Building work is risky business. You could cause damage to a property whilst completing a renovation project or an employee could fall off some scaffolding and injure themselves. So whether you’re a self-employed contractor or the owner of your own building company, you need adequate business insurance to cover you for the risks associated with your work. This guide provides an overview of the insurance products you need if you are working as a Builder.
Picture this – you’re laying the roof on a property extension when a slate falls and hits your customer who is stood below assessing your work. Whilst it was of course an accident, the customer makes a claim against you. How do you plan on covering the costs associated with the claimant’s injuries and overall losses, court fees, solicitor’s fees, medical expenses and legal costs to all parties involved?
Public Liability Insurance protects you against the cost of claims made by members of the public if they become injured or their property is damaged as a direct result of your work.
Heavy lifting, handling power tools, working at a height – there are plenty of risks for those working in the building industry. If you have more than one employee, or hire labour only subcontractors, you are required by law to have Employers’ Liability Insurance.
Employers’ Liability Insurance protects you against claims relating to injury or illness that have occurred as a result of work an employee is carrying out on behalf of the business.
Do you offer designs and specifications as part of your free quotation proposals? If so, you should seriously consider Public Liability Insurance. If a customer used the designs you produced as part of a quote for a kitchen extension, and they were faulty, you could be liable – even if someone else completed the work. That’s because the design in the quote is separate from the work and the client is under no obligation to use you for the building work.
Professional Indemnity Insurance protects you in case a claim is brought against you by a client, for reasons relating to a service you or your business has provided that has caused them a financial loss.
Contractors All Risk
A builder would typically require comprehensive Contractors All Risk cover, which would include Contracts Works Cover, Hired in Plant and/ or Owned Plant or Machinery.
Contracts Works Cover protects your materials and labour costs. If a fire caused significant damage to the structure of your building project, the cover would financially put you back to where you were before the incident happened so you would be able to complete the project.
The difference between Hired in Plant and Owned Plant or Machinery is in the name. Whilst Hired in Plant covers the cost to replace hired in plant that has been damaged or stolen, Owned Plant or Machinery protects your own plant and machinery. Owned Plant or Machinery can also sometimes cover your tools, where they are left on site.
Where your tools aren’t covered under Contractors All Risk you may want to consider Tool Insurance. You may be able to replace a single tool that breaks. However, if your set was stolen could you afford to replace your Makita jigsaw, your DeWalt circular saw and your Bosch combi drill all in one go? A combined Goods in Transit & Tools Insurance policy is an effective way of safeguarding your investment in your tools.
Unless you walk between jobs carrying your tools on your back, you will likely have a company van. In which case, you must have Van Insurance. However, it is your choice as to what level of cover you go with. You may choose the legal minimum of Third Party Cover only or seek to provide the greater protection of Third Party, Fire & Theft or Fully Comprehensive Insurance. For larger companies that own multiple vehicles, Fleet Insurance is a great way to insure all your vehicles on one policy.
There are of course other policies that you could consider if you are working as a builder. We’ve already explored the risks posed to your customers and employees, but what about the personal risks you face at work each day? As the owner of your own Building company, or if you’re a self-employed contractor, you may not have liability to fall back on. Personal Accident & Sickness Insurance protects you financially if you are injured and unable to work as a result of an accident or injury in work. You may also want a Commercial Legal and Tax Policy which will cover legal, tax advice and cover for employment, contract and debt recovery disputes. An Excess Waiver policy is another product that may be of interest as it covers your excess after a successful settlement of a claim.
The products you need are effected by a number of factors and it helps to speak to a trained Insurance Executive who can explain each product and help you make an informed decision based on your personal requirements. At constructaquote.com we have 30 years’ experience in helping customers get their insurance sorted. For a great service and a competitive quote for your Builders’ Insurance, speak to our team today on 08081 68 68 68 or start the online quote process now.