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What Does Tradesman Insurance Cover

Rhino Trade Insurance 17 January 2024

So, you’ve chosen a career in the trades. This tells us you’re made from strong stuff. However, no matter how tough you are or how well you know your industry, you shouldn’t do a day’s work without Tradesman Insurance.

In the trades, insurance isn’t a fancy extra like a brand-new van or personalised workwear. Instead, it’s one of your most basic tools in your kit, which you shouldn’t start a single job without.

If you’re wondering, ‘what does Tradesman Insurance cover?’, don’t worry. Let’s take a deep dive into the world of tradesman insurance. Together, we’ll look at what it is, who needs it and how you can get yours.

Defining Tradesman Insurance: The Basics

  • What is Tradesman Insurance and Who Needs It?

Tradesman Insurance refers to several different policies which help protect tradespeople from the shedload of risks that they face each day. With Rhino, you can build your own set of policies to create the Tradesman Insurance that suits your trade, your business and the risks you face.

Public Liability Insurance is always at the heart of a Tradesman Insurance bundle, as it offers robust coverage for third-party accidents and property damage. Accidentally causing harm to others is a huge risk in the trades industries, where the environments are dangerous and the chance of something going wrong is so much higher than in any desk-based job.

Tradesman Insurance from Rhino Trade Insurance consists of a range of policies that you can choose from. With Public Liability as your starting point, you can build your own tailored bundle of cover to suit you. Not all tradespeople will need every policy, so you only include the policies and levels of cover that your business really needs. 

  • The Importance of Insurance for Tradesmen

Whether you’re a builder, plumber, electrician, carpenter, bricklayer, painter & decorator or even a chimney sweep – you need insurance. This is because any tradesperson, whatever their trade, takes on a hefty dose of risk every time they embark on a new job. And where there’s risk, there should be protection.

Working environments can be dangerous places for tradespeople. Whether it’s working at height, shifting heavy objects, using power tools, dealing with dust and chemicals, excessive noise or just the chaotic nature of many job sites, hazards are everywhere. 

It’s not just the job site hazards that make trade work so risky. Your business structure can also leave you vulnerable. Being self-employed means no income if you’re too sick or injured to work, and no company ready to foot the bill if you encounter legal troubles. Similarly, if your tools are stolen, it’s you who pays to replace them, and if you’re sued for professional negligence? It’s your problem.

With Tradesman Insurance, you’re not standing out there alone. Your personalised bundle of cover will act as your protection against anything trade life has to throw at you, meaning that you can carry out your jobs with confidence. If anything happens, you needn’t fear compensation claims or time off, as your insurer will cover the cost and help you get everything sorted.

Why Public Liability Insurance is So Crucial for Tradesmen and Tradeswomen

When you think of Tradesman Insurance, you might think immediately of Public Liability Insurance. Other insurance types are also recommended for tradespeople, (we’ll get onto those in a minute) but Public Liability is the bread and butter, or meat and potatoes, of your tradesman cover. Here’s a few scenarios where Public Liability Insurance for tradesmen and tradeswomen would be invaluable:

  • An unexpected accident

If you accidentally hit a member of the public over the head with your ladder while unloading your van, Public Liability Insurance will step in to compensate the injured party. If it ends up going to court (e.g., if they’re experiencing bouts of dizziness and want to pursue a significant claim against you), Public Liability Insurance will cover the costs of a solicitor and court time, as well as the eventual settlement amount. 

  • Clumsy moments

If you knock a customer’s shelf down and smash their precious ornaments, Public Liability Insurance will cover the cost of the damage. If you drop a tin of paint on a set of vintage Minton tiles, Public Liability Insurance will compensate the homeowner, so you don’t have to dip into your own pocket for the painstaking repair work.

  • The worst-case scenario

If the worst happens, and you cause serious injury to, or the accidental death of, a customer or member of the public, Public Liability Insurance will cover the costs of the case. This could include legal fees, rehabilitation expenses, compensation for pain and suffering, lost income, or compensation for the loved ones of the deceased.

What Other Policies Can You Add to Your Tradesman Insurance?

We’ve covered Public Liability Insurance and its huge importance for any self-employed tradesperson. Public Liability Insurance forms the core of Tradesman Insurance, but for comprehensive cover from all angles, consider adding the following UK Tradesmen Insurance inclusions to your bundle:

Employer’s Liability Insurance

In the vast majority of cases, any tradesperson with employees needs this cover by law. There are a couple of exceptions (e.g., if you only employ close family), but most tradespeople need at least £5million in Employer’s Liability cover if they have staff (including apprentices). Employer’s Liability Insurance is similar to Public Liability Insurance but it protects your employees (and you) if anything happens to them while they’re carrying out their jobs. You can add Employer’s Liability Insurance to your core Public Liability Insurance at a small cost with Rhino.

Professional Indemnity Insurance

If you’re one of those tradespeople who draws up plans, designs or gives professional advice that your customers act upon, you need to add a Professional Indemnity policy to your Tradesman Insurance bundle. This insurance will protect you from professional negligence claims in cases where a client has lost money by following your advice. Rhino’s popular Professional Indemnity policy can be added to your Tradesman Insurance cover during purchase.

Personal Accident Insurance

An accident which leaves you unable to work can mean your small tradesperson business has to close its doors… for good. If you don’t have enough savings to support yourself and your family if you found yourself unable to work, you should add Personal Accident Insurance to your Tradesman Insurance bundle. Rhino’s excellent add-on policy will cover your basic living expenses (e.g., rent or mortgage and bills) while you recover. 

Legal Expenses Insurance

Legal problems can strike anyone, at any time. No matter how much you try to keep your head down, you could easily find yourself in need of a lawyer. A customer disputing a contract, an accusation of wrongdoing, a data breach, an employment tribunal… even a wrongful arrest. These types of issues can seem daunting to a self-employed tradesperson. With Legal Expenses Insurance, you’re not alone. You get access to an expert defence and ongoing support via a UK-based expert legal helpline. This cover is available to add to your Tradesman Insurance bundle as a low-cost addition with Rhino.

Income Protection Insurance

If you become too ill to work for a period of time, how would you pay your rent, bills, mortgage or living expenses? If you don’t know the answer to this question, we strongly advise you add Income Protection Insurance to your Tradesman Insurance bundle with Rhino. The policy will pay out a regular amount (up to your chosen limit) to cover living costs while you recuperate. 

Tools in Transit Insurance

Your tools are important… you couldn’t make any money without them! So, what happens when they’re damaged, stolen or go missing? If you’re like many tradespeople, it’d be a gradual process to build up your tool collection from scratch – and you’d miss out on all-important jobs while you got the cash together for replacement tools. No tradesperson should be without Rhino’s Tools in Transit policy, which covers your tools even when they’re stored in your van at night.

What are the Benefits of Tradesman Insurance?

Tradesman Insurance benefits both you and your customers. 

Your customers will prefer working with an insured tradesperson, as it offers a promise to them that you’ll be able to pay in the event of something going wrong. Going with an uninsured tradesperson means the customer is relying on the tradesperson to have immediate access to the funds to happily cover a compensation claim, which is unlikely when you consider that even standard Public Liability claims can reach £10,000 and upwards. Take it from us as trade insurance experts - indemnity limits for Public Liability Insurance go up to £10million for a good reason. This is why customers don’t trust uninsured tradespeople – they know that if things go belly-up, the tradesperson isn’t going to stick around to make it right.

But possibly the most important reason to make sure you’re fully covered with Tradesman Insurance is that it offers you the peace of mind that comes with knowing that whatever happens, there’s a financial safety net. This means you can do business with confidence and sleep better at night into the bargain!


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