Tradesmen are in short supply. That is certainly the view in many quarters – wall coatings specialists Never Paint Again (NPA), for instance, in a post dated the 23rd of May 2017 suggested that an additional 250,000 workers are needed in the construction industry alone over the next few years.
So, if you are a tradesman, now is a time to value your job and to take a good look at the kind of tradesman insurance that may protect both your work and your business.
Here are some top tips:
- it is the type of insurance that has many more facets than you might have imagined – from insurance for your tools, equipment and the inevitable van, to a whole raft of liabilities;
- to help navigate your way through this potential minefield of different elements of insurance, and to make sure you get the cover appropriate to your needs and at a competitive price, you might want to draw on the expertise and experience of a specialist provider;
Tools and equipment
- for any tradesman, his tools are his livelihood – and likely to represent a significant investment, often made over a number of years;
- make sure that the cover for your tools and equipment is sufficient to cover their theft, loss or damage, therefore, and read the small-print of your policy document carefully to see whether there are any exclusions – some policies, for example, might exclude theft of tools and equipment from your van overnight;
- it might be a more faithful workhorse than you realise – and, just as importantly, needs to be kept insured, because that is the law and you face stiff penalties, including disqualification, for driving whilst uninsured;
- make sure that the cover remains valid and up to date therefore;
Public liability insurance
- whether you are working at a client’s premises or out and about between jobs, there is the risk of an accident which causes injury or property damage to a member of the public;
- if you are held liable – in breach of your common law duty of care – you may be sued for a substantial sum in compensation;
- so large might claims like this become that public liability insurance for tradesmen typically provides indemnity of at least £1 million – and often more;
- you are responsible for keeping others safe from any of the products you supply or install, explains a small business guide published by the Association of British Insurers (ABI);
- if any of these products is directly responsible for one of your customers or a member of the public being injured or suffering damage to their property, you may again be held responsible and sued for compensation;
Employers’ liability insurance
- if you employ anyone else to help you in your trade, you are almost certain to have a legal obligation to hold employers’ liability insurance – there are exceptions to the requirement, but these are few and far between;
- if you have even just one employee, therefore, the law requires you to have a minimum of £5 million employers’ liability insurance to make certain you are able to meet claims from an employee who is injured or contracts a medical condition as a result of their working for you.
Tradesman insurance might be more involved and complicated than you first imagined, so if you take on board some of these tips, it might help you arrange the cover you need.