Insurance requirements for businesses in Australia will vary depending on the type of business and its local operations. The following insurances are mandatory or strongly advised, for most Australian businesses:
- Workers compensation insurance – when employing staff
- Compulsory Third Party (CTP) personal injury insurance – for any vehicles owned or used in the business
- Public liability insurance - for certain types of companies.
- Professional Indemnity Insurance – may be required for claims relating to the provision of professional services or advice.
Other mandatory insurances may apply for specific business types and operations.
Workers Compensation ("Workers Comp")
Workers Compensation Insurance is compulsory and covers employees against injury, illness or death in the workplace. Employers must provide workers compensation insurance for employees through an approved insurer. Each state and territory operates its own Workers’ Compensation Scheme with different requirements.
- ACT Worksafe
- NSW Workcover
- NT Worksafe
- QLD Workcover
- SA Workcover
- TAS Workcover
- VIC Worksafe
- WA Workcover
- Safework Australia - Work health and safety regulators
Compulsory Third Party Insurance ("CTP")
It is compulsory to insure all company and business vehicles for third-party injury liability. This policy covers claims made against the business for personal injuries and legal costs arising from the use of any vehicle. This insurance is required in order to register and operate a vehicle. It must be purchased by approved providers at the time of vehicle registration. Each state and territory operates a different CTP insurance scheme:
- ACT Treasury
- NSW Motor Accidents Authority
- NT Territory Insurance Office
- QLD Motor Accident Insurance Commission
- SA Motor Accident Commission
- TAS Motor Accidents Insurance Board
- VIC Transport Accident Commission
- WA Insurance Commission
It is not unusual that your normal insurance broker cannot provide Workers Comp or CTP insurance as the providers are highly regulated and often strictly limited
Public Liability Insurance
Public Liability covers potential liabilities to third parties for personal injury or damage to property if found liable or negligent.
Professional Indemnity ("PI")
PI protects you from legal action taken against you if someone suffers a loss after following your professional advice or as a result of receiving your service.
Other business insurances common to the Australian market include (not exhaustive & alphabetical, not prioritised):
- Business interruption
- Directors' & Officers' Liability ("D&O")
- Electronic breakdown
- Employee fraud or dishonesty
- Employees’ Liability
- Employment Practices
- Fire, flood, theft & burglary
- General property
- Marine & Transit
- Mergers & Acquisitions ("M&A")
- Office & Contents
- Product Liability - cover against claims of goods causing damage, injury or death as a result of failure of a product
Insurance in Australia is offered by general insurance companies or insurance brokers. Insurers may offer individual products relevant to a particular business or package policies specially tailored to cover an entire business's needs.
The Insurance Council of Australia is the representative body of the general insurance industry in Australia. The Insurance Council operates a members referral list of general insurers and insurance brokers.
The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA), the peak body of the insurance broking profession, operates a NIBA-qualified broker search site.
Insurance may sometimes be available via the peak industry body or industry association. Associations may provide relevant insurance, bought in bulk, for members and also provide insurance, risk management and best practice advice that is specific to the industry. Directory.
Standards Australia has developed standard principles, procedures and processes to handle risk management in business. AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009, Risk management - Principles and guidelines outlines procedures and processes to implement. http://infostore.saiglobal.com/store/Details.aspx?ProductID=1378670
[Occupational/Workplace] Health and Safety ("OH&S" / "WH&S")
The Federal and State Governments are responsible for regulating and enforcing workplace health and safety laws ("OH&S" or "WHS") in their respective jurisdictions. Reassuringly, new work health and safety (WHS) laws commenced on 1 January 2012 in many states and territories to harmonise occupational health and safety (OH&S) laws across Australia. Local work health and safety regulators can provide information and advice on compliance, reporting, licenses, workers compensation, plant registrations, training and assessment.
Safe Work Australia is an independent Australian Government statutory body developing national policy on work health and safety and workers’ compensation matters.
The Australian general insurance industry is regulated by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) under the Commonwealth Insurance Act 1973.