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If you are a tradesman, choosing insurance will be a bespoke process depending on your exact occupation (builder, plumber, painter etc), company turnover, the number of employees you have and annual payroll. One thing all tradesmen need is Liability insurance, specifically three kinds:

Public Liability – protects your customers and members of the public in the event of a claim for which you are found to be responsible.

Employer’s Liability – protects those working for you in the event of them having an accident while on site and employed by you. Sub-contractors can be included under this cover – conditions can apply so discuss the details with your insurance provider.

Products Liability – covers the customer in the event of a claim relating to parts installed by the tradesman. Often, if a claim is made against you regarding faulty parts your insurers can then pursue the manufacturer for reimbursement.

Before signing on the dotted line you should always check the level liability coverage you have.

A tradesman’s particular line of work dictates what specifics should be included in the policy. Here are some examples:

Builders work in a variety of environments so policies should detail: both the height and the depth at which you can work (often 15 metres above ground and 3 metres below – if you work outside these limits this should be arranged); whether stand alone roof work is covered; what specialist equipment is covered eg welding and use of oxy-acetylene. Building Contractor’s All risks covers both the job and your own equipment.

Plumbing, Heating and Gas Installers, Ventilation and Solar Panel Contractors need to consider: the impact certifications such as RGII will have; the working height to which you are covered – usually 15 metres but many providers can arrange higher limits if necessary; if you need to take out additional cover to protect your tools and equipment.

Electricians need additional paperwork as electricity is something you don’t want to take chances with. Policy questions to consider: is cover for a helper automatically included; what heights can you work at (usually 15m) and how deep (usually 3m); who completes the R44 form to send to SafeElectric (this identifies the minimum insurance cover that REgistered Electrical Contractors must have to maintain their registration with SafeElectric);

Groundworks Contractor and Civil Engineers who engage in the clearance and development of sites, foundations, drainage systems, utility installations and roads all need comprehensive Public, Product and Employers liability insurance. Check policies for: coverage for specialist equipment eg Tar Boilers; covered working depth; coverage for closed sites and public roads; that the policy meets the requirement of local councils.

Painter & Decorator insurance might include: cover for a handyman; again, coverage for working to a height of 15m and depth of 3m; if you use heat (for example heaters to dry out a room or heat guns to strip paint) this can be included; cover for the use of scaffolding.

Whatever your particular line of work, your policy should be flexible enough to accommodate changes in your business, for example if you secure a large contract and therefore your employees and turnover increase. The main thing is to keep your provider informed.

There is no substitute for talking to the experts when it comes to examining your insurance needs. Britton Insurance offers competitively priced business insurance, suitable to your trade.

You’ve invested your time and money to build your business. Undoubtedly, you want to make sure it’s safeguarded. At Britton Insurance, we’ve partnered with the leading business insurance companies in Ireland to get you the right cover for your business. Simply fill out our online quotation form to get your business insurance quote in no time.