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Maintaining a home

What is legal liability cover?

30 January 2023

Home and Contents Insurance could cover your building or contents in case of damage or loss from incidents like fire^, theft or break-ins.

But that’s not all – depending on your policy, you may also have public liability cover.

What's the difference between legal and public liability cover?

Public or legal liability insurance generally covers the policyholder in case of personal injury to others or damage to their property as a result of an incident, for which that policyholder is liable.

In a business setting, this is called ‘public liability cover’ and can apply in situations where someone is injured or their property is damaged due to an incident in connection with business activities. Say, if someone trips and falls in a store, or has their car damaged by debris from construction work.

A similar type of cover can also help in the home, where it’s usually referred to as legal liability cover. If a visitor is injured or dies at your property from an incident for which you are liable, you may be legally liable for some or all of the associated costs. This generally means paying compensation for their bodily injury or death, or loss or damage to their property, but may also include legal costs, depending on the situation.

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What isn’t covered by legal liability?

What is and isn’t covered under your insurance policy will change depending on the insurer.

Suncorp Home & Contents Insurance doesn’t cover things like the following:

  • Injuries suffered by a worker or contractor who is working on your home.
  • Illness or disease that may have been caused at the property, like salmonella from contaminated food.
  • Injury or damage to property of anyone who lives at the insured address.

For more information on what is and isn’t covered, refer to the PDS.

Do you need legal liability cover for your home?

Legal liability cover for your home may not be your first consideration when buying an insurance policy, but it can be worthwhile. After all, you may not expect a visitor to get injured at your home – until it happens.

Legal liability may even be relevant if you’re not living at the property. For example, if you’re renting out a house you own, you may still be legally liable in the case of an incident. This liability can even extend to a vacant block of residential land that you own. In this case, Suncorp Insurance may still provide cover as long as the property is zoned for residential housing, is smaller than 20 acres, and you intend to build your future home on it.

In short, if you own the property and somebody can be hurt there, you may be liable!

Legal liability cover out of your home when you have contents cover

Whilst cover in the case of an at-home injury to other people is good to have, there’s another benefit to having legal liability cover. With Suncorp Contents Only or Combined Home and Contents Insurance policies, you’ll also be covered for legal liability to pay compensation for other people’s injury, death, or loss or damage to their property if an incident happens anywhere in Australia and New Zealand. Some conditions and exclusions apply. Refer to the PDS for full details.

For example, if you accidentally rode your push bike into a parked car and scratched it, you may be liable to pay for the damage and any legal costs. But with the legal liability cover provided by your contents insurance, the costs to repair the damage to the parked car may be covered as well as associated legal costs that we have agreed to pay!

Is legal liability cover included in home insurance?

Legal liability cover is included in all Suncorp Home Insurance policies. This includes:

Keep in mind that legal liability cover for contents out of your home is only included in a contents policy.

If you’re not already a Suncorp Insurance policy holder, consider taking a look to see if the product suits your needs. For more information, including limits, conditions and exclusions that apply, refer to the relevant PDS.

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^We do not insure you for bushfire in the first 72 hours of your policy. Very limited exceptions apply. Refer to the PDS for more detail.

Insurance issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 trading as Suncorp Insurance. Read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before buying this insurance. The Target Market Determination is also available.

This advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situations or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it.