Most building businesses in Britain are small, some even just two or three people with different skills working together as a partnership. Unfortunately the smaller they are, the more likelihood of serious accidents or (sorry, but it's true) even death.
Much of the reason for this is that a lot of the work is for domestic customers who have limited money to spend and want a good job but at a low price. This encourages corner cutting and it can be very difficult for a builder to insist on sensible health and safety precautions; after all, who wants to pay out for putting up a tubular scaffold for replacing a blown off ridge tile, when someone down the road will whip up a ladder and crawl up the roof to do it? Cat ladder? What's one of those?
Nevertheless a small builder will usually be the one responsible for keeping within the law, as well as protecting himself (or, increasingly, herself), employees, the client and the general public from harm whilst the work is being carried out. Also, that builder is also the one who carries the can when things go wrong.
With about 35 years experience in the building industry we know that as a small builder you need insurance but you don't want to pay a fortune for it. So; we want you to have the widest possible choice so we don't just deal with one insurer; or even one broker; but we have a panel of brokers, all with different contacts. This way we feel we can give you our best service.
It is possible to buy policies 'off the peg' which are designed for particular trades but every single business is different, which is why we recommend you speak to a competent broker who specialises in finding the right policy at the right price.
Their help and advice usually costs nothing extra; they get paid a commission by the insurers, just the same as the people who run the online quoting services, but they can often make useful suggestions about covering particular risks, and may save you money by being able to compare quotes from multiple insurers for you, rather than just one.
The pricipal ones that building contractors need are:
Employer's Liability Insurance. Quite rightly, this is legally essential cover to have for any business that employs people. It is designed to provide compensation for employees who are hurt or injured as a result of their employment. These injuries can have long term consequences and often do not become apparent for a long time, sometimes many years. Examples are people who have been affected by asbestos, or exposed to dust or toxic chemicals such as those in plastic foam or wood preservatives. Some policies expressly exclude these risks which is another good reason for talking to a competent broker.
Public Liability Insurance. This is not a legal requirement but most main contractors will insist on sub contractors having it. Local authorities and larger companies certainly will. It protects third parties; in other words, anyone else other than you or those you employ; from financial losses or injury caused by you or your employees.
Professional Indemnity Insurance. You may need this if you design things. Decide on specifications for a lintel that collapses, provide your own drawings for a flat roof that leaks, plan an extension that allows methane to seep into the wall cavity, and your professional indemnity cover could save you from bankrupcy.
All the above can include legal cover as well. This could pay for the expenses you could be involved in if a claim went to court, and sometimes these can be heavy indeed, particularly if the claim is complex.
You may also want to think about personal accident cover, in case you are made unable to work because of a work related injury; cover for your tools and stock (thefts from building sites can be very disruptive!) and even bad weather insurance - if you have ever had a tarpaulin blown off an exposed roof, a newly laid concrete drive ruined, or footings collapsed and flooded by a storm, you'll know what I mean!
To help you find the right policy at the right price, we don't just deal with one insurer but we have a panel of brokers competing for your business. Just let us know a little bit about your business first. Depending upon the type of work you do and the size of your business one or more of them will be in touch with you to talk about your options and help you find the right cover.
Naturally all the brokers on our panel and fully Authorised and Regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority so you can be sure of the highest standards of ethics and responsibility. They are friendly people too. Get quotes now!
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Building trade insurance is suitable for the following trades:
paint sprayers; chimneys & fireplaces; steel fabricator; lawnmower servicing or sales; plumber; specialist tradesman; coldroom installers; driveway services; road maintenance; pipeworkcontractors; courier; shop fitters; boatbuilding; plasterer / renderer; skip hirer; tv / radio repairs; shuttering and formwork; lift engineers; vending machines; vehicle buy & sell; surveyor; draughtsman; vehicle modifications; refrigeration; garages & sheds; cleaning; welders; building; insulation; carpet fitting; property maintenance; artistic painters, sculptors or potters; central heating; metalworker; traditional craftsman; bricklaying; billposting; market trader; furniture restoration; scaffolder; electrician; milk retailer; steel erector; restoration &refurbishment; security specialist; locksmith; furniture removal; painter / decorator; exhibitor stand erector; driveways; glazer; dry liner; carpentry / joinery; stoneworker / stonemason; car mechanic; gardener / garden designer; machinery commissioning, repair and service; waste disposal; kitchen fitting; demolition & clearing; loft conversion specialist; tiler; windowcleaner; conservatories; ventilation & air conditioning; motor mechanic; gas fitters; ceiling contractor; catering; extensions; woodworking; aircraft fitter; architect; aerial / networkspecialist; agricultural contractor; handyman; pest control; mobile mechanic; flooring specialist; damp proofing; engineering; swimming pool specialist; solar panel installation; drainage specialist; photography; fencing; ductwork contractor; groundwork & foundations; window and conservatory specialist; vehicle mechanic; mechanic; bathroom fitting; fencing groundworks; treesurgeon; cctv installation; tool hire; loft conversions; carpet upholstery; and roofer.