Plumbers are used to fixing the fallout from customers’ insurance claims. But are you too busy fixing leaks to think about cover for your own business? Find out what you need to know about public liability insurance and other types of insurance a plumber might need.
How does public liability insurance for plumbers work?
In an ideal world every job would go smoothly. But an ill-fitting pipe or tap could have disastrous consequences for your customer - and for your reputation.
If you cause a leak in a customer’s home or business premises, you could face a hefty bill to repair any property damaged – on top of costly legal fees.
Public liability insurance can help cover compensation and legal costs if something is damaged or someone is injured as a result of your work. This type of insurance isn’t a legal requirement but if you’re dealing with members of the public, it makes sense to have it.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need employers’ liability insurance?
If you employ anyone who isn't a family member, you’ll need to have employers’ liability cover – it’s the law. It’s something you’d want in place anyway, as it offers you protection if someone who works for you falls sick or gets injured as a result of their work.
Employers’ liability insurance is especially important if you employ tradespeople. According to the Government Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 2.4% of workers in the construction industry suffered an injury between 2016 and 2019. Plumbers, in particular, are at risk from injuries resulting from using cutting and joining tools.
It’s also worth remembering that, once your policy is in place, you’ll need to keep up to date with current health and safety rules. If you don’t, it could be invalidated.
What about insuring my plumbers’ tools and equipment?
The tools of the plumbing trade are valuable, and if you had to replace them all at once you could find yourself facing a huge bill. Business tools insurance will cover your tools and equipment for all kinds of eventualities, including theft, vandalism, fire and flood.
You can also add tool cover to your van insurance policy.
What is contract works insurance?
If you take on big projects for other firms – let’s say you're doing the plumbing for a large-scale property development – contract works cover could keep your business afloat in the event of a disaster. It covers you for events such as fire, flood, storms and vandalism – where your work forms part of a bigger project.
So if, for example, a storm damages the new building you’re working on and you’re expected to redo the plumbing for no extra payment, contract works cover will protect your pay, as well as any tools or materials.
What other business insurance do I need?
If you own a plumbing business, it’s not just other people’s floods and leaks you need to worry about. It’s vital to understand the risks your company faces, so you can have the right insurance in place to protect you, your employees and your customers.
Different types of cover, including public liability insurance and employers’ liability insurance, can come as part of a business insurance package, tailored to suit your particular needs.
Accidents can happen and working as a plumber does have increased risks. You could consider personal injury cover, which helps to cover any loss of income or medical costs should you be involved in an accident. Or you could add business interruption cover to your policy, to protect against loss of income if your business can’t operate due to an unexpected event, for example a fire or flood damages your business premises and all your equipment.
What insurance do I need if I'm a plumbing sub-contractor?
If you’re working under the supervision of a contractor, you should be covered by their insurance policy. If you’re working unsupervised, it’s your responsibility to make sure you have the right public liability insurance in place. If you don’t, you could be held liable for any damage or injury. Most professional contractors will want to see proof of your insurance before they employ you.
What insurance do I need if I'm a plumbing contractor?
As a plumbing contractor, you’ll need to make sure you have adequate public liability insurance to cover you in the event you cause damage or injury while carrying out your work. With the right cover in place, any sub-contractors you use should be covered by your policy, as long as they work under your supervision. If sub-contractors are working unsupervised, they’ll need their own insurance policy. You should check to make sure they have the right cover in place before they start working for you.
How do I find the right plumbers’ insurance cover for my business?
We’re here to take the strain out of finding plumbers’ insurance.
We’ll ask you a few simple questions about your business – what tools you have, how many people you employ, etc – so that we can tailor quotes to your needs. It doesn't matter if you’re a one-man band or a big business, we can help you find the right insurance policy.
Compare plumbers’ insurance today and see if you could save.
Other business insurance that plumbers 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’re 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 of time due to unforeseen circumstances.
Business life insurance - Insurance designed to help your business carry on if something happens to you, or other key people in your business.
Van insurance - Covers your van, to give you peace of mind
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.
How much does plumbers’ insurance cost?
The price of plumbers’ public liability insurance depends on a number of things, including:
- the level of cover you want
- the risks you face when working
- your location.
We compare a range of quotes from leading UK insurance providers to find the right deal for your business needs.Start a quote
What do I need to get a quote?
To help us find the right quotes for your plumbers’ public liability insurance, we’ll need a few details, such as:
- whether you operate as a sole trader, a partnership or a limited company
- how long you’ve been in business
- your turnover for the past 12 months
- 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 extra cover you require, such as personal injury, tool or plant insurance, or contract works insurance
- the specific risks associated with your business (place of work, working with asbestos, etc)
From the Business team
What our expert says
“Accidents happen to us all. But in plumbing, a simple mistake could cause extensive water damage to your customer’s property and leave you facing an eye-watering bill for compensation. Make sure your business is covered with the right public liability insurance.”
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***Correct as of November 2020.
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