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Insurance for tradesmen. What do you need?


A man with a white van representing someone who works in trade asking what insurance do tradesmen need?

Tradesmen, by definition, are people who work in skilled trades. Builders, carpenters, electricians, and plumbers, to name a few.

In 2020, over 340,000 construction businesses were employing nearly 1.4 million people

And the growing demand for new housing, home improvements and 'greener' buildings looks set to drive that figure higher.

Work that involves not only know-how but physical input carries a risk of things not going to plan, however. So what insurance do tradesmen need? And how does it benefit your business?

Mishaps and mistakes happen

Whether you're working on a building site, in someone's private home, or on a commercial property, you see people. 

And when other people are involved, there's always a risk of injury or damage. If that happens, like someone trips over your extension lead and is hurt, you might find yourself facing an expensive lawsuit. 

Public liability insurance protects your company's finances where third-party accidents are concerned. It pays your legal costs and covers any compensation due to your client. 

It's also a requirement to have public liability insurance if you're a member of a trade organisation like NAPIT.

But if you make a mistake that could cause a problem later, you'll need professional indemnity insurance

For example, if you're an electrician and complete an installation condition report. If you miss something vital that costs your client financially later on they won't be happy. And they'll want compensating. 

Professional indemnity insurance covers your legal expenses and any compensation due to your client.

Cover your kit

Your kit is your business when you're a tradesman, and you can't work without it.

Tools and equipment insurance covers the specialist tools of your trade, including anything portable. If something gets damaged, goes missing or is stolen, tools and equipment insurance will pay to repair it, if possible. If it's beyond repair, your insurance will replace it, like for like.

So, if your kit gets broken or grows legs and walks…your business can still stand on its own two feet.

If you have bigger bits of kit, like machinery, trailers, huts, or a site caravan, you'll need construction plant and machinery insurance. Just in case something gets damaged or stolen. It also pays to remove large broken items from the site.

Just so you know though, construction plant and machinery insurance doesn't cover mechanical failure.

And if the job needs some specialist kit, you'll need cover for that. Hired-in plant insurance treats your borrowed gear as if it's your own. It covers any repair or replacement costs, as well as ongoing hire charges while kit is out of action. 

Potential people problems...

Being a tradesman brings a risk of accidents. And if you're seriously injured, for example, you lose your sight or are permanently disabled, you'll need financial support. 

Personal accident insurance pays you a lump sum to help keep your business going. It'll help you to recruit or retrain staff if you need to. 

And if you employ anyone, employers' liability insurance is a legal requirement. If a staff member is injured or becomes ill because of the work you've asked them to do, they can sue. Employers' liability pays to defend you (even if you're not at fault) and covers any compensation owed.

What other insurance for tradesmen might you need?

If you're in a trade, you might store stock to use on a job. Maybe a door you've bought in, or some plasterboard. All it would take is a burst pipe, and it'd be wrecked. Or, if you're moving it from storage to your site, a knock or dent would mean it's unusable.

Business stock insurance will cover the cost for damaged items meaning your business won't suffer, even if your stock does.

Or what about if you're midway through a construction project and disaster strikes? The site floods, or there's a storm. Or, worse still, vandals cause a whirlwind of chaos and destruction just as you've got the house you're working on watertight. 

Contract works insurance can help in those scenarios. It pays to get you back to where you were before the damage by covering the cost of materials and labour.

Build a wall of insurance protection

Accidents and mishaps happen. Problems can come from mistakes you make. Or something could happen that's out of your control. 

Play safe by finding out more about insurance for tradesmen. Or call us on 0345 222 5391 to speak to the team.

Image used under license from Shutterstock.

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