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

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If you’re a plumber, you know that many problems may arise when you work with water, gas, or heat. One of the most common claims that plumbers have to deal with include water damage to a customer’s property. Even if you know very well how to work safely with water and gas appliances, accidents still happen, and for this reason, public liability insurance is vital for your business.

Plumbers public liability insurance protects you from the cost of any unanticipated accidents that you could be liable for as a result of the work completed for one of your customers. If such an incident were to happen and you didn’t have the right cover, it could lead to serious financial difficulties for you and your business. Even though public liability insurance for plumbing and heating engineers is not mandatory, it is important to have it to ensure the survival of your business. Moreover, it is generally recommended for you to obtain a public liability certificate for all subcontractors who perform work for you.

Plumbers public liability insurance is available with Tradesman Saver from £1,000,000 to £5,000,000 with higher limits available on request.

 

Is a plumber liable for water damage?

You’re legally liable if something you’ve done or failed to do results in someone’s property being damaged. If that happens, they can claim compensation from you to recover their costs. This includes water damage if you are responsible for the damage.

This legal liability arises through something called “Tort Law” and basically, if you owe someone a duty of care and breach that duty, they are entitled to be compensated for their losses if a loss arises from that breach.

As well as claiming for the cost of the actual damage, they can also claim any associated costs and expenses. If they had to book into a hotel while the damage was rectified, for instance, they could claim the cost of the hotel from you. They can also claim any legal fees that they have incurred to make the claim against you.

It doesn’t have to be the owner of the property you’re working in that suffers. If you’re working on a block of flats, the owner of the flat below could claim compensation from you if water leaked into their property and caused damage.

It’s important to make sure that you have public liability insurance to protect you in case you cause water damage to someone else’s property.

 

What are some situations that may result in a claim?

Some of the most common types of claims a plumber has to deal with include dropping your tools in a bath, which may cause it to crack and require replacement, or when a sink tap fitted by you leaks and causes damage to the kitchen cupboard underneath. Other situations that may require you to be covered by public liability insurance include toilet repairs, hot water system installation and repair, septic tank installation and repair and drain installation.

This type of insurance offers you protection related to claims regarding your legal liability for property damage, or personal injury sustained by third parties as a result of you conducting your business. This policy pays compensation claims made against you by a third party, as well as meeting the costs of any legal defence, whether you are responsible or not.

One of the biggest plumbers claims we have had at Tradesman Saver was following the incorrect installation of a pipe fitting in a customer’s home.  The pipe leaked over the weekend while the customer was on holiday and caused extensive damage to the property and the floors below.  The claim was settled for more than £150,000 and included legal fees in defending the claim.  This is a classic example of why plumbers need good quality public liability insurance.

 

How much does public liability insurance cost for a plumber?

Some of the common coverage amounts that you may encounter when you want to take out public liability insurance as a plumber are £1 million, £2 million, and £5 million, with additional levels of cover available upon request, depending on the size and the nature of your business. It is actually up to you to decide what the appropriate amount of cover is required for your needs, and this depends on the type of activities you generally engage in. You also need to take into account the level of risk you face in your business, as well as any contractual requirements that you may have entered into with your clients.

The price you pay for public liability insurance as a plumber is specific to your requirements, and generally depends on how many people are involved in your business, as well as the limit of protection you need. Keep in mind that your premium will vary if you have had any claims made against you in the past.

Please also bear in mind that many customers now require sight of your public liability insurance certificate before you are able to work on site.

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