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Public Liability Insurance Claim Examples

Rhino Trade Insurance 15 January 2023

Working as a tradesperson requires skills earned by years of training and practice. Whether you are installing fireplaces or radiators, having the right skill set means that a job can be done well and (hopefully) without error. Despite all the training in the world, however, working in any trade still attracts different types of risk, meaning that every once in a while you are vulnerable to human error.

Public Liability Insurance is a popular form of cover for anyone working in the trades, and provides valuable protection to the policyholder in the event of human error. The policy is designed to cover a tradesperson in the event that their professional negligence causes accidental death or injury to a member of the public as well as damage to third party property.

Public Liability Insurance acts as a financial safety net in the unlikely and unfortunate event of having to make a claim, and although infrequent, claims can arise for numerous reasons.

We are often asked by customers what events can trigger a public liability insurance claim, so we wanted to compile a short list of genuine claims we have received from customers. From water damage to filling a customer's home with smoke, we have seen a variety of claims being made, and hope that this list can act as a cautionary tale.

Common Public Liability Claims

As a busy tradesperson, the risk of something going wrong at work is very real. At Rhino Trade Insurance, we insure a variety of tradespeople and see a trend of claims being made on public liability policies. Many of these claims pay out without issue thanks to the policyholder having the right level of cover in place, but it is still important for customers to be aware of common examples of claims being made. Remember, liability claims range from hundreds to tens of thousands of pounds worth in damages and in rare cases can even rise to millions.

Water Damage

Water damage is a real risk to many working in the trades. When working as a plumber, gas fitter or heating engineer, the risk of an accident occurring as a result of a customer’s radiator, water pipe or boiler may be higher than say a bricklayer, but water damage can be caused by almost any trade. A tradesperson’s liability as a result of a water damage claim also tends to be high, so make sure you’re being extra careful when working near water pipes or radiators.

Third Party Damage

Third party damage is a more common cause for a public liability claim than most would imagine. Whether this is as a result of damaging a customer's possessions, or a customer’s property, if you accidentally cause third party damage, you may have to rely on your public liability insurance to foot the bill. Although not breaking your client’s household items may sound obvious, when you’re working with tools and machinery, you run the real risk of causing accidental damage where it’s not wanted. We’re confident that all tradespeople aim to limit any damage they cause, but always be aware of your surroundings when working at someone else’s premises.

Accidental Injury

Thankfully, injuring your client when working isn’t a common occurrence, but in the rare cases that a claim has to be made, the liabilities can be substantial. Regardless of whether you are working in domestic or commercial environments, if members of the public are in the vicinity of the work you carry out, safety must be a high priority. In the event that the work a tradesperson carries out causes injury to an individual, or in worse cases death, it’s important that you have the right level of liability insurance in place.

The Claims Process

“What’s the point of having insurance if it’s hard to make a claim?” It’s the most commonly asked question customers pose to insurance brokers, and we completely agree that without a clear claims process, insurance is hardly worth the paper it’s written on! Thankfully, our claims process couldn’t be easier, so in the unfortunate event of having to make a claim on your public liability insurance policy, you’ll know exactly what to do. All insurance wordings, schedules and certificates are issued to clients upon purchase outlining our clear claims structure, but for those who don’t want to sift through their documentation, you can visit our claims page for simple instructions and next steps. Making a claim should be as easy as taking out cover.

Why having trade insurance is essential

Having trade insurance is of the utmost importance when running your own business and interacting with customers. Whether you are a lone ranger or command a team of 10, you need protection! 

We at Rhino Trade Insurance have created some of the best cover available to tradespeople on the market. Our policies cover your business in numerous scenarios, from personal accidents to legal costs, tool theft, and professional negligence, we have a policy to cover you.

We offer specialised insurance options for nearly every trade and work hard to keep our costs low and admin minimal. We can provide protection for a host of trades, including electricians, plumbers, carpenters, locksmiths, gas engineers and many more. You can take a look at our full trade lists easily via our online quote engine and you can always get in touch to double check that we can cover you.

Why not give our UK team a call today? They can help set you up in a matter of minutes, and you'll be back on your job in no time. Our number is 0116 243 7904 or if you fancy taking things into your own hands, just get a quote online right away.


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