Public Liability Insurance Frequently Asked Questions

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Public liability insurance covers for legal cost incurred as a result ofclaims made by the plaintiff for injuries sustained by third parties when in the insured premises, or for damages to public property while conducting works in the client’s premises.
Workplace accidents are very common in Singapore, and companies with the most stringent safety procedures may sometimes be a victim of workplace accidents. Although accidents and errors can be reduced with machine automation, many facet of the business operations (such as front-end staff/ customer service) could not be easily replaced by technology.
– A waiter can accidentally sip hot water on a waiting diner while serving the table?
– Customers may slip and fall on a wet floor surface that has been just mopped by a staff minutes ago?
– Your renovation staff may damage the wall of your client’s residence while moving heavy furnitures across the hall?

Public liability policies aims to alleviate the cost of compensation for incidents that occurs in connection with the insured business activities.

In general, if your business deals with people in person, yes public liability is definitely a must. This class of insurance is usually coupled with property-all-risk, Work Injury Compensation to form main clauses in business packages for SMEs. Reasons being these are quite the key basic insurance requirements for small startups: coverage is low with affordable premiums in the range of $300 and above.

Although public liability is offered as a package in small businesses plans, you can also choose to buy standalone Public Liability policies if the coverage amount is insufficient to cover the potential losses your business may suffer should accidents happen. Find out more with us

No, this class of insurance is not compulsory by law in Singapore, but you should consider getting the policy in case your customers pursue legal actions for injuries/ damages in your premises or your clients premises.
Structural defects that cause injuries to public, workers accidentally causing hurt to people or property while conducting their work, customers who fell down in your premises are often common accidents that may result in the public/ customers filing a legal suit to claim damages against you. It will be in your best interest to get the business protected by purchasing a Public Liability policy, hence offering your workers and yourself a peace of mind.

Coverage Amount will depend the size/type of your business premises, what industry is your business in, the type of work you are conducting for your customer, and whether the project contract stipulates such requirements for Public liability Insurance.
A renovation company may potentially require a higher public liability coverage than a retail store, as renovation works in client’s premises may cause damages to existing property or fittings, or to neighbouring property. Likewise, a retail store would require a higher coverage amount as compared to an office set up due to high customer traffic in a retail setup.
The scale of work done for your customers needs to be evaluated throughly as a consideration to determining the coverage amount. The compensation amount for damages varies greatly, depending on the value of existing property & items, as well as the worksite premise. Take for example, renovation works in a museum or medical center can possibly damage historical artifacts/ high end medical devices & equipments when workers are negligence in their work; if the work site premise is a public place where traffic flow is high is considered to require higher coverage amount as compared to a private and enclosed space of work. Some private contracts will also state the minimum coverage amount as a pre-requisite before commencement of work as part of the letter of award.
We invite you to speak to us to find out how much insurance is required to get you covered fully for your nature of work. Talk to us to find out more.

The cost of getting the company covered varies greatly from business to business, even if comparison were to be made amongst the same industry/ trade.
Factors affecting premium rates will be claims history, industry type, nature of contract or work done, and also your policy requirements. Certain industries tend to have a higher possiblity of claims payout, partly due to the nature of the job and the duration of the project work. Other considerations that the insurers have would be the assessment of the applicant’s claims history to determine the cost of insurance. A company with poor internal risk & Safety management procedure may potentially have previous litigation claims for damages/injuries to public or property. Compared this with a bizsafe accredated company, a company that advocates workplace safety will have internal safety protocols which reduces the possibility of accidents causing hurt to public, hence reducing the risk to underwrite public liability policys and this would in turn translate to lower premiums calculations.

Public liability Insurance is meant to cover 3rd party injuries/ damages, but a Work Injury Compensation (WIC) policy is able to take care of injuries to employees.
As the term itself explains, “Public Liabilities” would mean any person or properties that is subjected to injuries/damages caused as a direct effect of insured work activities by your employees, would be possibily subjected to compensation through legal recourse.

Public Liabilities policies are tax deductible. When tabulating your tax return to IRAS, this premium is treated as expense in the company’s Notice of Assessment (NOA) submission. Evidence of payment could be substantiated by policy contract or premium receipt to support proof of payment, and hence it is necessary to keep a proper record of all business insurance purchases in the reporting year.
Whether you are doing your accounts by yourself or your accountant, insurance purchases can potentially reduce your tax payables and at the same time, give the company the assurance and protection it needs to grow the business. Talk to us to find out more on how you can get covered and benefit from a lower tax return.