Insurance isn’t a favourite topic, but it is hard to ignore its importance. Learn which insurance you need as a tradie and best way to let homeowners know you’re insured.
Why do I need insurance?
We know as well as you that you are a conscientious tradie. You do your best to ensure your work is done to a high standard with quality products and with safety in mind. You also know that everyone can make a mistake once in a while, or run into bad luck with a faulty product. Insurance is your protection and peace of mind against those rare days.
Everyone can benefit from regularly reviewing their policy to ensure they are getting the best coverage for the best price. Having the right insurance for your work can save you money in the long run and make you more attractive to potential customers.
But the sheer number of available options, coupled with the offputting complexity of policy wording, means it can be hard to know where to start.
What does general liability insurance cover?
General or Public Liability Insurance protects you and your business against claims by providing compensation for property damage and personal injury (when not covered by ACC):
- Damage done to property during the course of your work.
- Costs not covered by ACC, related to personal injury caused to clients, employees or yourself.
- Legal costs in defending claims.
- Any compensation you are required to pay to cover injury or property damage.
- Faulty or defective workmanship: if you damage something while working on it, or incorrectly install something, you need indemnity to pay for the cost of rectifying your work. Not every insurance provider includes faulty workmanship, but our insurance partner, Tradie Insurance, covers this as standard.
What else should I be covered for?
Consider the following when deciding on an insurance policy. Make sure you are clear on what you are covered for before you sign up.
- Subcontractors: Does your policy extend the same cover as yours to subcontractors? If not, check any subcontractor’s policy to see if you are comfortable with their coverage. Our insurance partner, Tradie Insurance, covers this as standard.
- Excess: Different areas of work may have different amounts of excess attached to them. (eg damage to your vehicle vs. product indemnity).
- Liquidation: The insurer will pay creditors if your business goes under.
- Injury: If you or your employees are injured on the job and unable to work (ACC only covers 80% of lost earnings) or for something not covered by ACC.
- Cyber attack: 43% of cyber attack victims are small businesses.
- Asbestos: If you are likely to come into contact with asbestos in the course of your work, you will need to ask for a specific cover.
- Natural disasters: can damage your equipment and storage areas.
- Theft: of tools, equipment and work vehicles.
When might I need to make a claim?
Situation A: You are painting the interior of a home when a bucket of paint spills on an area of carpet.
Situation B: You have installed a faulty dishwasher pipe. The customer calls you complaining that water is now flooding their kitchen, damaging their flooring and cabinets.
Situation C: While leaving a property, your apprentice backs into a wall, damaging it.
How do I make a claim?
- Take notes and take pictures. If you are not there, ask the customer to take pictures.
- Apologise but don’t admit fault.
- Contact your insurance provider right away, even if you think it might not be necessary.
- Your insurer will guide you through what to do next.
- Complete an insurance claim form.
Let homeowners know you’re insured
It’s a great idea to let homeowners know you hold public liability or professional indemnity insurance (available from your insurance provider), by uploading a copy of your insurance certificate here.
To help you get insured, you can access great pricing when you take out a policy with our partner. Find out more information here.
The key takeaway is, ensure you have the appropriate insurance for your trade type to cover any unforeseen eventualities.