No matter how experienced you are and how carefully you work, accidents happen. Carpenter’s insurance protects you from the unexpected losses that can arise from these accidents. But while most carpenters know that they need insurance, for many exactly what carpenter’s insurance covers is a mystery.
Carpenter’s insurance is a package policy. This means that you can choose what covers to include depending on your business needs. If all of your carpentry is done at your own premises, for instance, you wouldn’t need to cover your tools, equipment and materials on site. The core cover is public liability insurance and there are a number of optional extras that can be added.
Public liability insurance
As mentioned, public liability insurance is the core cover in a carpenter’s insurance policy. It covers you if a third party makes a compensation claim against you alleging that you were responsible for them suffering a loss due to an injury or property damage. As well as covering the compensation awarded against you, it also covers any legal fees incurred to settle the claim and any associated expenses.
Public liability insurance usually includes products liability insurance. This is similar to public liability insurance in that it covers compensation claims made against you, but whereas public liability insurance covers compensation claims arising from something you have done or failed to do, products liability insurance covers compensation claims arising from defects in products that you have sold or supplied.
Public and products liability insurance only covers compensation claims involving injuries or property damage. As such, it is important to make sure that your public and products liability insurance includes a financial loss extension. This covers you if a compensation claim is made against you by someone who has suffered a purely economic loss.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance covers your legal fees if you become involved in legal action. This could include employment disputes or disputes with your clients. It would cover you if you were the subject of a tax or VAT inspection. It would also cover you if you had to defend yourself against criminal charges.
It is important to note that while a lot of tradesman insurance specialists do not include this cover as standard, the very best ones will always offer this at no extra charge as standard with their insurance policies.
Employer’s liability insurance
Employer’s liability insurance also covers compensation claims made against you, but it covers compensation claims made by your employees rather than compensation claims made by third parties.
Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone. This applies even if you only have temporary or casual staff. Failure to have employer’s liability insurance can result in large fines.
Professional indemnity insurance
Professional indemnity insurance also covers compensation claims, but unlike public, products and employers’ liability insurance, it covers claims arising from professional negligence, such as defective designs or specifications. This is an important cover if you are designing as well as manufacturing and installing.
Your property could be damaged or stolen. This could include your:
- buildings and contents
- tools and equipment
It could also include hired-in tools and equipment for which you are responsible, as well as your tools, equipment and materials on site and your work in progress.
Insurance against accidental damage, theft of your property or property for which you are responsible can be included in a carpenter’s insurance policy.
Personal accident & sickness
Personal accident and sickness insurance is particularly important for self-employed individuals, such as carpenters. This pays a weekly benefit it you are unable to work because you have been injured or are ill. This means that you have one less thing to worry about during your recovery because you know that you will be able to afford your monthly outgoings. A lump sum is payable if you will be unable to return to work.