For anyone who works in a trade, tradesman insurance is an essential part of running a business.
Whether you’re a plumber, an electrician or a roofer, it’s important to protect yourself, your business, and your customers from the risks associated with being in your line of work.
In this article, we look at the different types of tradesman insurance and how to choose the right policies and coverage for your needs.
The current state of the construction industry in Ireland
The Irish construction industry is booming, particularly after the pandemic when so many projects had to be put on hold. The market was valued at $31.8 billion in 2021, and it is projected to achieve an AAGR of more than 4% during 2023-2026. The number of people employed in the industry has also grown significantly, with around 160,000 people currently working as tradesmen and women across 12,211 businesses.
The residential building sector accounts for the largest portion of activity within the industry, with new housing developments continuing to be built across the country to try and make up the shortfall in available housing.
There is also no shortage of commercial developments planned or in progress, with approximately €7 billion to be spent on infrastructure projects between 2022 and 2023, providing plenty of opportunities for skilled workers seeking employment.
However, the construction sector brings with it a greater level of risk exposure for those involved in this line of work than typical industries and with claims rising, it’s more important than ever for tradesmen to have the right insurance coverage in place.
Why is tradesman insurance so important?
Tradespeople face a wide range of risks every day. From working at heights to being exposed to hazardous materials, tradesmen face many daily threats that can lead to injury or even death. Not to mention the risks of projects going awry and the costs involved to rectify problems with the workmanship!
That’s why it’s so important to have adequate insurance coverage in place – to protect yourself, your family, your customer and your employees from financial ruin should something go wrong on the job.
A few examples of the need for tradesman insurance
Everyone who employs someone should have Employer’s Liability Insurance in place as a safeguard for their business. Take, for example, working on scaffolding – one of the most common risks faced by tradesmen.
Working at heights can be extremely dangerous, with falls leading to serious injuries or even death. If your staff are working on scaffolding, having employer’s liability insurance is an absolute necessity to ensure that both you and they are covered should they have a fall.
And what if one of your team dropped something while working from a height? What if it happened to injure a member of the public? Accidents happen and Public Liability Insurance is there to protect you when they do.
These are just a few small examples but the list of threats to you, your business and your staff while on the job is a long one!
What kinds of insurance should a tradesperson have?
To ensure that you are fully covered against all potential risks, you need to have a few different types of insurance coverage in place. While not all of these are legal requirements, some of the most common types of tradesman insurance include
Public liability insurance protects tradesmen against any claims that may arise from third-party injury or property damage caused by their work.
For example, if you cause damage to someone else’s property while working on a job, public liability insurance will cover you for the cost of repairs and any legal fees associated with defending yourself.
Employers’ liability insurance is also an essential form of tradesman insurance for anyone who employs staff or subcontractors. This protects you from financial losses that may arise if an employee sustains injuries during work activities.
It also covers medical expenses related to workplace accidents and illnesses, as well as compensation payments that may be awarded if an employer is found liable in court proceedings brought by an injured employee or former employee.
Professional indemnity insurance is another important form of tradesman insurance for those who provide advice or services to their clients, such as surveys, assessments or consultations. If you make a mistake when providing professional services and the client suffers a loss, whether financial or otherwise, then this type of policy will protect your business from the financial losses that arise as a result.
Professional indemnity policies typically cover legal costs associated with defending oneself against allegations made by clients and can also include compensation payments should they be ordered by the courts following successful litigation brought against the insured party.
This type of cover is designed to protect your business from the various liabilities faced by contractors, including floods, fires, malicious damage and theft of tools or equipment.
This type of tradesman insurance generally doesn’t cover theft of unattended vehicles, but you can usually purchase an extension to your policy to include this.
Other types of insurance to consider
You might decide to opt for additional forms of business insurance such as commercial vehicle cover. These are not mandatory forms of coverage but rather optional ones based on individual circumstances and requirements.
It is always best practice to review your options carefully before making any decisions.
How to figure out what types of tradesman insurance you require
The term ‘tradesman’ or ‘tradesperson’ covers a huge range of occupations and the risks vary considerably between them.
However, virtually all tradesmen face one common risk: liability. Injuring a third party or damaging their property is a risk that comes with the territory, and you could face a claim at any time.
As a tradesperson, it is important to be aware of the specific risks associated with your occupation and ensure you are fully protected. The best way to do this is to speak to an experienced broker who can put together a bespoke policy tailored to your specific circumstances.
Specialised Tradesman Insurance from ERM Financial Services
At ERM Financial Services, we have been providing comprehensive and competitive tradesman insurance to Irish tradespeople for 30 years.
Our tradesman insurance coverage gives you everything you need to safeguard yourself, your business and your employees and provides the peace of mind you need to get on with running your business.
As a tradesperson, you want to be able to focus on your job without worrying about risks. That’s why our experienced team will work closely with you to make sure that you have the right coverage in place, so get in touch today to start securing your financial future!