Many builders, whether they’re operating as sole traders or a small business, love the degree of freedom that can come with being your own boss in the building trade.
Yes, it’s hard and often dirty work plus long hours but it also offers the chance to create something lasting as a result. Comparatively few builders might choose to change their job, in spite of some of those hardships mentioned above.
However, a builder’s business is typically a business like any other. As such, it’s particularly important that you identify the risks associated with running your business and then take whatever steps you consider appropriate to:
- stop them happening, if at all possible;
- put into place contingencies to deal with them, should the worst happen.
Financial contingency planning
Let’s consider a hypothetical situation where:
- a piece of machinery you’re using on a job catches fire;
- it causes substantial damage to the surroundings and floors;
- there could be an issue with waste or material disposal;
- your customer sues you for compensation and is awarded £30,000.
In this and many other situations like it, your only option will be to pay up. The only possible options you have are to decide that you’ll either fund the payment from your own finances or assets or, if you had the forethought to buy it, to look to builders’ insurance to help.
Insurance for builders
Here at Specialist4Business, we offer a range of custom-designed policies providing builders’ insurance.
We’d welcome the chance to discuss your specific requirements with you but in general terms, policies can offer protection against costs in the following areas:
- public liability – in case members of the public claim against you for injuries sustained as a result of your activities;
- products liability – this typically involves claims that your clients (or others) might lodge against you for injuries they’ve sustained (or damage to their property) as a result of your services and the work you’ve done or not done;
- employers’ liability – typically a legal requirement in situations where people are working for you;
- tools cover, should theft or loss occur;
- contracts cover – typically involving your inability to meet a contractual commitment you’ve made due to extraordinary circumstances beyond your control (e.g. perhaps a major fire on site means you can’t complete your component of the work until the damage is repaired).
To these elements can be added other forms of cover too, perhaps including buildings, contents, sickness and personal accident protection etc.
It may be the case that not all of the above elements of builders’ insurance cover are applicable in the case of your business. If so, that’s fine because the cover is highly flexible and customisable to meet the very varied business situations encountered within the building trade.
Do you need cover?
Ultimately, with the exception of employers’ liability insurance, typically the decision as to whether or not to take out such cover must be yours.
It is a fact that some tenders might involve you indicating to the potential client that you do, in fact, have cover in place sufficient to protect their interests. Even so, in many situations it will be up to you as to whether or not to purchase cover.
It might be advisable though to consider carefully just how you would cope, financially speaking, if you had a problem in one of the above areas and did not have insurance to help.
Why not contact us without delay to find out more about builders’ insurance products?