As an electrician, you’ll be very aware of the potential risks that electricity can pose for both you and your customers. If things go wrong, the consequences can be extremely serious. That’s why it’s so important to have public liability insurance and other specialist insurance in place.
What is public liability insurance for electricians?
Public liability insurance offers you cover in case a person is injured, or their property is damaged, as a result of your work.
If an accident happened, you could face a hefty compensation claim, as well as a court case involving potentially expensive legal fees. These claims can take time to work their way through the legal system, which means the legal bills alone could soon mount up.
A public liability insurance policy can help protect you financially, should you find yourself in this situation, and give you peace of mind that your business is protected.
Do you need public liability insurance if you’re an electrician?
UK law doesn’t require you to take out public liability insurance as an electrician, or electrical contractor. But it’s wise to consider it.
As a registered electrician, you’ll already comply with safety regulations to ensure your work protects people from electric shocks and fire.
But accidents can happen. According to the Health and Safety Executive’s (HSE) report ‘Workplace fatal injuries in Great Britain, 2020’, some fatal injuries occurred as a result of contact with electricity in the period 2019-2020.
For the year before, 2018-2019, the HSE reported that 5% of all fatal injuries in the UK construction industry were caused by contact with electricity, and there were 251 serious injuries caused by safety-related electrical incidents.
Even the most skilled and experienced electricians can be vulnerable to litigation, so it could pay to be covered in the long run. It’s also worth considering that:
- Many people won’t hire you if you don’t have public liability cover. Local authorities usually ask for a minimum cover level of £5 million before you can tender for work.
- If you work as an electrical sub-contractor, you may find it very difficult to get hired by project managers and main contractors if you haven't got your own public liability policy.
Frequently asked questions
What other types of cover do you need to consider when taking out electricians’ insurance?
As well as public liability, you can add the following to your specialist electricians' insurance:
Employers' liability cover
If you employ people who are not direct family members – even if you only have one employee – you're required by UK law to have employers' liability insurance. You can be fined £2,500 every day that you're not properly insured.
This cover protects you if an employee injures themselves or becomes ill as a result of working for you. You should get cover for at least £5 million.
According to HSE, for the period 2018-2019, employers reported 69,208 non-fatal injuries to workers – and 581,000 non-fatal injuries were reported by workers themselves.
And remember, you must keep up to date with Health and Safety at Work regulations. If you don’t, it could invalidate your employers' liability insurance.
Tool and equipment cover
Electricians’ tools and testing equipment can be very expensive.
Tool and equipment cover can insure your work tools and equipment, so you can replace them quickly without it costing you more than your agreed policy excess.
Business interruption insurance
If you’re unable to operate for a period of time due to unforeseen circumstances, business interruption insurance could compensate you for lost profits while your business is out of action.
Van insurance can cover your van if you use one for your business.
Commercial property insurance can protect your business premises or you may want home office insurance if you run your business from home.
What if I’m self-employed?
In addition to the above policy types, there are different types of cover to protect your income or business, so it’s worth considering which insurance type best suits you:
If you're a self-employed electrician, you'll need to sort out your own insurance because you won't have an employer to arrange it for you.
What insurance do I need if I'm an electrical sub-contractor?
As an electrical sub-contractor, you’ll normally be covered by the main contractor’s public liability insurance policy – as long as you’re working under their supervision.
If you’re working independently, you’ll most likely need to arrange your own policy. Either way, you should check to see what insurance the main contractor has in place to make sure you’re adequately covered.
What insurance do I need if I'm an electrical contractor?
As a contractor, you’ll want public liability insurance. But it’s important to check the details of your policy carefully, to make sure you have an adequate level of cover. If you’re using sub-contractors, they’ll normally be covered under your policy too, assuming they’re working under your supervision. If not, check that they have their own insurance policy in place before you start working with them.
How can I find electricians’ insurance deals?
We’re here to help you find the right business insurance quotes to meet your needs, as quickly and as simply as possible.
Just give us a few details about your business and the type of cover you require, and we’ll provide you with a list of industry-specific deals, tailored to your business.
Get a quote today and help keep your business protected.
How much does electricians’ insurance cost?
The price of electricians’ insurance can vary greatly. Some of the main factors affecting cost are:
Other factors include:
- If you’ve claimed on your insurance previously.
- The type of work you’re doing – whether it’s small jobs for private property owners or big high-risk contracts for business owners.
We can help you find the right public liability insurance by comparing quotes from leading business insurance providers, to find the cover you need at a price to suit you.
What do I need to get a quote?
To start comparing quotes we’ll need a few details from you, including:
- Details of your trade and business, such as how long you’ve been in business and your annual turnover.
- Details of any people you employ, or if you use any casual workers or contractors.
- The level of cover you need for public liability.
- Any additional cover you need, such as personal injury cover, tool insurance, or commercial vehicle insurance.
- The specific risks relating to your business, including the type of premises you work in and any work-related safety issues.
Also, we’ll need a few personal details about you, unless you’ve compared with us before, in which case we can fill those in for you.Start a quote
Why use Compare the Market?
We take the legwork out of finding the best public liability insurance, by comparing quotes from a range of leading insurance providers.
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**Correct as of November 2020
***On average it can take less than 6 minutes to complete a Business Insurance quote through Compare the Market based on data in November 2020.
**** For the period 1st September to 30th November 2020, 12,477 people responded to the recommend question. 11,706 responded with a score of 6 or above, therefore 93.8% are likely to recommend
From the Business team
What our expert says
“Even for the professionals, working with electricity is extremely dangerous. Accidents can and do happen. For peace of mind, make sure you’re covered for a worst-case scenario with public liability insurance.”