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Tradesman Insurance

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tradesman insurance

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Why you need tradesman insurance?

For tradesmen, it is vital to have the right insurance in place. If equipment or tools are damaged or stolen, it can mean costly delays to business. The tools of the trade can be expensive. Replacing stolen items can incur huge costs which could cause a business to fail.

Tradesman insurance policies are available for both sole traders and businesses with employees. So, whether you work alone, or use staff or contractors, you need to make sure your business is fully covered.

Tradespeople usually work with other businesses or members of the public. In the event that something goes wrong, the right insurance policy will cover any legal costs. Accidental damage to a customer’s property or injury to staff or members of the public will all usually result in legal claims. Tradesman insurance protects your business if this happens.

There are lots of different variations on tradesman insurance policies. Depending on the amount of cover you need, and your personal circumstances you can tailor cover to suit your trade.

Who needs tradesman insurance?

A range of different business types may need tradesman insurance cover. Generally speaking, those trades might include businesses like:

  • Electricians
  • Builders
  • Plasterers
  • Bricklayers
  • Roofers
  • Plumbers
  • Scaffolders
  • Carpenters
  • Labourers
  • Carpet fitters

Whether you are a start-up or an established business, there will be risks associated with your profession. Having the right insurance cover in place is the best way to secure your business against expensive costs and liabilities.


Depending on your trade, the specifications of the cover may vary. Most tradesman insurance policies will be based on key types of policy:

Public liability cover – This protects tradesmen against claims made by members of the public. The insurance usually covers legal and compensation costs in the event of injury or death of a third party. Damage to third party property incurred as part of your business trading is also covered.

The lowest level of cover required is £1million, although policies are available with up to £10million cover.

Employer’s liability – This covers any costs arising from claims by serving or ex-employees. Tradespeople often work in high-risk environments. Employer’s liability is a legal requirement and covers costs if an employee is injured at work. This may include legal costs, and also the cost of any compensation due to the claimant.

Professional indemnity – During the course of the tradesmen’s work, services or advice are provided. Occasionally a situation might arise where mistakes are made, and a third party brings a claim for costs arising from the mistake. Professional indemnity insurance protects tradesmen and covers legal and any compensation costs.

Additional types of cover for tradespeople are available. Across such a broad spectrum of roles, the risks associated with each trade can differ. A plumber is performing very different tasks to an electrician, and the dangers and equipment for each will vary. Choose a policy which includes coverage specific to your trade, for example

Tools cover

Loss of tools can mean the end of a business, as they are vital for work and can be costly to replace. Check with your insurer what their terms are for tools left in a vehicle overnight.

Buildings cover

This will insure against costs if you operate premises for your business. This may be a yard for storing equipment, office premises or outbuildings.

Stock insurance

This will cover the costs of any loss or damage to stock, any materials used in trade or customer supplies which you are responsible for over the course of the works.

Own and hired in a plant

This insurance will cover any costs associated with loss or damage to your own, or hired in plant equipment.

How to save money on your insurance?

The cost of tradesman insurance policies can vary a lot. Overall, the best way to reduce the cost of your policy is to reduce the overall level of risk in your business.

  • Make sure all staff complete frequent health and safety training
  • Do not leave tools in vehicles overnight
  • Increase security at your premises by installing alarms, or CCTV
  • Compare cover from a range of different providers.
  • Ensure you are not paying for cover you don’t need.

Tradesman insurance FAQs

What counts as a tradesman?
Anyone who specialises in a craft or trade for their business. If you offer your specialised skill for payment as part of your business, you might need tradesman insurance. Tradesmen offer their services either from their own premises, outside your property, or on the property of clients.
What if I hire my tools and equipment?
If your business hires or leases your tools or equipment, you will still need to have tradesman insurance in place. The financial burden for replacing or repairing is still yours, whether you own or hire the equipment. Having plant or machinery cover in place will protect you against these costs in the event of damage or theft.

What kinds of legal dispute are covered?

As a tradesman, you may be involved in a dispute with a client. This may be over a breach of contract – for example, if a job takes longer than expected, causing delays for the client. There may be disputes over the quality of work provided. Or, in some cases, the client may bring a claim for financial costs incurred from some error or mistake.

You might also be in a position to have to bring a claim of this type against a subcontractor or other associate. In these cases, having full professional indemnity and tradesman insurance will cover any legal costs, and compensation, if ordered.

Does tradesman insurance cover accidents in the workplace?

Many tradespeople work in high-risk environments like building sites. Occasionally, accidents can happen. The costs associated with compensation and legal fees in these cases can be very high. Having personal accident cover, public and employer’s liability as part of your policy will protect your business in the event of a claim.

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