Plumbers' public liability insurance

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    Chris Godfrey

    Page written by Chris Godfrey. Last reviewed on May 26, 2024. Next review due April 6, 2025.

    Accidents can happen anywhere, anytime. Those that cause personal injury or damage to the property of the general public or your clients, customers, and suppliers as a result of the services your plumbing business provides could generate crippling compensation claims against you. Because accidents cannot be foreseen, plumbers’ public liability insurance is the only way to protect yourself and your business from events beyond your control. 

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      Do I need employers' liability insurance?

      If your plumbing business employs workers other than yourself, then in most cases yes, you do. However, if you only employ your spouse, family members, or someone who is based abroad (not a resident of Great Britain), or if you’re a sole trader, or you are self-employed and working on your own you may not need employers’ liability insurance. If you’re not sure if you need this important cover, simply contact Swoop to discuss your needs with an expert insurance adviser.

      Is employers’ liability insurance compulsory?

      Under the Employers Liability Act of 1969, employers’ liability insurance is a mandatory legal requirement for most UK employers. Your policy must cover you for at least £5 million and come from an authorised insurer. Your business can be fined up to £2,500 for every day you are not properly insured. You can also be fined £1,000 if you do not display your EL certificate or refuse to make it available to inspectors when they ask. 

      Why do you need plumbers’ insurance cover?

      No matter if you’re working in a commercial, residential or public space, the important work you do as a plumber puts you and your business at significant risk. Simple accidents or mistakes that cause personal injury or property damage to the general public, your customers, or your suppliers could generate compensation claims in the tens of even hundreds of thousands of pounds. In 2023, the average UK public liability claim was £13,500 plus defendant’s legal expenses. Even a sum like this could drive many plumbing businesses into insolvency. 

      How does public liability insurance for plumbers work?

      Public liability insurance for plumbers is designed to reduce the financial impact of incidents that cause personal injury or property damage to members of the general public – including your customers and suppliers. 

      Buy plumbers’ public liability cover to protect yourself from compensation claims caused by adverse events like these:

      • A customer trips on the materials you’ve brought to the job, falling and breaking their arm. They make a large claim for medical treatment, rehabilitation costs and lost income.
      • You accidentally reverse your van into a customer’s boundary wall, bringing it down. They sue you for the costs to rebuild the wall.
      • You inadvertently fail to fit a replacement part to a commercial boiler. It fails over the weekend causing catastrophic flooding. The company makes a claim against you for property damage, loss of income and loss of business records.

      How much does plumbers' insurance cost?

      Plumbers’ insurance can start at less than £38 per month. However, the price you pay will depend on the level of cover you choose, your business location, your turnover, the types of plumbing work you do and a host of other business factors that make every quote unique. 

      What other business insurance do I need?

      As well as public liability protection, other important insurance for plumbers includes:

      Product liability insurance:

      Product liability insurance (PL) can protect your business from financial loss in the event that someone is harmed, or property is damaged due to the products that you supply. Be aware that you don’t have to make the faulty products to be at risk. You could be held liable for personal injury or property damage caused by products, parts and accessories manufactured by other businesses. You may also be at risk even if you only repaired or refurbished a faulty product that caused an accident. 

      Portable equipment insurance

      Portable equipment insurance, also known as tools Insurance or business equipment insurance, covers the cost of replacing your valuable tools and equipment if they’re lost, damaged, or stolen. 

      Van insurance

      Commercial van insurance covers your work van(s) 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.

      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 a simple accident or mistake burst your plumbing business. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality plumbers’ insurance from a range of 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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