All you need to know about tradesman insurance

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    Chris Godfrey

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

    No matter how experienced a tradesman you are, or how diligent you are with safety, accidents and mishaps can happen any time. Many sole traders and self-employed professionals who work with their hands, often at construction sites or other risky locations, 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 your work, and you simply cannot take the risk of going uninsured. 

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

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      What is tradesman insurance?

      Tradesman insurance is an umbrella term for a range of business insurance policies that protect trade professionals – builders, carpenters, electricians, plumbers, solar panel installers, TV and telecommunication engineers, landscapers and more – from financial loss due to accident, negligence, theft, fire or flood when they are at work.

      Standard tradesman insurance includes 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.

      Why is tradesman insurance important?

      Compensation claims for some personal injury, property damage, or equipment losses can run into the many thousands, even hundreds of thousands of pounds. Few SMEs, sole traders or self-employed tradespeople could afford such a blow. Tradesman insurance eliminates these major risks at the same time as it guarantees you can keep on working if disaster ever strikes. Replace lost or damaged tools, hire a temporary vehicle if yours is off the road due to an accident, and ensure your income or cash flow is not disrupted for reasons beyond your control. In short, tradesman insurance can give you priceless financial peace of mind.

      What does tradesman insurance cover?

      Tradesman insurance can cover almost every business need:

      Public liability

      Public liability insurance protects you 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 you against third party claims for injuries or property damage from a customer or client, passer-by, or a visitor to your business premises – including building sites – whether you’re at fault or not.

      Professional indemnity

      Professional indemnity insurance – also known as professional liability insurance – covers businesses and individuals that advise clients, help them navigate complex business affairs, such as architects, designers and chartered surveyors, or who provide customers with vital information that may be published in the media. Professional indemnity (PI) can protect you if a client makes a financial loss because of fault in your work or advice and then makes claim against your business. 

      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, like your customers. 

      Business interruption insurance

      Business interruption insurance can replace any business income you lose due to events beyond your control – for example, a fire, flood, natural disaster or illness stops you working, or causes your customers to cease payment of your invoices.

      Tools insurance

      Tools insurance, also known as portable equipment cover, protects the machinery and equipment you take from job to job. This includes things like hand and machine tools, generators, lighting rigs, tech devices, ladders, and testing equipment. The portable nature of these essential items makes them more prone to loss, theft, damage, and accident, and their replacement can often be expensive.

      Insuring your stock

      Stock insurance is a specific type of business contents cover. It pays the cost of replacing or repairing your stock or inventory in the event that it is partially or totally lost, destroyed or damaged due to fire, theft, flood or malicious damage. 

      Goods in transit insurance

      Goods in transit insurance (GIT) protect yours or your customer’s property or goods if they are lost, damaged or stolen while they’re being moved from A to B. For example, when they’re being transported from a factory to a retail outlet or being moved from a warehouse to a port for export.

      Commercial van insurance

      Commercial 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.

      What should I look out for with my tradesman insurance?

      As with any insurance policy, you should carefully review the cover being offered to ensure the levels of protection are sufficient for your needs, especially when it comes to cover for goods, equipment, accidental damage or theft.

      When you’re comparing tradesman insurance, also keep in mind that the cheapest policy isn’t necessarily the right or best product for your needs – cheap cover may mean important elements, such as accidental damage protection or legal expenses, have been excluded.

      How much does tradesman insurance cost?

      Premiums for tradesman insurance can start at less than £5 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. Contact Swoop today to compare top-quality tradesman insurance policies and to discuss all your business insurance needs. Don’t let an accident, mistake, or omission wreck the business you’ve worked hard to build.

      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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