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A Guide to Essential Insurance for UK Tradesmen and Women

Rhino Trade Insurance 03 December 2023

Working as a skilled tradesman or woman in the UK is a rewarding and satisfying profession. Whether you're a carpenter, electrician, plumber, or builder, your craft is essential to keeping the country running smoothly. However, manual work comes with its fair share of risks, from accidents on the job to potential legal liabilities. To safeguard your livelihood, it's crucial to understand the types of insurance you need as a tradesperson. In this comprehensive guide, we'll explore the various insurance options available to your trade business that will protect you and ensure those around you are covered.

The UK Trades Landscape

Before diving into the specifics of insurance, let's take a quick look at the landscape of the UK trades industry. Data from the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) shows the UK's construction industry is worth over £110 billion and employs around 2.9 million people. That means there's a significant number of skilled tradesmen and women working on projects of all sizes across the country.

The construction and trades sector plays a vital role in the UK's economy, but it's not without its challenges. Workers in these fields can encounter physically demanding tasks, work at various job sites, and deal with complex regulations. This unique work environment necessitates a specific set of insurance policies to protect both you and your livelihood.

Understanding the Risks

Tradespeople face a range of potential risks, and these risks can vary depending on the type of work you do. Here are some common hazards that tradesmen and women may encounter:

  • Injuries on the Job: The physical nature of manual work exposes tradespeople to a higher risk of workplace accidents than the average Joe or Jane. From falls, strains, and heavy equipment mishaps to electrical shocks and exposure to hazardous materials, injuries can happen at any time.
  • Property Damage: While performing your trade, you may unintentionally cause damage to a client's property. For instance, a plumber could accidentally flood a customer's home, or a carpenter could damage the structure while working on a renovation project. These situations can lead to costly liability claims.
  • Legal Liabilities: In the event of a workplace injury or damage to property, you could face legal actions or compensation claims from clients, employees, or third parties. Legal battles can be expensive, time-consuming, and emotionally draining.
  • Theft or Damage to Equipment: Tradespeople often invest in tools, equipment, and materials, which can be expensive to replace. Theft, damage, or loss of these items can significantly impact your ability to work.
  • Business Interruption: If your business is forced to halt operations due to unforeseen circumstances like a fire, flood, or other natural disasters, you may experience a loss of income. Having the right insurance can help you stay afloat during such challenging times.
  • Public Liability: Tradespeople are often in contact with the public while working on various projects. If a member of the public is injured or has their property damaged due to your actions, you could be held liable for compensation.

Now that we've covered the potential risks let's delve into the specific types of insurance you need to protect your manual work and trade business in the UK.

Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance is a key policy for any tradesperson. This coverage protects you in case a third party (e.g., a client or a passerby) sustains an injury or property damage due to your work. If a client trips over your tools or you accidentally damage a client's property while working, this insurance will cover the legal and compensation costs, which can be substantial.

The level of cover you need depends on your specific trade and the nature of your projects. For instance, if you work on larger projects, you may need a higher coverage limit. Keep in mind that some clients may require a minimum level of Public Liability Insurance before they hire you. At Rhino, you have the option to take our cover from £1 million, £2 million and £5 million. 

Employer's Liability Insurance

Suppose you have employees working for your trade business, whether full-time or part-time; Employer's Liability Insurance is mandatory in the UK. It covers your legal responsibilities if a worker gets hurt or ill as a result of their work for you. Without this insurance, you could face severe penalties, including fines. Taking out this policy at Rhino can see you get covered up to £10 million in liability. 

Tools and Equipment Insurance

Your tools are your livelihood as a tradesperson. Tools and Equipment Insurance can protect your valuable equipment from theft and damage. Whether your tools are stolen from your vehicle or damaged on the job site, this policy ensures you can replace them without a significant financial burden. With Rhino Trade Insurance, you can insure your tools up to the value of £50,000. On top of that, our policy includes the ability to store your tools in your work van overnight as long as certain stipulations are met should a problem arise.

Contractors' All Risks Insurance

Contractors All Risks Insurance covers the materials, fixtures, and fittings that are part of your project. It provides protection in case these items are damaged or stolen during the construction or renovation process. Contractors' All Risks Insurance is essential for tradespeople involved in larger projects, such as builders, roofers, and electricians, as it also provides protection against fire, floods, theft and vandalism. 

Professional Indemnity Insurance

This insurance is particularly important for tradespeople who provide advice or consultancy as part of their services. It covers you in case a client alleges that your professional advice or workmanship caused them financial loss or damage. Architects, surveyors, and some specialised tradespeople often require Professional Indemnity Insurance and at Rhino Trade Insurance, you can insure yourself up to the value of £2 million. 

Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance

Your ability to work as a tradesperson relies heavily on your physical well-being. Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance can provide financial support if you're unable to work due to an accident or illness. It covers your lost income and medical expenses during your recovery period.

With Rhino, your personal accident insurance means you won't have to worry about the cost of recovery from an accident. When an injury prevents you from working, this useful policy kicks in and pays out a tax-free lump amount of up to £50,000.

Get Cost-Effective Trade Insurance with Rhino Trade Insurance

The specific insurance needs of tradesmen and women can vary depending on things like the type of work you do, the scale of your projects, and whether you have employees. To ensure you have the right coverage, it's advisable to consult one of Rhino's expert brokers. As specialist trade insurance suppliers, we can help you tailor your insurance policies to match your unique needs and circumstances.

Remember that insurance is not just a legal requirement in some cases; it's also a wise investment in the sustainability of your trade. By understanding the risks and the types of insurance available, you can continue to work with confidence, knowing that you are well-prepared for whatever the future may bring. Contact the Rhino team today on 0116 243 7904 for a quick and easy quote, or check out our website where we built a simple-to-use quote tool. 


About The Author Phil McCormick

Experienced in brand marketing and content. Most of that lovely communication you see online will be from Phil. social media, emails, videos, how to make a bacon sarny? You get the gist!

Trade most identified with: Electrician - It’s our Phil’s job to map out all our communications and make sure the signal works! Also, he’s one of the cockiest blighters in the team so electrician fits perfectly!

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