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Find the right insurance

Protect your livelihood and your assets.

On this page

  • The type of cover your business will need
  • Details about types of insurance
  • Get the right advice
The Insurance Council of Australia estimates that 70 percent of under insured and uninsured small businesses affected by a major event such as  legal claim, earthquake, fire or storm never recover. It is essential to check your insurance policy or policies thoroughly to make sure the cover provided is adequate for your business.

What insurance protection do you need for your business?

The following table gives an overview of the different types of insurance and the types of businesses they are appropriate for.

  Personal accident & sickness insurance, revenue insurance      Worksafe insurance Property & assets insurance Professional indemnity/ public liability insurance      Product liability insurance      3rd party personal injury & vehicle insurance     
Business with no employees Yes No Yes Yes No No
Business with employees Yes Yes, compulsory Yes Yes No No
Advisory-based business Yes Yes, if have staff Yes Yes No No
Business selling, supplying, delivering products Yes Yes, if have staff Yes Yes Yes Yes, if using motor vehicles
Business owning  company/business vehicles Yes Yes, if have staff Yes Yes No Yes
Business dealing with customers Yes Yes, if have staff Yes Yes Yes Yes, if using motor vehicles
Independent contractors Yes Yes, if have staff Yes Yes< No Yes,if using motor vehicles

Types of insurance explained

An insurance policy that's appropriate to your business needs can protect you against a range of unforeseen events, such as an office or factory fire, theft of equipment or storm damage. The following is an overview of the main types of insurance policies you could consider for your business.

Personal accident and sickness insurance

Personal accident and sickness insurance compensates for loss of income suffered if you have an accident or suffer an illness that stops you from doing your work. This is especially useful for independent contractors who may not be entitled to workers compensation.

Revenue insurance

Revenue insurance (also called 'consequential loss' or 'business interruption' insurance) helps compensate a business for reduced profits caused by interruptions like a fire, flood, accident, burglary or major computer failures.

Victorian Work Cover Authority insurance

Victorian Work Cover Authority insurance is compulsory insurance for Victorian employers which is funded by their contributions. It provides employers  with insurance cover for the cost of benefits if your workers are injured or become ill because of their work.

You must take out a Victorian Work Cover Authority insurance policy if you:

  • expect to  pay more than $7,500 a year in rateable remuneration or
  • have any  apprentices or trainees. This applies even if you are a small business with only one worker.

If you are hiring contractors,you need to determine whether they are considered to be a 'worker' by the Victorian Work Cover Authority. If the person is considered a worker, you effectively become their employer for Victorian Work Cover Authority purposes, and you must include the money you pay them in your total remuneration.  

For more information on whether Victorian Work Cover Authority insurance applies to you, read Victorian Work Cover Authority Victoria's guide for employers on Victorian Work Cover Authority injury insurance.

Property and assets insurance

Whatever the scale of your business, insuring fixed assets like your premises, products, vehicles and equipment will help you continue operating if they are damaged, stolen or destroyed. Some of the different kinds of property and assets insurance are:

Premises insurance

Whether your business operates from a factory, warehouse, shop or your home, if you own the premises it is likely to be your single largest business asset. Various policies can help protect your premises against hazards like fire, lightning, storms, wind or water damage, explosions and vandalism.

Contents and equipment insurance

Contents and equipment insurance can help you replace vital business equipment (such as computer systems, manufacturing equipment, files, tools or machines) quickly without interrupting trade.

Goods in transit insurance

If your business involves transporting goods by road, sea or air, you should consider insuring against any potential damage that may occur once the product leaves your control and is in transit.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance protects professionals in diverse industries against negligence claims made by a client. It covers the costs and expenses of defending a legal claim and any damages payable. Professional contractors often need to hold professional indemnity insurance if working with government bodies, local authorities or private consulting firms.

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance is useful for any business that interacts face-to-face with customers. It covers your potential liabilities to third parties for personal injury or property damage if you or your business is found to be negligent.If your organisation requires your customers or the general public to visit your home or business, or if you visit their premises, you should consider taking out public liability insurance. The owners and operators of organisations have a responsibility to those visiting or engaging in activities on their premises (known as 'duty of care').

Product liability insurance

If your business sells, supplies or delivers goods, even in the form of repair or service, you may need cover against claims of goods causing injury, death or damage. Product liability insurance covers you if any of these events happen to another business or person by the failure of your product or the product you are selling.

Vehicle insurance for businesses

If your business uses motor vehicles, it is compulsory to insure the vehicles for third party injury liability. Policy costs depend on the type of vehicles you use, the goods they carry, and the frequency and type of use. For example, businesses transporting dangerous goods require a distinctly different policy to document couriers.

Make sure your coverage includes commercial/business use.

Getting the right advice

Not all insurance types are applicable to your situation. An insurance broker can accurately assess the risks of your business and help facilitate the process of securing insurance. You can contact an insurance broker through the National Insurance Brokers Association or the Insurance Brokers Network of Australia.

If you choose go directly to an insurance company, the Insurance Council of Australia website provides insurance information as well as the contact details for its 56 member groups.

Insurance brokers are required by law to act as your representatives and work in your interest, whereas insurance agents may act in the insurance company’s interest. If you have a dispute with your insurer, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service for assistance.