Inviting a tradesman into your home to perform work carries with it a number of risks. Tradesman insurance will protect you from any evens that may occur. This includes work-related accidents or events that cause damage to your home or personal property or even issues with the work itself.
To make sure that you are fully protected from any incidents that arise, you will want to make sure that any tradesman hired to perform work or repairs is fully covered. Without it, you may be exposed to expensive damages without any legal method of seeking compensation. Most professional tradesmen will carry some sort of insurance, policies can include protection for a number of liabilities, but at the very least public liability insurance should be in place.
How do I check a tradesman’s insurance?
Verifying that your tradesman is a qualified professional can be done in several ways, from checking references and reviews to membership of trade associations to ensure qualifications and professionalism. Along with making sure that your tradesman has the necessary skills to perform the work, it is wise to also ask for proof of insurance.
Tradesmen that have invested in an insurance policy to protect themselves and their customers from accidents and damages should be able to provide proof of protection. Several insurance protections are available to tradesmen, and depending on the business structure and the work being performed, some may not be essential. However, for any work that is being undertaken on your property, public liability insurance is a must. It may also be advantageous for tradesmen to have personal liability insurance to protect against future issues.
Public Liability Insurance
If there are injuries that happen during the course of work, whether to you, anyone in your home, or members of the public, this insurance will shield against compensation claims and legal fees. If the tradesman does not have this type of insurance, you could be personally liable for public claims, even if the accident was not your fault.
Personal liability insurance
Problems and issues can arise long after building work has been completed. What may look like a professional job could degrade over time due to low-quality materials, bad advice, or poor workmanship. Personal liability insurance will protect against future issues and complaints.
What to look for
Verifying your tradesman’s insurance is relatively simple and can be done by requesting proof of insurance. If a policy has been purchased, your tradesman should be able to produce an insurance certificate as evidence of an active policy. Some simple checks will ensure that you are fully protected if anything happens to go wrong. In the case of public liability insurance, the certificate should include certain pieces of information.
Here’s what to look for:
On receipt of your tradesman’s insurance certificate, check the business name or company name to make sure that the policy matches the person or business you have hired. If there is any discrepancy, then you may not be protected under the policy.
Check the certificate for the description of the business and the work that your tradesman is insured to perform. The wording of business descriptions is typically quite broad, but the work you are requesting should fall within the scope of the insurance cover. If the work is highly specialized, additional insurance may be required to provide full protection.
When reviewing the certificate of insurance, be sure to pay attention to the policy date. This is extremely important to verify that the policy is active. An expired policy will provide no protection and may leave you unable to claim against the tradesman for damages or accidents. Worse still, it could leave you personally liable for claims involving a third party. Along with making sure that the policy is active, also check the expiration date. Policies expiring during the course of the work could flag potential problems if the renewal is not handled on time.
Call the insurer
As a final check, you can call the insurance provider to validate the certificate and make sure that the documentation provided is genuine. The insurance provider’s name should be listed on the policy, and a call to the company will give you the chance to ask any questions about the policy and ensure that the work being performed is fully covered.
Check policy limits
Simply having insurance coverage may not be adequate, especially if the work being completed is a large or expensive project. Insurance coverage like public liability can be obtained for many different levels of coverage; sometimes, policies are for millions of pounds. Standard policies will cover most work, but it is worth checking policy limits to be assured that adequate levels of financial protection are in place.
- Tradesman insurance requirements and quotes: https://www.nimblefins.co.uk/business-insurance/tradesman-insurance
- Checking HOA member tradesmen: https://hoa.org.uk/services/members-check-your-tradesmen/
- Checking tradesman insurance: https://www.zoopla.co.uk/moving/buyers-guide/tradespeople/is-my-tradesman-insured/