What is Building Contractor’s Insurance & why do you need it?

What is Building Contractor’s Insurance & why do you need it?


Building contractors often operate in risky situations, which means that, however well-prepared you might be, slip-ups do happen.   For example, members of the public can be injured, your construction site may be damaged by fire or flood or your plant and machinery may be stolen.  This is an industry where a single mistake could be disastrous, but the good news is that you can protect yourself, your equipment, your clients, and your business with an insurance policy that is tailored to your specific needs.

Building contractors need to get cover for multiple things, which include public liability insurance UK, employer’s liability insurance, and all risks insurance policy. This way, you can get protection for everything related to your business, ranging from your tools to protecting members of the public in case of an accident caused by you or someone who works for you.

Public liability insurance for building contractors

This type of insurance protects third-party injuries when work is carried out in public areas or on private properties. For example, if a passer-by gets hit by a slate that falls from a roof you are working on, you will be protected should they want to sue. Moreover, public liability insurance for building contractor’s also offers protection from damaging any of the neighbouring properties. To put it simply, public liability insurance covers anyone not directly involved with your business, but who gets injured as a result of it.

Employer’s liability insurance

Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement for all self-employed tradesmen or limited companies that employ staff or other contractors to help them with a job. This type of insurance protects all parties in the event that one of the contractors who you employ becomes injured as a result of an accident caused by your business activities.   For example, if a member of staff were to fall off a faulty ladder whilst working on your construction site, they may make a claim against you for damages.  This is where employers liability insurance would come in very handy.  You don’t have to get cover for this if you are a sole trader with no employees.

Contractor’s all risks insurance

Also known as contract works insurance, this cover will protect your business in the event that the contract you are working on is destroyed before its practical completion.  For example, if you were part way through building an extension to a house and it was destroyed by fire overnight, what would you do?  The client could not be expected to pay for you to build the extension all over again and you would not want to foot the bill.  This is where your contract works insurance will really help.  Your insurer will pay to rebuild the extension for you so nobody is out of pocket.

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Under a contractors all risks policy, as a building contractor, you can also include cover for your own plant or any plant you may have hired in and your tools and equipment can be covered too.  You will be protected on an all risks basis and be covered for any damage to the items or even theft.  So if your tools and equipment were stolen overnight from your contract site, this would be covered under your contractors all risks insurance policy.

Tool insurance

As a building contractor, you may want to consider tool insurance.  This will provide protection should your tools be lost, damaged or stolen and is particularly useful when you have high value tools which you cannot work without.  If you opt for contractors all risks insurance then this will automatically cover your own tools and plant but if you do not need this cover, then you can purchase tool insurance in isolation.

Personal accident & sickness insurance

Personal accident and sickness insurance offers a regular income if you’re injured, temporarily or permanently, and can’t work. This insurance only covers yourself as a business owner, but it also offers you protection against any loss of earnings resulted from your inability to work for a specific period because of an injury or sickness. It is important to note that personal accident and sickness insurance only comes into force after seven days of illness or injury.

Opting for a generic tradesman insurance

Most insurance companies offer generic tradesman insurance policies. However from a specialist insurance broker, such as Tradesman Saver, you can actually find one tailored to the specific needs of your own business. Alongside providing your public liability insurance, our building contractor’s insurance policy offers you cover for any injury caused by a product you install or supply, legal expenses insurance and even financial loss insurance. You can also add employer’s liability insurance if you need it or contractor’s all risks insurance cover (which will cover any work you undertake on a construction site). Other covers you can include are insurance for your tools & equipment and professional indemnity insurance, which covers you if you are accused of providing inadequate advice, services or designs to a client.

Tips for choosing the right building contractor’s insurance policy

It’s very important to keep in mind the quality of the cover as well as the price. It just doesn’t pay to cut corners on your cover and discover that your insurance won’t protect you when you have a problem. When choosing your building contractor’s insurance, you need to make sure you check all the exclusions that apply as well as the maximum amount the insurer will pay for the different types of claims that you might make.

Don’t forget to take into account any excess that you need to pay when you make a claim. The trick for getting the right building contractor’s insurance policy is finding a balance between minimising the cost and protecting yourself with dependable cover that meets your specific needs.

The Tradesman Saver policy for building contractors provides the right balance between some of the widest covers available in the market at the best possible price.

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