Chris Tosh, Head of Underwriting for Marsh’s BusinessInsuranceFor.com, comments on the importance of bespoke cover for tradesmen and SME-size construction firms:
“Few trade professionals would turn up on site without the right tools and equipment and yet finding the right insurance cover to protect themselves or their business can sometimes be overlooked. Even those who do seek out what they feel is the right business insurance, often struggle to find the time to check whether their policy is bespoke to their needs.”
Making Sense of it all
“So why choose a specialist provider? One of the biggest factors that a specialist insurer considers is the varied, high-risk and often unpredictable nature of the work faced by tradesmen and the conditions they operate in. Designing a policy that takes into consideration the unique working environment and the ongoing threat of accidents or personal injury is critical to offering tradesmen peace of mind, especially should the unforeseen happen.
“With the building industry so broad, many tradesmen may be unaware that there are insurance policies available which are designed specifically to the sub-sector they operate in. This is why bespoke cover is available for ground workers and handymen through to road surfacing contractors and plasterers.
“Our underwriting team recognises that each one comes with its own set of challenges and tailors the cover around the customer’s individual needs. Each insurance policy will have some universal features including public liability and tool theft cover, however it is the smaller cover options that are unique to each trade that will resonate most with tradesmen.
“For example, painters, plumbers, and electrical contractors will use heat equipment such as blowtorches and will ordinarily have heat conditions included within their policies, which if breached, can invalidate a claim. This is why the cover we arrange comes with no heat limitations.
“Equally, building policies typically contain height restrictions – often up to 10 metres – that could unwittingly be breached in the haste to carry out works. Again, we remove the height limitations within our policies as time is money, and our customers typically want to carry out works without delay.”
Taking the Headache out of a Claim
“Having to make a claim is often when many of our customers breathe a sigh of relief through having opted for specialist business insurance. This is primarily because those firms or tradesmen who make a claim, but don’t have the right level of cover, can greatly compromise their business in terms of loss of earnings, medical costs, and employee safety.
“Most claims we receive from tradesmen often tend to be related to theft of tools and property damage or any public liability and accidental damage inflicted on other people’s property, such as the escape of water following a pipe being burst.
“As tradesmen mostly work away from their premises or at a client’s property, the risk of injury or liability and damage involving a third party can be a costly consideration if compensation claims are evoked and their business is not properly insured.
“This is partly why we settle claims ”in house”. Our customers within the building trade can speak directly to the claims handler who ultimately settles their claim, without having to engage with the insurer. Again, it’s about understanding those unique set of needs, time constraints, and demands within the construction industry so that every headache is removed for the policy holder.”
Investing Time in Finding a Tailored Solution
“Reviewing or potentially switching business insurance provider is something we would always advise.
“Not only are there more specialist policies out there but also a company or an individual’s working situation may dramatically change. A small building firm employing a handful of staff could double in size virtually overnight or the scale of projects an independent tradesman undertakes could vary greatly in terms of risk levels experienced previously.
“We’re always mindful of ensuring our policies offer the flexibility to adapt to changes in circumstances as giving tradesmen the breadth of choice when it comes to adding cover options is paramount in such a fast-paced industry.
“Investing the time in finding the right cover to meet your needs should be your next business decision as the pitfalls can be great. Taking a few minutes to review your provider could end up being priceless”.
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