Coronavirus came like a bolt from the blue for all tradespeople, forcing many to change their working practices as the UK went into lockdown. While some could continue doing their jobs relatively normally, others had to take a break, as their projects were too risky in light of the pandemic. However, as lockdown eases, and more tradespeople return to work, it’s never been more important for them to keep their livelihoods safe.
While it’s never easy to prepare for disruption on this scale, tradespeople can protect themselves from the daily risks they face by taking out insurance. After all, on top of the current global crisis, this would be a terrible time to find yourself in an unexpected legal dispute or breaking a crucial piece of expensive equipment. Therefore, it’s sensible for them to have some of the following policies in place as they come out of lockdown.
This cover applies if a tradesperson’s work injures someone or damages their property, like a member of the public accidentally tripping over a tool box that has been left on the street. If the victim decides to take legal action, public liability insurance will save a tradesperson from having to cover the costs. This added financial security may also make them appear more attractive to potential customers. As insurance providers Tradesman Saver note: “While public liability insurance is not technically required by law, some clients may only work with [tradespeople who] have it in place”.
Tradespeople are legally required to have employer’s liability insurance if they’ve hired any members of staff to work for them. This policy protects the business in the event that an employee makes a claim related to any injury or illness they’ve suffered as a result of their work.
Income protection guarantees regular payments to those who can’t work for health reasons, which they continue to receive until they fully recover. This policy is especially important for tradespeople who run their own businesses, and therefore have no access to employee benefits. The Money Advice Service explains that “you’re most likely to need [income protection] if you’re self-employed, or employed and you don’t have sick pay to fall back on.”
A tradesperson could benefit from product liability insurance if they sell, supply or install products for their clients. If there’s an accident involving the product — like a kitchen appliance malfunctioning and causing a fire — there’s a chance they could be held liable for the resulting damages. However, products liability insurance means that they will not have to pay the related costs.
Contractors All Risk
Contractors All Risk (CAR) insurance protects tradespeople from the main risks of construction projects, and covers loss, damage and theft to buildings, tools and equipment. The insurance provider will pay the costs relating to any unexpected incidents which could threaten the project, allowing it to continue without putting a dent in the tradesperson’s finances. Multiple parties usually sign the policy, and all have the right to file a claim. As Investopedia explains: “Typically, both contractor and employer jointly take out CAR insurance policies, with other parties such as financing companies having the option of being named to the policy.”
About Darragh Timlin
Darragh Timlin has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is currently the Underwriting Director for Tradesman Saver, a trusted insurance company specialising in providing all forms of insurance to British tradesmen for over 30 years. In this position, Darragh manages the relationships with the insurers and has overall control of binding authorities.