Business insurance for carpenters

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on May 29, 2024. Next review due April 6, 2025.

    No matter how experienced a carpenter you are, or how diligent you are with safety, accidents and mistakes can happen any time. Most carpenters, especially sole traders and the self-employed, cannot afford to be out of work through injury, illness, property damage or lost equipment and tools. Add in the possibility of large compensation claims from people who say they have suffered loss or injury because of the work you do, and you simply cannot take the risk of going uninsured. 

    Carpenters insurance is specially designed to protect tradespeople from the downsides of doing business. Read on to find out all you need to know about this essential cover.

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      Do carpenters need insurance?

      Many carpenters work in the construction industry where the potential for accidents, theft, errors and omissions is high. However, even if they work in a ‘safer’ environment, such as a joinery shop making furniture, carpenters still need insurance to protect against claims and costs that could arise from mistakes or mishaps common to the trade. In short, carpenters need insurance to protect themselves, their employees, their tools, vehicles and assets, and their financial stability. 

      Why do you need carpenter insurance?

      What would you do if your vehicle, tools or costly materials were lost, stolen, or damaged by fire or flood? Additionally, compensation claims for personal injury or property damage or loss caused by you, your employees, your vehicles or the work you do could run into the tens or even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Could your carpentry businesses afford such a blow? One mistake or accident could put you out of business permanently and leave you saddled with enormous debts. 

      Instead, carpenter’s insurance can include public liability cover that pays out if a member of the public is hurt or suffers property damage caused by your work, tools insurance to protect your essential trade equipment and machinery, van insurance to cover your commercial vehicle, stock insurance to protect the raw materials and finished goods you keep in store, and employers’ liability insurance that covers your employees or other tradesmen you have hired from personal injury or property damage caused by the work they do for you.

      Is public liability insurance a legal requirement for carpenters?

      No, only employers’ liability insurance is required by law. However, you may find that some clients, especially councils and other public bodies, may not do business with you unless you have public liability insurance to a minimum level of cover. 

      Types of insurance for carpenters

      There are many types of insurance for carpenters, but the most important cover includes:

      Public liability insurance

      Public Liability Insurance protects you and your carpentry business if someone is injured, or their property is damaged because of the services that you or your business provides. This type of cover, also known as PL or Liability Insurance, is designed to protect your business against third party claims for injuries or property damage from a customer or client, passer-by, or a visitor to your business premises – whether you’re at fault or not.

      Van insurance

      Van insurance covers your work vans and any personal contents you are carrying, such as your professional tools, from accident, fire or theft. Van insurance can also cover any goods or materials that you are transporting and protect you when you’re travelling to multiple places on business as well as your daily commute. For an extra charge, most insurers will offer other insurance options, such as courtesy van hire and breakdown service and recovery. This can minimise the impact on your business if your van is off the road due to an accident.

      Employers’ liability insurance

      Under the Employers Liability Act of 1969, employers’ liability insurance (EL) is a legal requirement for most UK employers. EL protects you and your employees, (including those who no longer work for you), should they be injured or become unwell as a result of working for your business. EL typically covers the associated legal and compensation costs, and other damages of such events, but it can also cover accidental injury or damage caused by an employee to a third party, such as your customers.

      What does carpenter insurance cover?

      Depending on the type of cover you buy, carpenter insurance can protect you financially from:

      • Claims made for injury or damage to employees, sub-contractors, clients, members of the public
      • Claims for property damage or loss
      • Project errors and omissions (also known as contract works)
      • Theft of tools, equipment or plant (both owned by you or hired in) 
      • Loss of earnings
      • Legal disputes
      • And more

      How much does carpentry insurance cost?

      Premiums for carpenters insurance can start at less than £8 per month, but the price you pay will depend on the size of your business, the number of employees you have, the level of risk attached to what you do, the amount of cover you choose and the limit of your policy excess. 

      How Swoop can help

      All business involves risk, but that doesn’t mean you have to suffer the consequences if things go wrong. Don’t let an accident, mistake, or omission wreck the business you’ve worked hard to build.

      Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality carpenters insurance from different providers and to discuss all your business insurance needs

      Written by

      Chris Godfrey

      Chris is a freelance copywriter and content creator. He has been active in the marketing, advertising, and publishing industries for more than twenty-five years. Writing for Barclays Bank, Metro Bank, Wells Fargo, ABN Amro, Quidco, Legal and General, Inshur Zego, AIG, Met Life, State Farm, Direct Line, insurers and pension funds, his words have appeared online and in print to inform, entertain and explain the complex world of consumer and business finance and insurance.

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