This article is provided by Simply Business
All tradesmen face certain risks, from someone tripping over your tools and suing you for injury, to a storm or fire damaging your half-finished construction.
As a result, there are many different insurance covers that are relevant to tradesmen. Our guide should help you get to grips with some of the main types so that you can get the insurance you need for your business.
Public liability insurance
Let’s start with public liability insurance, which is likely to be central to your tradesman insurance policy.
This insurance can cover you if you’re sued for causing injury or damage, for example if you drop a tool and it damages a parked car below, or if you leave building materials lying around and someone trips over them and suffers a serious injury. If you face a compensation claim in cases like these, your public liability insurance can cover the legal fees and compensation costs, up to the limit of your policy.
Most insurers offer £1 million to £5 million of public liability insurance, and it’s a good idea to check if your contracts require a particular level of cover before you buy.
Employers’ liability insurance
If you employ anyone - including contractors, casual workers or temporary staff - you’re usually required by law to have employers’ liability insurance in place, and you can face a hefty fine if you don’t.
This insurance can cover compensation claims from an employee if they suffer a work-related injury or illness, for example if an employee falls ill as a result of exposure to construction dust, or if a worker is injured on site because a piece of equipment fails.
Tools insurance is quite self-explanatory. It can cover your tools - including your handtools, and power tools - in case they’re lost, damaged or stolen. When you’re buying this insurance, you should check the policy documents carefully, to make sure you understand when and where your tools would be covered, and what security measures you’re expected to have in place.
Plant and machinery insurance
You can also get insurance to cover the machinery that you hire or own, including diggers, and forklifts. This insurance can cover costs if machinery is lost, damaged or stolen, although you should check the policy documents for specifics.
Contract works insurance
Contract works insurance covers construction that’s underway on a building site if it’s damaged by something like fire, flood, storm or vandalism. It can pay to repair or redo work that’s been damaged or destroyed, including the cost of the labour, materials and tools.
Other insurance covers
There are other types of insurance you may want to consider too, including personal accident insurance, business buildings insurance to cover your business premises, legal expenses insurance and business interruption cover.
When you’re choosing which covers to buy, make sure you understand what’s expected by your clients and principal contractors, and think about the individual risks your business faces.