Whether you describe yourself as a sole trader, self employed plasterer or drywall/plasterboard installer or contractor, you'll want a belt and braces insurance policy to protect your business against risks.
You can buy an insurance package tailored to your specific trade activities including:
- Basic plastering
- Traditional solid plastering (including heritage)
- Fibrous plastering
- Roughcast, render and external wall insulation
- Drywall construction
- Suspended ceilings
- Steel frame systems
Tradesman insurance policies for plasterers and dryliners can have set cover, optional extras and add-ons, such as:
- Public/Products Liability
- Employers Liability
- Tools & Equipment
- Buildings and Contents
- Contractors All Risks
- Business Interruption
- Personal Accident
Self employed tradesmen can buy insurance cover for accident, sickness and unemployment as well as disability or critical illness.
Business interruption insurance is useful as it can pay out if your income ceases unexpectedly.
If you’re workshop based with occasional visits to sites you’ll want cover for buildings and contents.
Contractors All Risks Insurance can cover Public/Products liability; Employer's liability; Contract works; Own plant and Hired in plant on and off site.
Work-related health risks include breathing problems (eg chronic bronchitis, emphysema) caused by dust and skin disorders. Asbestos is real danger for you, your family, workforce and customers.
If you're self employed and work for other contractors, you may think you don't need to bother with insurance - they will cover you if you have an accident or accidentally cause damage to property, won't they?
Not necessarily. If you invoice for materials and labour, you're classed as a bona fide sub-contractor which means you need your own insurance.
If a contractor pays you an hourly rate and provides all materials, you need to be covered under their liability policies. Here, even though you may consider yourself to be self employed, you're classed as an employee for insurance purposes.
As a rule of thumb, subbies generally fall into 2 groups:
- Labour only – You are legally responsible for their work and welfare. You need employers liability insurance for any labour only sub-contractors, even if they're self employed with their own insurance.
- Bona-fide – Hired to carry out work on a contract that you can't do yourself. They work under their own steam, and supply all their own materials and tools. You must check they have their own public and employers liability insurance cover. Generally you'll NOT be expected to have ELI for them.
Things that could go wrong:
- A worker is diagnosed with asbestosis and sues you for compensation.
- You fall from a scaffold tower and can't work for 6 months.
- Unstable joints cause fire break issues.
- Imported toxic board supply - see product liability and Latent Defects Insurance.
- You apply incorrect fire rating board.
- A ceiling collapses due to an overload of services by the electrical contractor and the job has to be redone.
- An employee is badly injured by the collapse of a wall during stripout works.
- A worker uses a site ladder to install a false ceiling, and breaks his back in a fall.
- A rip saw snags on a worker's glove, slicing through his finger and tendons resulting in a £20,000 compensation claim against your business.