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Tradesman insurance

Getting the right cover for your business can seem complicated, but whether you’re an independent tradesperson or a trade business owner, insurance could save you money down the line.

If you’re just getting started with your business or just getting round to looking into insurance, this guide outlines why you might consider taking out insurance for your trade business and what covers you should consider.

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Does your business need insurance?

Whilst most insurance is optional rather than mandatory, tradespeople usually opt for public liability at the very least, as an accidental injury to a member of the public could result in a significant cost.

If you have any employees, even if they are part time, it’s a legal requirement in the UK to hold employers liability insurance.

Things to consider about business insurance

There are three main things to consider if you’re undecided about whether you should take out business insurance:

  • Could you afford the cost of a claim? The cost of any claim is likely to outweigh the cost of purchasing your insurance significantly

  • Do you have a legal obligation? Whilst not the case for every beauty business, if you have employees, even if they are part time or temporary, insurance is a legal requirement. You could face fines if you don’t have it in place

  • Will insurance open more opportunities? Depending on the type of work you do some clients, partners or trade associations will require adequate insurance to enter into a relationship with your business

What cover do tradesmen need?

The right mix of products for you will depend on your trade and the unique risks your business faces. Understanding what cover you need will give you peace of mind should a claim arise. It’ll also ensure you’re not paying for covers you don’t need.

Public liability insurance

This is a popular cover for most businesses, and particularly tradespeople working on site. A simple way to think about public liability is that it covers you against claims from third parties, for any claim resulting from an accident.

Third parties could be a client or a member of the public, essentially anyone who isn’t a member of staff.

Accidents could be as innocuous as a member of the public tripping over one of your misplaced tools on site that results in an injury, or damage to clients property say if a tin of paint is spilt at a clients home.

Employers' liability insurance

Employers' liability is a mandatory cover in the UK if your business has employees. Failure to have this cover, or to be able to produce a certificate to prove you have it could result in fines of up to £2,500 for every day you don’t have it.

Whether your employees are full-time, part-time, apprentices or even temporary you’ll need to get covered - although there are some exceptions, if you employ family members for example.

You’ll usually need to register and update your cover with each new member of staff, if you are likely to have high turnover of workforce our cover includes 50 days’ cover for temporary employees, who do not need to be registered with us, each year.

Tool and equipment cover

A no brainer for tradesmen, this cover will take care of your tools if they are damaged, lost or stolen. And with tool theft being one of the biggest concerns for tradesmen in the UK it could be a small price to pay.

Cover includes portable tools and equipment, construction plant and machinery owned by you.

Additional cover may be required for tools stored in vehicles overnight

Stock cover

Materials such as wood, paint and tiles are insured under stock cover.

So long as stock is securely stored at your business premises or kept locked away when in transit.

Contract works cover

Despite best efforts, some jobs don’t always go to plan.

Contract works cover insures you for things beyond your control, like fire, theft, water damage and wind damage whilst on a job.

Personal accident cover

It’s not just your equipment, working in a trade your job likely relies on you being physically able too.

Personal accident cover is there should you suffer an injury that leaves you unable to work in the same capacity for some time - or even permanently.

How much does insurance cost for trades businesses?

How much you pay for your insurance will depend on your trade, the type of work you carry out and the risk this presents. Jobs that could more easily cause harm to the public, or require tools of high value, present more risk.

With more risk comes the potential for a bigger payout in the event of a claim, this usually increases the cost of your insurance. Making sure you only take out the covers you need is one way to reduce the overall cost of your premium, as well as getting you the cover your business needs.

Information you'll need for business insurance

Getting insurance cover for your business needn’t be complicated and can be done quickly online. To complete a quote for insurance you’ll need the following information:

  • Business type - are you a sole trader, limited company or partnership?

  • What your business does - what type of work do you carry out?

  • Your business turnover - how much money do you expect to receive for your work?

  • Where your business operates - will your work cover the UK only or other territories too

  • Details of your employees - if you have any

  • Whether you have cover in place currently - and if you do, your renewal date if you know it

Depending on what your business does, there may be other information required to get the right cover for your needs.

Tradesman insurance FAQs

Public liability insurance

Public liability insurance, provides cover for legal and compensation costs in relation to a claim made against a business due to injury or property damage inflicted on a non-employee

Employers' liability insurance

Employers’ liability (EL) cover is a legal requirement for any UK business that hires employees, including full-time, part-time, contractors or temporary staff.

Professional indemnity insurance

Professional indemnity insurance, or PI insurance, is designed to protect your businesses if a client loses money because of a mistake you made in your professional services.

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is a form of cover to protect you while you are away on holiday or travelling abroad. it can also provide monetary compensation for other loss or inconveniences you may suffer when your travels don't go to plan.

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