Like all contractors, suspended ceiling contractors face a range of business risks that have the potential to lead to unexpected costs.
Suspended ceiling contractors insurance property insurance to protect their buildings, tools, equipment and materials against accidental damage or theft. They also need contract works insurance to protect anything on site, including the work in progress, against accidental damage or theft.
They need motor insurance to cover any of the cars or vans that are used in the business. This is an important type of insurance because it’s a legal requirement and using an uninsured vehicle can result in heavy penalties.
Legal expenses insurance can be useful because it covers your legal costs in the event that you have to become involved in legal action for things such as neighbour or client disputes, employment tribunals and tax/VAT inspections. Personal accident and sickness insurance can also be useful because it replaces your lost income if you are unable to work due to an accident or an illness.
However, the two areas that need particularly careful consideration where a suspended ceiling contractor is concerned are employer’s liability insurance, and product and public liability insurance.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
Employer’s liability insurance is legally required if you employ anyone. This is the case even if your employees are only employed on a temporary or a casual basis.
This type of insurance protects you in the event that an employee makes a compensation claim against you because they believe you are responsible for an injury that they have sustained at work. It also covers the legal defence costs.
Because suspended ceiling contractors do much of their work at height, the risk of an employee injuring themselves in a fall is increased. To address this, the insurer may apply a height limit to the policy.
The height limit can usually be increased if needed, although this would generally mean that you would have to pay an additional premium. It is important to select a height limit that is not too high or you will be paying too much, but not too low or you will be uninsured for many of your jobs.
Public & Products Liability Insurance
Public and products liability insurance protects you in the event that a member of the public makes a compensation claim against you because they believe you’re responsible for an injury they have sustained or for damage to their property. Like employer’s liability insurance, it also covers the legal defence costs.
Again, the fact that suspended ceiling contractors do much of their work at height, the risk is increased because items can be dropped onto people or their property below. And again, insurers address this by applying a height limit to the policy.
As with employer’s liability insurance, it’s important to make sure that this height limit is set at the right level so that it does not unnecessarily restrict you from doing your work, but is not set too high so you aren’t paying for cover that you do not need.