Risk comes as part of a tradie’s job. You already do a lot to protect yourself and your team at work, including getting the right equipment and following WH&S procedures. However, even if you do everything right, things can go wrong. Your tools could get stolen from your ute, or there might be an accident at the work site.
Replacing tools or paying for workers’ comp is costly, to say the least. And, if you get injured, you might need to take time off work, which directly cuts into your earnings. That’s why it’s important to protect yourself with business insurance in case something unexpected happens.
Understanding the different types of tradesman insurance isn’t a walk in the park, but it’s important to get your head around — especially because getting the wrong type of insurance might mean that you can’t make a claim. To help you get the right insurance for your business, here are the main types of business insurance that tradies should have.
Public liability insurance
Public liability insurance protects you financially if a member of the public is injured, or property is damaged, because of something you, your tradies or subbies did at work. For example, if you’re an electrician, one of your sparkies might forget to cover up an electrical cord on a job. This could lead to someone tripping and hurting themselves, and you may be required to pay for the costs associated with their injury.
If you don’t have insurance, you’ll need to pay out of your own pocket — which could end up costing thousands of dollars in hospital bills, rehab, and compensation for time off work. If you do have public liability insurance and the accident is covered, the insurance company will take care of some (or all) of the costs.
Product liability insurance
Product liability insurance protects you and your team if the products you have supplied or manufactured cause harm or injure someone, or cause damage to a customer’s property.
It could be that you’re a carpenter and you’ve built a staircase for a customer. If a step breaks and the customer trips on the staircase, you may be asked to cover the costs associated with the product you’ve provided. This could happen even if you finished the job a year ago.
For both public and product liability insurance, the cost and cover depends on your trade and the size of your business. The two are often packaged together as general liability insurance.
Tool insurance for tradies
Your tools help you get the job done, but they don’t come cheap. And while you take every action to take good care of your tools, they may get damaged on a job. Worse yet, someone could steal your tools from your ute or on a work site. Without tools insurance, you’ll have to cover the cost of repairing or replacing equipment yourself, and you might have to postpone jobs while you wait for the repairs.
With tradie tool insurance, you’re covered for any theft of, or damage to, your tools. The cost and cover depends on how many tools you have and their value. On top of this, you should keep a list of tools and their value to make it easier if you need to file a claim.
Commercial vehicle insurance
Your ute or truck gets you to and from jobs. If it gets banged up or stolen, it’s expensive as hell to fix. Plus, you might lose out on work if that’s the only form of transportation you have.
While your work car and personal car might be the same, regular car insurance doesn’t cover the business use of your car. That’s why commercial vehicle insurance is a must-have to keep you on the road. It’s also covers your team’s trucks and utes, or subbies’ cars.
There are a few ways to get commercial vehicle insurance. You can add it on to your existing package with your insurer, or look for a dedicated ute or truck insurance broker. Most will give you a ute or truck insurance quote online.
When it comes to filing an insurance claim, it’s important you have all the important information on hand, such as your team’s whereabouts at the time of a theft or the location of the job site.
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