What is Tradesman’s Insurance?
Whether you are a joiner, a plumbing and heating engineer, an environmental engineer or an electrician, you will, in insurance terms, be classed as a ‘tradesman’ – even if you are a woman in a ‘trades’ occupation. ‘Tradesman’s insurance’ is the term used to describe the insurance protection you require, for yourself, your business and those it affects.
There are, of course, many other trades besides these listed here. Regardless of which one provides your personal livelihood, you’re likely to need very similar types of insurance cover to all of your skilled counterparts within the ‘trades’ sector.
What types of insurance do I need as a tradesperson?
The insurance you will most likely need, to run your trades business without fear of financial losses and in a legal way, will comprise covers such as public liability insurance, tools insurance, employer’s liability insurance, contract works insurance, van insurance, business equipment insurance and business stock insurance. Which of these you will need to buy, will really depend on the nature of your trades business and whether or not you have employees.
Why would I need public liability insurance?
If you are a tradesperson working in or outside customers’ properties, there is always the possibility that something you do, drop, or spill, could cause some damage, or lead to you injuring someone else. That could result in the party, who has suffered from your business activities and actions, seeking compensation from you. Without public liability insurance, the pay-out would come from your own pocket.
Of course, there are many other scenarios too. Something could fall on to a member of the public walking past your work area, or perhaps damage their car. You could create a trip hazard that injures someone. You could drop paint on to a carpet or sofa. The possibilities are endless.
Basically, if your trade brings you into contact with other people and other people’s property, you would be well-advised to buy public liability insurance. If you wish to become a member of a trade body, you may even have to have this insurance cover, as a condition of membership.
What does tools insurance cover?
Tools insurance will cover the tools of your trade – all the expensive pieces of kit and equipment you’ve bought over the years, or to get you started, which can prove very attractive to thieves. Valuable tools can also be lost or accidentally damaged. A workman without their tools is pretty much stymied, so minimise your downtime – and lack of earning potential whilst you are without the right tools – by buying insurance to cover the items that you can’t do without and would need to replace quickly. Just make sure you accurately tot up the value of your tools and don’t leave yourself underinsured.
Employer’s liability insurance
Unless you employ absolutely nobody, or can 100% say the people who help you or work with you are ‘self-employed’ (according to an HMRC viewpoint), you will legally need to buy employer’s liability insurance. This will be true in the majority of cases, unless you run an entity that is not a Limited Company and only have ‘immediate’ family members as employees. Even if you are a family business, however, this insurance should be on your list of things to purchase, as it will protect your family members in the same way as any other employee who is injured or becomes ill – or who unfortunately dies because of something that happens at work. The law expects you to have a minimum cover limit of £5m, but you may benefit from a policy offering more, to compensate those employees adversely impacted by working life.
Business Equipment insurance
Business equipment – all the things you rely on beyond ‘tools’ – may be vital when it comes to keeping your trade business running. A theft, or spilt cup of coffee, could see that situation changing, so it is worth considering how to protect the business equipment that keeps your administration and accounting running smoothly. Do the sums and work out the value of this equipment and then you are in a good position to protect it.
You may well hold a stock of key materials or items that you use within your trade job and this stock has a value to both you and others. If you want to keep it fully protected and avoid financial losses, you need to insure it. If you look back at your purchase invoices, you may be surprised at the value of your stock. Use those figures to adjudge the amount of cover you need, taking into account any seasonal stock fluctuations that could inflate the value of stock that you hold, at any one time. After all, you don’t know who’s got their eyes on it, or whether a fire of flood could suddenly strike and destroy it all.
If you are a tradesperson, you may well be the owner of a van. That too is an attractive item to steal and something that can be stripped down into its component parts in a very short space of time, if it falls into the hands of a criminal gang. Make sure your van is covered and that you buy the right insurance for the vehicle you are running and the way in which you use it. Also, consider the value of the goods you carry and whether you could afford to replace them, if lost or stolen, without the help of goods-in-transit insurance.
Contract Works Insurance
If you are working on an ongoing project, there is always some ongoing jeopardy relating to your work in progress, if you are contractually responsible for any work that is only partly completed. Your work – and the hours and materials that you put into it – could be affected by a flood, fire, mean-spirited vandals or thieves. You might have to re-do it, spending all that labour time, and buying the required materials, all over again. If that comes out of your own pocket, you will not be happy! Trade that feeling for one where you know that an insurance policy will cover such costs and you will feel far less stressed and worried about your finances.
Summing Up Why You Need Trade Insurance
Tradesman’s insurance is an umbrella term for a variety of insurance protections often seen as being essential for anyone in a trades profession.
Whichever covers you personally need, there is one great starting point for a quote and that is in the Gauntlet Group Self-Serve+ online quote area. Head to this online quote facility, once you have worked out how much cover you need, and quickly get a quote.
Remember, what you are buying is not just an insurance policy but peace of mind too. Also remember insurance is a contract and you must give any insurer full and accurate information about your situation, business and experience and honestly and correctly assess the value of the things you need to insure both honestly and correctly. If you don’t, an insurer could refuse to pay a future claim.
If you need one-to-one help with your cover, just talk to one of our local brokers in person, by calling us on 0113 244 8686. That call can help guide you through all that you need to know and protect.