What is Tradesman Insurance?
As a tradesman, there is always going to be an element of danger involved due to the manual nature of the work you do and tools you use. Tradesman insurance is designed to protect you if you are sued due to someone being injured or if their property is damaged. This is the public liability element and most of your clients would expect you to have this as a minimum.
It would cover you for mishaps such as someone tripping over your tools and injuring themselves, or you accidentally damage existing fixtures and fittings whilst renovating a clients house. A common claim tends to be pipe fittings not being tightened sufficiently and causing major water damage.
What can Tradesman Insurance Cover?
- Public Liability: Covers you for legal and compensation costs if a member of the public/third party is injured or you cause damage to someone’s property and you are sued.
- Tool insurance: If your work tools are lost, damaged, or stolen.
- Legal expenses: In case your company has to defend itself in a commercial dispute.
- Employers’ liability insurance: Legal and compensation cover for claims from your employees if they are injured or become ill as a result of their employment.
- Plant (owned and hired) and machinery insurance: Cover if it becomes damaged or stolen.
- Business equipment insurance: Cover for any office equipment and other contents used for your business.
- Stock and materials: Cover if these become damaged or stolen.
- Personal accident insurance: Compensation for loss of income as well as medical costs that result from you becoming seriously injured or passing away due to your work
- Contract Works: if you have to repair or redo any work that becomes damaged or destroyed by an insured peril such as flood or fire.
What else do I need?
- Directors Insurance: Covers the individual and their personal assets from claims made for actual or alleged wrongful acts.
- Employers Liability: If you employ staff, sub contractors, temporary staff or volunteers.
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance: If you have a work vehicle or van.
Why do I need Tradesman Insurance?
Legally you don’t need it, but you should have it. The only element that is mandatory is Employers Liability and if you’re a one-man band then you don’t need that. However, If like most people, you don’t have surplus cash to cover a worst case scenario, nor the time or expertise to sort a claim then Tradesmen insurance will ensure your bottom line won’t be hit if you have a claim – and you won’t have the lost time or stress of sorting a claim. Your clients will expect you to have Public Liability Insurance as a minimum, and frequently this will be a contractual obligation.
How much does Tradesmen Insurance cost?
This varies from insurer to insurer and dependent on the level of cover required but to give an idea of price, a general tradesman (builder, carpenter, electrician, painter and decorator could expect to pay between £100 – £160*.
A plumbing and heating engineer would pay more due to the increased risk starting at £390*. These examples are based on Public Liability of £1,000,000 (including heat work) and tools and business equipment of £1,000 (including theft from van overnight). Prices are inclusive of Insurance Premium Tax and our £30 admin fee.
*These are not set prices, they are variable according to the insurer and level of cover.
Are my tools covered if they are stolen from my van?
This varies from insurer to insurer. Whilst most insurers will cover tools, there are often conditions in the policy wording that must have been adhered to if a claim was to be paid. For example, keeping your van in a locked compound or garage overnight, or not providing cover during certain hours of the night.
At Glowsure, we know that most Tradesmen don’t have a compound or garage where they can safely lock their van away at night, nor will most of them remove their tools at the end of each day, so if tools cover is required, we will choose insurers where such conditions don’t apply. You should always take sensible precautions such as locking your vehicle with additional locks, and ensuring windows are fully up.
How much Public Liability cover do I need?
Most insurers offer set limits of £1 million, £2 million, £5 million, and £10 million, each level increasing in cost. Sometimes customers or local authorities will request that you have a certain limit before you can carry out work for them, so you may be governed by that. Otherwise, the limit is down to you to choose, and will depend on the type of work you do.
The more risk or danger involved in your work, the greater potential there is for a higher claim against you. For example, a plumber/heating engineer that uses heat works has more potential to start a fire and cause substantial damage to a house and/or customer.
Think about your business and the potential scenario if things went really wrong; how much damage could you potentially cause? Could you cause injury to someone? (injury claims can easily go over £1 million if someone couldn’t work or was temporarily or permanently disabled) Could you cause damage to a property? Think about the legal costs of defending yourself and the compensation bill you could be liable for.
Types of businesses we can cover
We have access to many insurers so we can arrange cover for almost any trade, including but not limited too;
- Bathroom Fitter
- Bedroom Fitter
- Carpet Fitter
- Flooring Contractor
- Garden Designer / Landscape Gardener
- Fencing Contractor
- Gas Fitter
- Painter and Decorator
- Heating Engineer