What is Builder’s Public Liability Insurance & what does it cover?

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Carrying out construction work is not dangerous only to those directly involved. Over the years, sites have become better secured against accidents – for example, through restriction of the public’s access to construction sites. Still, when a member of the public walks by, they risk getting injured by debris. Or, in the case of bad weather, unsecured construction materials may blow away and hit a pedestrian. These may even break windows or damage vehicles. A situation like that leaves the builder in charge responsible, and can result in them having to pay out a whole list of expenses.

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Why do builders need builder’s insurance?

The victim may submit a compensation claim against you in the event of such an accident. If you caused them to lose earnings, they will hold you responsible for that. If your business doesn’t have an insurer to handle those claims and payouts, you’ll face unplanned expenses which might bankrupt your business. Why deal with all of this when you can take out  builder’s public liability insurance, and get real peace of mind about the unforeseen circumstances that you can’t predict?

What does builder’s public liability insurance cover?

Can your construction work put third parties at risk? Pedestrians, bystanders etc. or their possessions can be harmed by your work activity or equipment. Did a falling piece of hoarding injure a passerby? A public liability policy has you covered. It will pay for personal injuries and property damage caused by your construction work, as well as covering the legal costs too. If you’re in need of something more specific, you will also be add cover for any other trade activities you undertake such as such as bricklayer’s insurance, electrician’s insurance and plumber’s insurance or similar products.


What about builder’s employer’s liability?

Employer’s liability insurance deals with injuries, both emotional and physical, sustained by your workers. It’s a legal requirement for any company that employs more than one member of staff, and offers your business protection from any claims your employees may make against you. Through employer’s liability, you are covered for any personal damage that may occur while they work for you (falling from a faulty ladder, tripping over equipment, injuring themselves with power tools, etc.), providing you or your company has been negligent. Still, this doesn’t mean you can skip your duties and fail to give workers protective equipment, or not care about eliminating the risks – your employer’s liability insurance policy simply acts as an extra barrier in case the worse should happen, despite your cautious safety measures.

Advantages of builders’ public liability insurance

  • Offers the benefit of protection against third party claims, where you would face enormous unplanned expenses in case an incident or accident occurred that was your fault
  • Avoids the snowball effect of bankruptcy as a result, and instead the responsibility falls to the insurer to pay out the compensation
  • Insurance approved builders are often more trust-worthy for would-be clients. It shows a level of maturity and responsibility which is good for business and winning contracts

What about sub-contractors?

It depends on the type of sub-contractor. Labour-only sub-contractors should be treated as employees for employer’s liability purposes, and you need to maintain cover for them. On the other hand, bona-fide sub-contractors (other companies or professionals who you may use for certain parts of your work) don’t require employer’s liability insurance – they will need to have their own cover in place to protect themselves, and it is important you confirm that they have current cover in place for your, and your business’, own protection.


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*This indicative price is for £1m public and products liability, £250,000 legal expenses, £10,000 financial loss and £10,000 accidental death insurance cover for a sole trader. The price includes insurance premium tax and our admin charge. 22% of new customers paid less than £58 between 1st January 2019 and 31st August 2019. The actual price you pay will depend upon your specific business requirements and will be affected by your trade, your claims history and the optional covers you select which are all priced separately during the quote process. This website is intended for customers based in the UK and is therefore subject to the UK regulatory regime(s) © Copyright 2019 Tradesman Saver | Tradesman Saver and Henry Seymour & Co. are trading names of Barkdene Limited which is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FRN 303965) for our insurance distribution and credit broking activities. Barkdene Limited is a credit broker not a lender. You can check this on the Financial Services register https://register.fca.org.uk/.
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