All carpenters need carpenter’s insurance. This is as true if they do all of their carpentry at their own premises as it is if they do all of their work on site. And it doesn’t matter if you have years of experience and have undertaken all of the training available because, although you can minimise the chance of accidents happening, they do still happen and they can happen to the best of us. When that happens it is vital that you have insurance to protect your carpentry business against the unexpected losses that can arise.
There is a range of different types of insurance that a carpenter should have. Many of these will be required by all carpenters, but because all carpenters are different, carpenter’s insurance policies can be tailored to each individual business’s specific needs, so you only need to pay for the cover you actually need.
Property insurance covers accidental damage to your property and loss of your property due to theft. This includes your buildings and contents as well as your tools, equipment and materials. It also covers damage to or theft of any hired-in property that you are responsible for.
Standard property insurance usually only covers your property when it is at your business premises. If you work on site, you will also need contract works insurance. As well as covering your property on site, it also covers your work in progress until handover and any temporary buildings that are on site.
There are a number of different types of liability insurance. They all cover compensation claims made against you by someone who feels that you are responsible for a loss they have sustained. They also cover the associated legal fees and other expenses that arise from that loss.
Employer’s liability insurance covers compensation claims made by your employees. This includes temporary and casual employees. Employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement if you employ anyone and there are heavy fines if you do not have it.
Public liability insurance covers compensation claims made by third parties. It is not a legal requirement, but often a main contractor will not allow a sub-contractor on site unless that subcontractor can produce evidence that they have a valid public liability insurance policy. In other words, if you don’t have public liability insurance, you might not be able to work.
Products liability insurance also covers compensation claims made by third parties, but unlike public liability insurance, it covers compensation claims arising from defects in any products that you have sold or supplied.
Public and products liability insurance only covers compensation claims involving injuries or damage. It does not cover compensation claims involving purely economic losses so it is important to make sure that your public and products liability insurance includes a financial loss extension.
Professional indemnity insurance covers compensation claims arising from your professional negligence. You need this type of insurance if you are creating your own designs and specifications rather than manufacturing and installing to someone else’s design.
Legal expenses insurance
Legal expenses insurance is another important element of any carpenter’s insurance policy. This protects you against unexpected legal bills should you find yourself involved in legal action such as:
- Employment tribunals
- Disputes with neighbours or clients
- VAT/tax inspections
- Criminal charges
Personal accident & sickness insurance
Personal accident and sickness cover is available to protect you if you are unable to work because you have been injured or are sick. This means you don’t have to worry about whether you will be able to afford to pay your bills during your recovery because it pays a weekly sum while you are off work. It also pays a lump sum if your injury or illness means that you will never be able to return to carpentry.