All about business insurance for tradesmen

Tradesman insurance covers business policies for a wide range of self-employed workers, including electricians, carpenters, plumbers, builders or decorators.

For the most part, tradesmen work in homes or premises belonging to their customers and by the nature of their work can have a claim over damaging property , or more, rarely, causing injury to a client.

This makes public liability the number one cover requirement for a tradesman.

Public liability deals with claims from third parties about damage, loss or injury caused by coming in to contact with a tradesman’s business.

This includes the cost of legal advice, compensation and expenses. Most public liability packages come with a top limit, starting at £1 million.

Nine out of 10 commercial insurance policies for tradesmen include a legal helpline as part of standard cover. Many offer legal; expenses cover as well – but don’t assume that because one is highlighted that the other is included. Always read the small print.

Other standard insurances cover tradesmen’s vehicles, tools and equipment. For the self-employed who work from home but keep stop and equipment in the house or garage, home insurance will not suffice.

Many business insurance policies will not cover tools kept in a vehicle unless the car or van is kept in a locked garage overnight.

The same goes for any home office use of computers, phones and other office gear.

Look at a specialist policy – in the same way as car insurance is stepped up to cover business use of a vehicle.

Other add-ons to consider are stock in transit insurance if items are collected or delivered.

For a key member of a small business, other personal insurance is often worthwhile. This can range from simple accident and sickness protection to private health cover. The idea is if the trader suffers from ill health or an accident, the insurance can kick in to cover lost earnings.

 This insurance can also cover mortgage payments while the tradesman is off work, but will exclude giving up a self-employed job because work is sparse.

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