As a tradesman, customers rely on your skill, judgement and expert eye for detail. But in a job fraught with hazards, it pays to have a safety net in place just in case something goes wrong.
Whether you’re a builder, decorator, electrician, plumber or handyman – tradesman insurance allows you to concentrate on what you do best…
Do I need tradesman insurance?
If you’re employed by someone else you shouldn’t need to take out your own tradesman insurance cover. But it’s worth reviewing the policy your employer has in place to check what it covers.
Public liability insurance for tradesmen
Public liability insurance protects you against claims made as a result of property damage or injuries sustained by members of the public, connected with your work.
Perhaps you own a building yard or work exclusively at clients’ homes. All it takes is for someone to trip over your equipment and make an injury claim, and you’re facing a pay-out and legal fees.
Even tiny mistakes can be punished in this game, so it makes sense to know you’re covered financially for any missteps. Many companies will only offer work to contractors with this type of tradesman insurance in place. It may also be a requirement for professional accreditation.
Employers’ liability insurance for tradesmen
If you run a business and employ other people then you’ll legally need employers’ liability insurance and a displayed certificate to prove it.
This type of tradesman insurance protects you if your employees are injured or become ill due to work. It could even cover you if former employees make a claim for a condition they allege occurred from their time working for you.
It doesn’t matter if your staff are temporary, agency, apprentice, contract or unpaid – or whether you’re working on residential or commercial property. Failure to have tradesman insurance can result in a fine of up to £2,500 for each day uninsured. Business owners are only legally exempt from needing employers’ liability insurance if they are the only employee and own 50% or more of the company.
Professional indemnity insurance for tradesmen
A priceless lifeline for anyone in the business of giving professional advice, professional indemnity insurance offers protection for your business and its reputation, should a client accuse you of offering damaging advice.
Perhaps you’re an electrician who certifies that some wiring was installed correctly, only for an unforeseen electrical fault to later cause a fire. This type of tradesman insurance will cover the costs for damages or compensation claims against your advice, certification or design.
If you think professional indemnity insurance may be relevant to your business, remember you may need to extend the period of cover beyond the timeline of a contract. Doing so can help you to receive protection from any claims that may arise down the line.
The tools of your trade need to be protected both at home and out and about, so make sure your van insurance and home insurance covers them. You can also buy tool insurance as part of your business insurance package.
How can I reduce the risk of legal action?
Mistakes and accidents do happen. But there are a few simple steps you can take to try and protect yourself:
- always make sure your client’s expectations are clear and agreed in writing, especially if you design or build for them
- be honest about what can be achieved, breaking work down into set deliverables where possible
- record all sign-offs in writing and log them safely
- keep work areas as tidy as possible
- keep clients and the public well away from dangerous areas when you’re working
Get the right tradesman insurance
Any insurance premium is based on a number of factors specific to you, like your claims history, size of your business and how much cover you need.
Get a tradesman insurance quote now and see if you could save