Like all businesses, plumbing and heating contractors face risks. There is the potential for loss of tools, equipment, materials and other property due to accidental damage or theft. There’s also the risk that someone could be injured as a result of the business activities. Plumbing and heating engineers need insurance to protect their businesses from these risks and the unexpected costs that can result from them.
In addition, some insurance is compulsory. Motor insurance is a legal requirement if you are using a vehicle, and employers’ liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone. Failing to have these two types of insurance when you are required to do so can lead to serious penalties. In the case of motor insurance, it can even lead to the confiscation of your vehicle.
However, due to the nature of their trade, there is a greater chance of a plumbing and heating engineer finding themselves in situation where they are facing a large loss. This is because they often use heat as part of their trade, and because there is a risk that if they do something wrong a property could be flooded.
Whenever heat is used, there is a risk of an accidental fire starting. If you have self-employed public liability insurance, that will cover you if someone makes a compensation claim against you because you have accidentally set fire to their property, but insurance claims resulting from fires can be extremely costly.
As a result, insurers will often exclude claims arising out of the use of heat from public liability insurance unless an additional premium has been paid. When the insurer has agreed to remove the heat use exclusion, it will be replaced with heat use conditions.
These heat conditions list a number of steps that must be taken whenever heat is used. They are mostly common sense, but it is important that you check your insurance policy to make sure that you’re complying with these heat use conditions, because if you don’t, your insurance cover could be invalid.
It is also important to make sure that you have an adequate public liability insurance indemnity limit, particularly if you are working on high value or commercial properties.
Plumber’s public liability insurance claims resulting from flooding can be extremely costly. Even if you only flood a domestic property, the claim can cost tens of thousands of pounds. If you flood a commercial property, the claim could cost a lot more, particularly if the business owner or tenant was unable to trade while the property was repaired.
Again, it’s important to make sure that you have an adequate public liability insurance indemnity limit.
The indemnity limit is the maximum amount that your public liability insurance will pay in the event of a claim.
The standard indemnity in most public liability insurance policies is £1,000,000. However, this can be increased if you pay an additional premium, and many people opt for a £2,000,000 or even £5,000,000 indemnity limit.
If you are working on high value or commercial properties, a fire or flood could well cost more than a £1,000,000, particularly if the claim included loss of income because the business using the property was unable to trade for a while as a result of the incident. You should think about what could happen and be sure to insure your business appropriately to avoid huge costs in the future.