Builders’ public liability insurance can cover you for the cost of damages, compensation, legal fees, and medical expenses if you’re responsible for the injury or death of a third party or damage to their property
1Accurate as of November 2023
When you work in construction, there are a lot of risks that you are exposed to that can have devastating consequences. Having your equipment damaged, your vehicle stolen, or facing liability claims for an injury are problems that can cost thousands of pounds to resolve, which not every business can afford.
If you own a building business or are just getting your business started, these costs can put a huge strain on your finances. Thankfully, there are some important insurance products you should know about that can protect you and your employees from problems like these.
There are several different types of insurance for builders that can protect you from all sorts of problems, like theft, damage, and liability claims. The right builders' insurance policy will provide you with a pay-out when something bad happens to help your business return to normal.
If you have any employees working for you, it is a legal requirement that you have employers' liability insurance. This insurance will make sure that you can properly compensate your employees if they are injured or fall ill as a result of their work.
Other insurance types aren't a legal requirement but they each have their benefits. Builders’ public liability insurance, for example, can cover you for the cost of damages, compensation, legal fees, and medical expenses if you’re responsible for the injury or death of a third party or damage to their property. It can help in situations such as:
If a brick falls and hits a member of the public as they pass by your building site
If a piece of scaffolding collapses and damages a vehicle
If there is a structural defect that causes an injury or death
Additionally you may find that many potential clients will request that you take out public liability insurance, or they might refuse to hire you.
Financial loss: This can cover you for any compensation you would have to pay to a third party that wasn’t caused by damage to or loss of physical property
Business vehicle cover: Standard motor insurance policies won't always cover vans that are used for your business, so a special business policy is needed
Legal expenses: Legal expense cover can help you pay for legal costs for things like employment disputes, property disputes, and tax investigations
Accidental death: An accidental death policy offers a lump sum should you or an employee die as a result of an unforeseen incident
Tools and equipment: This will provide cover to replace any tools or equipment you have as part of your work if they’re damaged or stolen
Business contents: A business contents policy covers items you need for your work, such as office furniture or computers and phone systems, if they’re damaged or stolen
Professional indemnity: This covers you if your building business is responsible for any professional negligence
Personal accident: Personal accident cover offers a lump sum payment if you or an employee are no longer able to work as a result of an accident
Intentional harm or damage: Most insurance policy types are unlikely to cover you for any damage or harm caused to someone intentionally – either by yourself or an employee
Negligence: Most business insurance policies won't cover you for events that are caused by negligence. This includes public liability cover as well as other insurance types, such as tools cover
Drugs or alcohol: Insurance won't cover you if you or your employees were under the influence of drugs or alcohol when the insurable event occurred
Damage to property being worked on: Some public liability insurance policies won't cover damage caused to a person's property or belongings while you are working on them. For that reason, you should read the terms of your policy carefully when you apply
Wear and tear: Tools and equipment insurance won't pay out for damage or breaking of tools or equipment that are the result of general wear and tear
Breach of contract: Some types of builders' insurance will exclude cover for liability arising from breach of contract
Improper use of business vehicles: If you're using your work vehicles for purposes that aren't under the description of use, or if the person driving is someone not covered by the policy, your insurer won't cover you for any damage to or loss of the vehicle
More than many trades, as a builder there is a lot that could go wrong. You could make a mistake which leads to a claim, there could be an injury to yourself or an employee, or your expensive equipment could be damaged. Having a comprehensive range of insurance policies will mean that you can be confident that any unexpected events aren’t financially ruinous for you or your business."
Standard public liability insurance policies won't cover you if a client claims that you performed faulty work. Similarly, most professional indemnity insurance policies won't cover you for defective workmanship either.
These insurance policies are designed to protect you where issues are caused by genuine mistakes and not negligence or irresponsible practices.
If you hire labour only subcontractors or contractors to work for you or your building business, you will need employers' liability insurance. These types of contractors are considered employees under UK law, so it is a legal requirement that you take out this insurance for them and you take on responsibility for any claims of liability that involve them.
However, you may not need insurance if you are working with bona fide subcontractors as they are likely to have their own liability insurance in place for them and their and employees.
The cost of insurance for builders' will depend on a number of different factors. These usually include:
The type of insurance
The level of cover and any optional extras you add to your policy
The number of employees you have
Your insurance claims history
Your legal history
Your annual turnover
For a better look at how much a policy will cost to insure your business, why not compare quotes with us? It's quick, easy, and accurate.
You absolutely will need to insure any vans or vehicles you use for your business. Business van insurance will ensure that your van is properly protected both on and off the road while you're using it for business, and some policies can even protect tools and equipment that you store in your van.
If you own several vans that you use for your building business, you can also take out fleet van insurance which will provider cover for multiple vans under one policy.
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