Plumbers Insurance

19/06/2013 -- Mary Simpson
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Life doesn’t always go smoothly even for experienced, time-served plumbers.  A simple call out to fix a domestic central heating boiler could end in disaster, if you end up flooding a client’s property or a block of flats.

Regardless of size, all plumbing businesses need cover to protect against potential claims.

You can buy tradesman cover tailored to your specific trade risks including:

  • domestic plumbing
  • heating and ventilation
  • refrigeration and air-conditioning
  • gas servicing and installation
  • kitchen and bathroom fitting

The cost of plumbers insurance will reflect the risks involved in the type of plumbing work you do.

Policies can have set cover, optional extras and add-ons, including:

  • Public Liability
  • Employers Liability
  • Product Liability
  • Tools & Equipment
  • Contractors All Risks
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Business Interruption
  • Business premises and contents
  • Personal Accident

The two main types of cover for plumbers are public liability insurance and employers liability insurance.  

Public liability insurance is normally linked to employers liability insurance in policies for small businesses.

Public Liability Insurance

In today’s litigious society, even the tiniest bit of damage to somebody else’s property can result in a costly compensation claim. Public liability insurance can provide financial protection if accidents happen to members of the public or their property is damaged, also any related legal costs.

Employers’ Liability Insurance  

Plumbers who are sole traders don’t need employers liability insurance. But if you hire anyone, even on a casual or part-time basis, you do. 

If you contract out work, you could also be required to have this type cover for contractors if you supply tools and equipment and supervise the work. It’s a legal requirement.

Exemptions exist for family businesses (unless incorporated as a limited company) and companies employing only their owner (who owns 50% or more) of the company.

Product Liability Insurance

Product liability insurance usually comes as part of a complete public liability package. All products you supply - heating systems, radiators, pipes, bathroom fittings etc. - must be fit for purpose.

If not and someone suffers injury, illness, loss or damage because of them you may be legally liable.

Products liability cover is there to help you defend a claim against you or your business for dangerous, defective or faulty products and goods made or sold by you up to a maximum value each year.

Health Risks for Plumbers

Work-related health risks for plumbers include HAVS (Hand Arm Vibration Syndrome), COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease), asthma and skin disorders.

As a self employed plumber, you can buy insurance cover that will pay out if your income stops unexpectedly due to personal accident, sickness, disability or critical illness.