation

ID1824 has over 23 years of experience working in the areas of biomechanics and injury investigation. He also has 14 years of experience in providing expert witness services in a wide range of cases.


  • #ID11348

Forensic and Safety Engineer / Road Safety

ID11348 is a highly experienced and skilled expert in the fields of forensic and safety engineering, with over 25 years’ experience in the field. He has provided litigation support and quality expert reports for hundreds of cases.


  • #ID9610

Psychologist, vocational assessor

Expert ID9610 has 15 years accreditation as a Registered Psychologist and has extensive experience in the areas of vocational, psychological function and earning capacity assessments in a range of settings including in recruitment, occupational rehabilitation and medico-legal contexts.


  • #ID10710

Process Engineering Specialist

ID10710 is a specialist in the many facets of process engineering, including water and mining treatments, with over 35 years of experience. Alongside his consulting work, his research papers have contributed extensively to the scholarship surrounding the field.


  • #ID7384

Work Health Safety - Railway Specialist

Over the course of his forty year career, ID7384 has worked on railway projects throughout Australia in a variety of roles extending from practical to advisory. His range of expertise spans railway processes from the planning stage to execution, including safeworking, workplace training, and the review of operational procedures. He has worked in operations of varying sizes, from smaller private railways to sprawling state-wide public transport networks.


  • #ID7857

Work health safety, sport safety, & risk management consultant

ID7857 is an expert in risk management consulting, with extensive qualifications and experience in the field of ergonomics. He has worked as a specialist in safety for over 15 years, including in the manufacturing, sports and transport industries.


  • #ID1429

Civil Engineer and Accident Investigator

ID1429 has an extensive background in civil engineering and accident assessment. He specialises in the evaluation of crane accidents, among other construction-based failures, and is currently the head of his own independent engineering consultancy firm.


  • #ID1332

Real Estate Expert

ID1332 is a licensed real estate agent and accredited trainer with extensive experience in commercial, residential and retail property management. They have worked within a variety of prestigious real estate firms in high-level management positions for over 35 years.


  • #ID11743

Clinical neuropsychologist and forensic psychologist

ID11743 is a well qualified and professional clinical neuropsychologist (focusing on psychological disorders associated with conditions affecting the brain) and forensic psychologist (focusing on application of psychological ideas to the legal and criminal justice systems) with extensive experience providing expert opinion evidence.


  • #ID7654

Engineer - Hydraulic Services / Plumbing / Civil Engineer

ID7654 is a highly experienced specialist hydraulic services engineer, plumbing contractor, and civil/hydraulic services estimator with over 25 years of industry experience. His portfolio of experience includes a multitude of projects throughout Australia and the South Pacific.


  • #ID11808

Ergonomist / Work Health and Safety Specialist

ID11808 is a highly qualified ergonomist, OHS and injury management consultant. He has 27 years of experience in the field and has been the director of his own company for the last 10 years providing these services.


  • #ID9608

Vocational assessor / Work option identification

Expert ID9608 has extensive clinical rehabilitation experience and in recent years has specialised in the conduct of vocational and earning capacity assessments. In addition to conducting assessment, Expert ID9608 continues to perform case management, to assist with placing injured workers into suitable employment.


  • #ID1133

Occupational physician

​ID1133 has over 25 years of experience in all aspects of occupational health within industry, particularly in task design, ergonomics, injury, risk assessment and management, as well as occupational, workplace based rehabilitation, both as a consultant to industry and as the principal of a private practice.


  • #ID1858

Ergonomist / Work Health Safety / Trains and Trams

​ID1858 is an experienced Human Factors specialist with qualifications in ergonomics and occupational therapy. ID1858 has extensive experience working with public work safety authorities to assess risks and to develop management plans.


  • #ID8719

Plumbing, drainage, sewerage, gas installations and maintenance

ID8719 is a highly qualified expert witness and trade qualified plumber with over 25 years’ experience in commercial, industrial and domestic plumbing to all sewer, gas and water services.


Contact us at answers@expertexperts.com.au or give us a call 1300 72 66 55

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