Self Employed Builders Insurance

19/06/2013 -- Mary Simpson
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What is Self Employed Builders Insurance?

Builders Insurance is a specifically tailored Tradesman policy that covers the main risks and requirements of working in the construction trade as a building contractor or subcontractor.

Depending on your trade, or trades if multi-skilled, and scale of business (turnover and employees), you can select and insure different risks.

When considering the cost of cover and whether you need it, it's worth asking experienced and time served builders and brokers if they consider it a necessity, and hearing the tales.

Why do Builders Need Insurance?

Simply having tradesman insurance cover can put off bogus claims aimed at intimidating you into settling out of court, or reducing the price of a job.

Plus it is there if a building job goes wrong resulting in expensive damage to property or in the worst case, death or injury to innocent people.

It can also cover loss or damage to tools, hired-in plant and building materials in transit or on site.

Fire or flood if laid at your door you could seriously delay a building contract and put you out of business if you can’t afford a legal liability defence.

Motor Insurance: All vehicles including vans must by law be insured for minimum third-party liability and include business use as part of the cover.

All Risks cover: While working on a site, this type of insurance protects the building from risks during construction as well covering materials, tools, machinery or plant you're using.

Income protection: Accidents are all too common in the construction industry. You may want to consider income protection and critical illness cover.

Combining all insurances into one policy could save money and simplify renewals.

Do Builders need Public Liability Insurance (PLI)?

As a self-employed builder you should consider public liability insurance to cover injury to members of the public and damage to property.

If you take on a job as a sub-contractor working for another firm, you will usually need public liability cover - most large contractors won't allow a contractor on site without seeing insurance certificates.

Building contractors often specify the minimum level of PLI for sub-contractors such as £1m, £2m, £4 mill, £5 million or even £10 million cover for local council and government contracts.

These higher value policies can increase the cost of your cover, but averaged out over several lucrative contracts it could prove worthwhile.

Do Builders need Employers Liability Insurance?

If you're a sole trader and do all of the work yourself, you don't need employer's liability insurance.  Otherwise, £5million is the minimum legal requirement.

But if you hire someone - a casual labourer, say, even if it's just for a couple of hours, then you need it.

Ask your insurer to cover them for the contract period, otherwise you're trading illegally.