What is the difference between Public Liability and Products Liability insurance cover?
All GIO Business Insurance products have a combined Public and Products Liability cover. Both Public and Products Liability provide coverage for third party injury or property damage that you might cause. The difference is that Public Liability relates to injury or property damage whilst you’re on the job, and Products Liability relates to injury or damage caused by any products you distribute, supply or manufacture.
How much Public & Products Liability cover do I need?
Each business is different, and as such has different needs when it comes to insurance. However, in making the decision you may want to take into account the following factors:
- The contracts you work on. Some contracts will stipulate the minimum amount of cover required. If your business is within a shopping centre, you may find that the contract stipulates a minimum of $20m cover is required
- The conditions of your licence (if applicable). As an example, electrical contractors are required to hold a minimum of $5 million public liability cover in order to obtain their licence in some states.
GIO can offer limits of $5m, $10m, and $20m cover, which can be purchased online or via our Australian-based Call Centre on 1800 036 837.
What isn't covered by Public and Products Liability Insurance?
There are a few scenarios not covered by Public and Products Liability Insurance, including:
- Injury to any employees you might have (this can be covered via Workers Compensation Insurance),
- Civil legal liability incurred as a result of your professional advice (this can be covered via Professional Indemnity),
- Asbestos, and
- Product recall.
Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for the full list of exclusions not covered by our Public and Products Liability insurance.
What is the difference between Public Liability and Professional Indemnity? Do I need both?
Public Liability and Professional Indemnity cover different types of risks.
Public Liability covers your legal liability to pay compensation for injury or damage to property caused to a third party in connection to your business. For example, if a customer slips and trips while on your business premises.
Professional Indemnity, on the other hand, protects against the risks associated with providing advice or recommendations to clients. For example, a customer could sue you for damages if it's alleged that your advice has caused a loss.
If your business has customers visiting your premises and you also provide advice or recommendations to those customers, then Public Liability and Professional Indemnity Insurance may both be beneficial to you.
Portable and Valuable Items
What does Portable and Valuable Items Insurance cover?
Portable and Valuable Items Insurance covers the accidental loss or damage of portable and valuable items. This can include items like mobile phones, laptop computers and tools of trade that you usually carry around with you during the course of your business operations. Cover is limited to $2,500 per item, unless the item has been specified for a higher value.
Loss or damage caused by theft without forced entry from your vehicle or building is an optional cover, which you can purchase by contacting us.
Is Workers Compensation insurance covered under my GIO Business Insurance policy?
No, Workers Compensation is a different insurance product to Business Insurance and is compulsory in Australia for most businesses that employ staff.
Legislative requirements vary between each state and territory. For more information or to get a quote, please see the Workers Compensation Insurance page.
Does GIO Business Insurance cover my business’ premises against flood?
Not automatically. While cover for property damage is available, that doesn’t necessarily extend to damage caused by flood.
That being said, we may be able to add flood cover to your policy. If we do, it’ll be subject to our underwriting guidelines and an additional premium. Flood cover is not available online, so if you’d like to discuss whether flood coverage is available for your business, please contact us on 13 10 10.
For policy purposes, “flood” is defined as the covering of a normally dry land by water that has escaped or been released from the normal confines of any of the following:
- a lake (whether or not it has been altered or modified);
- a river (whether or not it has been altered or modified);
- a creek (whether or not it has been altered or modified);
- another natural watercourse (whether or not it has been altered or modified);
- a reservoir;
- a canal; or
- a dam.
GIO Business Insurance can cover water damage caused by circumstances other than those outlined above; for example, from a damaged water pipe. For more information, please refer to the GIO Business Protect Insurance PDS in the Policy Document library.
Why might I need hospitality insurance?
If you run a hospitality business, like a café or restaurant, Hospitality Insurance may help cover costs for which you’re liable in the event of injury or property damage connected with your business. For example, if someone slips in your store or something you sell causes illness, providing your claim falls within the policy terms and your claim is accepted, it can help with these costs.
How do I add an interested party to my car insurance policy?
Generally tied to motor insurance policies, an interested party is someone who may be financially concerned with your policy, but doesn’t have any authority over it. This could include your car financier or lender. In the case that your vehicle is written off in an accident, we’ll then know who to pay off in the event of any outstanding loans.
Interested parties can be added easily to your car and motor insurance policy via GIO Online Services.
- Log into GIO Online Services and select the car or motor insurance policy you’d like to add an interested party to
- Click ‘Update policy’
- Select ‘Car finance’ and fill in their details from there
You might be looking for information on ‘authorised contacts’, who have full authority over your personal insurance policy. You can find that here.
Is my Business Insurance expense tax deductible?
You will need to seek independent tax advice relating to your individual situation, however according to the ATO, ‘you can generally claim a deduction for most operating expenses in the same income year you incur them. Insurance premiums, including accident or disability, fire, burglary, professional indemnity, public risk, motor vehicle, loss of profits insurance, or workers’ compensation’ are included in the definition of operating expenses.
What is the difference between employees and subcontractors?
An employee works for and is part of your business. An employee is generally:
- paid a wage
- has set hours of work
- entitled to paid holiday leave and sick leave
- entitled to superannuation guarantee charge (SGC), and
- covered by Workers Compensation Insurance.
A contractor/subcontractor operates their own business (they will generally have their own ABN) and is not entitled to any of the above benefits from the business that has entered into an agreement to contract their services.
Contractors are required to purchase their own insurance prior to work being carried out, to cover themselves from liability risks or personal injury. Businesses that hire contractors should ensure that they have their own insurance policies covering them if they are injured on site, as well as if they cause property damage or bodily injury to a third party while working in connection with your business.
How do I make a claim?
You can visit the GIO claims page for more information.
If you prefer, you can also call us at 13 14 46, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to speak to one of our dedicated claims staff. Please note that no quotes are required before you call us. We will advise you on the claim process and what you need to do next during the call.
You can also email us at email@example.com with your policy number and a short description of the claim.
How does the claims process work?
1. Event (Loss occurred)
When making a claim, please provide as much detail as possible to help us understand how we can best support you.
Online lodgement is the most efficient way to make a claim.
- Receive a claim number within minutes1
- Average non-event response time is 5 business hours2
- Track the progress of your claim online with regular status updates3
- A digital copy of your claim will be sent to your nominated email address
We take it from here, assessing your claim to confirm it is covered by your policy.
From here your claim may result in:
We arrange repairers, builders or assessors, as required. Our suppliers will contact you within 48 hours of our appointment – subject to change during event periods – and if you’re happy with their assessment, repairs can commence. The time it takes to finalise repairs will depend on the event, availability of our repairers and materials.
If repairs aren’t applicable, or you want to arrange your own, we may cash settle the claim. The settlement amount is based on our repairer’s best quote, which has been carefully reviewed to ensure you’re receiving a fair and reasonable settlement.
- Instant claim number is available for all Commercial Property and Specialty (Business Insurance) claims. Home, Motor and Commercial Motor claims don't receive an instant claim number but can still be lodged online.
- Information is current as at 20/12/2022. Response times may increase during major events such as natural disasters.
- Status updates are available via the emailed link received upon lodgement for Commercial Property and Speciality claims only.
What do I need before making a claim?
Make a claim as soon as it’s safe to do so. The more information you provide at lodgement, the better support we can offer to achieve the best possible outcome. Please have handy:
- your policy number
- details of the event - date and time of loss, description of the event, loss location
- list and photos of damage item/s
- personal details of any third parties (if applicable)
- invoices or quotes - if you’ve obtained a quote or have carried out emergency repairs
- lease agreements (if applicable)
- police reports (if applicable)
What’s a make safe?
A "make safe" is an urgent temporary repair carried out to secure the property and prevent further damage. For example, if there's a leak in the roof, a repairer will attend and may put up a temporary patch or tarp to stop further water damage. A permanent solution will follow as the claim progresses.
To have a make safe completed, contact your Claims Officer to appoint a repairer. If calling outside standard business hours, contact our after-hours team on 13 10 10, who can arrange a make safe after lodging your claim.
What if I disagree with the claim decision. What can I do?
If you experience a problem, aren't satisfied with our products, services or a decision we've made, let us know so we can help.
If we're not able to resolve your complaint, or you remain dissatisfied with our response, our Internal Customer Relations team can review of your concerns. We’ll also give you details to access the services of the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA).
AFCA provides free, fair and independent financial services complaint resolution to consumers.
What is an excess, how is it calculated and when do I pay it?
An excess is your contribution towards the cost of a claim and is a requisite policy condition. Effectively, the excess is the amount you self-insure. Your cover starts once insured loss or damage exceeds the excess. The excess will depend on the circumstances of the claim.
Some Additional Benefits and Optional Covers have their own excess, in addition to any other excess that may apply. When multiple excesses apply, you might have to pay more than one excess.
The amount and details of each applicable excess is shown on your Policy Schedule. Information on how and when an excess applies can also be found in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
When you make a claim, and depending on the claim type, you can pay any appliable excesses in one of the following ways:
- All claim types - you pay directly to us.
- Repairs authorised - in some instances, and before repairs commence, you pay the appointed repairer or supplier.
- Cash settlement - the excess is deducted from the claim settlement amount.
Why do I have to pay an excess if I’m not at fault?
An excess is your contribution to the cost of a claim. It is the amount you self-insure. If you make a claim, one or more excesses will apply, unless your PDS/Policy says otherwise. The description of those excesses and the circumstances in which they're applied are shown in the relevant Policy Section of your PDS and Policy Wording, or in your Policy Schedule.
Information on how and when an excess applies can also be found in the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).
How do I know if my claim will be covered?
Each claim is reviewed and assessed based on both the circumstances, and policy terms, conditions and exclusions. Your Claims Officer will review your Policy Schedule and any relevant supporting information to determine if your claim is covered.
What is an ITCE% and why is it deducted?
You must tell us about the Input Tax Credits (ITC) you're entitled to for your premium and claim, every time you make a claim. If you're unsure, please confirm with your accountant. When we calculate a payment to you for your claim, we may reduce it by any ITC you are, or would be, entitled to receive.
If you don't tell us of your entitlement, or the information you give us is incorrect, we won't cover you for any resulting fines, penalties or tax liability incurred.
Will my claim affect my premium?
Can I claim for a reduction in turnover?
Each claim is reviewed and assessed by your Claims Officer based on both the circumstances and policy response. How we respond is determined by your level of cover.
Please refer to your Policy Schedule.
Does business interruption cover wages?
Business interruption insurance can help your business to keep running if your insured property is lost or damaged after an event such as fire, etc. For most business owners, there are ongoing expenses that you need to pay even if you’re not generating any business revenue – like staff wages, supplier invoices, rent or loan repayments, etc.
When you make a claim, we assess your true business losses, taking into account the above-mentioned.
Why do we say, ‘how we respond is determined by your level of cover’?
As each customer’s chosen policy covers, options and amounts of cover differ, this makes it difficult to offer a blanket response for all questions. All the information you need is in your Policy Schedule or in the PDS. Please read and review them carefully when you establish or renew your policy. If you need further help understanding your policy or cover, please contact us.
What accessibility options are available to me?
Our services offer customisable communication options including using your preferred communication method and choosing someone to speak on your behalf.
Our claims staff can also contact services such as the National Relay Service and The Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS). During your first phone call or email, please let us know which service you need and we'll connect with them during all communications.
These services are available 24/7.
Does GIO offer support for customers experiencing emotional, mental or financial vulnerability?
Everyone experiences vulnerability at some stage of their life and we understand making a claim can be stressful. Where you’re comfortable, we encourage you to talk to us about anything that might be relevant to your claim. With this context, we’re better able to provide the support you need as we handle your claim.
We’ll do our best to meet your accessibility and communication needs and where appropriate, and with your consent, connect you with support services.
For crisis support, please contact 000 Emergency Services or Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Learn more about our extra help and support.
If I disclose something personal about my situation, can anyone else see that information?
If you choose to disclose information about your circumstances, we’ll always ask for your consent to keep that information on your policy. We ask this to ensure future claims across any GIO policy you have will have consistent information and context for any additional support that where possible, we are able to provide. If you don’t consent to the capture of that information, we won’t record anything you’ve shared.
We know circumstances can change, so you can ask for this information to be removed at any time. This means our Claims Officer may be unaware of your circumstances, which may mean repeating important information to them.
I’ve been impacted by a weather event. How does this affect my claim?
Due to the number of claims we receive during an event, claim review times often increase. To review your claim as soon as possible, we have dedicated event teams. We appreciate your patience during these times and encourage you to prioritise your safety before lodging a claim.