Guide To Liability Insurance For Tradesmen

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Are you an electrician, plumber or carpenter working as a sole trader? Or perhaps you run your own decorating business or construction firm?

Whatever the case, being part of a skilled trade can be a very rewarding career path. It can also come with additional day-to-day risks that you need to be aware of. 

Although you might do all you can to mitigate these risks and ensure proper health and safety measures are met, you can’t always control the world around you. 

Therefore, it’s important to protect yourself in the event that something should go wrong. This is where liability insurance comes in. 

As a tradesman, you need to make sure you have the right insurance policies in place at all times. Read on to find out more about liability insurance and how it can protect you and your business. 

What is liability insurance?

Liability insurance is a broad umbrella term for different types of cover that help to protect a business or individual. In this case, liability insurance might be used to protect your business or you as an individual tradesman or sole trader. 

These policies are designed to cover you against the risk of liabilities should someone file a lawsuit or try to make a claim against you. 

What falls under the liability insurance umbrella? 

Although there are lots of different types of insurance policies out there, some liability insurance will cover multiple areas. However, others will require that you get more than one policy. 

As a general rule, there are several important types of policies that fall into the tradesmen liability insurance bubble, and these include: 

  • Public liability insurance – This policy will protect you, employees and members of the public that are exposed to risk 
  • Employer liability insurance – If you have employees, even just one, then you need to get an employer’s liability policy to protect their health and safety  
  • Professional liability insurance – To protect you against legal costs if you or your business is sued for negligence 

What does this mean for tradesmen?

There is a reason that tradesmen liability insurance is so important, particularly public and employer liability insurance. After all, working with dangerous or heavy machinery will always pose extra risks, and even if you have the right health and safety measures in place, you can’t guarantee that something won’t go wrong. 

Not only this, but tradesmen will frequently be working with, or around, members of the general public, making this an important policy. Plus, those who employ other tradesmen in their business must legally have employer liability insurance to protect you both.

What does tradesman insurance typically cover?

When looking at the different types of policies available, we’ve begun to touch on what is covered by some providers. However, we’ll now look more specifically at what tradesmen’s liability insurance policies might include. 

This is a very wide look at what these policies might include, so it’s important to never take for granted what is included in your policy. Always make sure that you have chosen a comprehensive cover that has everything you and your business need. Some of the aspects that your tradesmen liability insurance might cover include: 

  • Public contracts
  • Private jobs 
  • Legal fees and claims made against you
  • Consultations 
  • Quoting
  • Working onsite
  • Illness or injury 
  • Damaged equipment 
  • Contract works
  • Hired in plant
  • Own plant
  • Commercial fleet insurance

Though, as we’ve said, never assume that all these areas are covered by your policy. It is always important to read the small print and make sure.

Who is covered by tradesmen insurance?

You’ll always need to look for an insurance policy that is suited to your business and make sure that your trade is definitely covered. For the most part, tradesmen insurance policies will cover: 

  • Builders
  • Groundworkers
  • Plumbers
  • Engineers
  • Painters and decorators
  • Plasterers
  • Bricklayers
  • Carpenters
  • And more

Does every tradesman need insurance?

You might be wondering whether you actually need to spend money on this type of insurance policy, and the simple answer is, yes, you do. Even if you are just a one-man operation, you still need to make sure that you are covered, especially as it’s likely you will still be working around others or members of the public. 

There are certain legal requirements you must meet. For example, as we’ve said above, if you employ anyone, it is a legal requirement to have employer liability insurance. But, of course, there are optional extras. You don’t have to cover your tools or your vehicles – though we recommend that you do. 

However, when it comes to liability insurance, it’s crucial that you have this and that you choose the right policy to make sure you’re completely covered. 

How to choose the right tradesmen liability insurance policy 

You need to make sure that you’re able to find and choose the perfect insurance policy for you, your business and your employees, depending on how you work. There are several steps for doing this. 

Know what you need 

First, you need to understand what you want from your policy. For example, do you need employer’s liability insurance, and do you want to include tool or vehicle protection? Once you understand what it is you need, you can begin searching for policies. 

Use comparison websites 

Comparison websites can be a quick and easy way to find the right policy. You can also ensure you find the provider that is offering the best price for the best policy. 

Speak with a broker

If you’re not sure about comparison sites or you don’t get the results you want, then you might wish to speak with an insurance broker. They will be able to speak directly with insurance companies and help you find the right package. 

Always read the fine print 

As we said, never assume that your policy covers everything. You need to make sure that you always read the fine print to ensure you are covered for all your needs and that there are no tricky clauses that could cause you trouble should you make a claim. 

Don’t cut corners

Finally, you need to make sure you get the most cost-effective and comprehensive cover for your business. So don’t try to cut corners or choose a cheap, half-baked policy. Although it can mean extra spending, it can also be worth it should something ever go wrong. 


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