Carpenters and joiners public liability insurance

What insurance do carpenters and joiners need?

Whether you’re a carpenter or joiner working on-site, or a cabinet maker creating a bespoke piece for a client in your workshop, it’s vital you have the right business insurance to protect you and your company.

You’re likely to need public liability insurance and, if you employ anyone, you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. There are other types of protection you might also want to consider, including cover for your tools and equipment.

What is public liability cover?

Public liability insurance can cover you against compensation claims and legal bills if a customer, supplier or member of the public is injured or suffers damage to their property, as a result of your work.

It can cover everything from a small incident to a fatal injury due to an accidental, unexpected event.

If a damages claim is made against you, public liability cover for carpenters and joiners could cover any legal costs, medical expenses and compensation.

It’s up to you to decide the level of cover you need, but most providers offer between £1 million and £10 million.

Terms and conditions vary by insurance provider, so make sure you have the right kind of insurance and level of cover you need.

Do you need public liability insurance for your carpentry or joinery business?

Public liability insurance is not mandatory under UK law. However, without it, the consequences of a claim could be devastating for you and your business.

  • Without public liability insurance, you may find it difficult to keep your business up and running. Customers expect you to be insured for any unexpected events, and many won’t use your services without it. Local authorities usually ask for a minimum cover level of £5 million before you can tender for work.
  • If you’re working as a subcontractor, your contractor will insist you have public liability insurance before hiring you. Without it, you could lose lucrative projects.

Frequently asked questions

What is employers’ liability cover?

As soon as you become an employer, even if you only have one employee, you must get employer’s liability insurance. The only exception is if all your employees are direct family members. Otherwise, the policy is required under UK law.

What happens if I don’t have employers’ liability insurance?

If you employ someone and don’t have employers’ liability insurance in place, you could find yourself facing a massive fine - £2,500 for every day you’re not insured. Also, you can be fined £1,000 for failing to display your employers’ liability insurance certificate and for not showing it to an inspector, if asked.

What else do I need to know?

Your policy must come from an authorised insurance provider and must cover you for at least £5 million.

What if I’m self-employed?

Around 20% of workers in the UK’s construction sector are self-employed. If you’re one of them, you'll need to organise your own insurance as you don't have an employer to do it for you. 

It could be worth considering taking out one of the following types of insurance to protect your business or your income – and your family’s future - if something happened to you:

What other types of business insurance would a carpenter or joiner need?

Tools of the trade are an essential part of any carpentry or joinery business. Without them, you can’t work.  

You can opt for business tool insurance as part of your carpenters and joiners policy. That means you won't have to worry about how you'll afford to replace your gear if it’s stolen or damaged. 

Picture the scene – you’re just completing the framework for an extension project, and an unexpected storm destroys the lot. It’s nobody’s fault, but someone needs to pay for the replacement work. Will it be you, or your client?  Contract works insurance could cover your work on-site for fire, flood, storm, malicious damage and theft. It can also insure your materials and fittings, so you and your client are protected.

You might also want to consider:

Van insurance

Commercial property insurance to protect your business premises

Business interruption insurance. This can help compensate you for loss of profits if, for some unexpected reason, your business is unable to operate. However, it’s unlikely to cover any interruptions caused by COVID-19.

Business contents insurance

Home office insurance. The insurance you need if you run your business from home.

How can I get a good deal on carpenters and joiners insurance?

We can help you find and compare carpenters and joiners insurance deals, so you get the one that's right for you. We’ve made comparing business insurance policies and prices quick and simple. 

Just complete our online form. You can tailor it to carpenters and joiners insurance, so that your search results are specific to your trade. We’ll then contact you with a list of industry-relevant policies, to enable you to continue growing your business, knowing you have the right specialist insurance.

What won’t carpenters and joiners insurance cover?

What your insurance policy will pay out for depends on the level of cover you choose. Each policy is different, which is why it’s so important to read yours carefully.

That said, there are a few things you can be fairly sure your insurance provider won’t pay out for. These include:

  • deliberate acts leading to injury or illness
  • injuries that take place when you’re travelling
  • employees working off-shore

How much does carpenters and joiners insurance cost?

How much you pay for your insurance premium will depend on a number of factors, including:

The size of your business and where you operate

The level of cover you choose

How much you pay for your excess

What do I need to get a quote?

When you start a carpenters and joiners insurance quote with us, it’ll help to have a few details to hand, including:

  • your business details and how many people you employ
  • the value of your workshop and tools
  • how much cover you want

Emily Kindness

From the Business team

What our expert says

“As a carpenter or joiner, you face risks at work every day. Having tailored insurance will ensure you’re covered against all eventualities. It can keep you, your business and any employees protected should an accident happen.”

Other business insurance that carpenters and joiners may be interested in…

Public liability insurance

Get cover against claims if someone is injured or property damaged as a result or your work.

Employers’ liability insurance

You are legally required to have this insurance even if you employ just one person.

Business interruption insurance

Insurance to help compensate you for loss of profits if your business is unable to operate for a period for some unexpected reason.

Business life insurance

Insurance designed to help your business carry on if something happens to you or the key people in your business.

Van insurance

A guide to LGV insurance for business.

Commercial property insurance

Protect your business premises.

Business contents insurance

Protect your business equipment.
Home office insurance

The insurance you need when you run your business from your home.