Most roofing contractors understand that they need to insure their businesses. In fact, for anyone employing people employer’s liability insurance is a legal requirement. But they struggle to understand why the roofer’s insurance cost is so high.
So, why does roofer’s insurance cost so much, and more importantly, what you can do to keep the cost down?
Why does roofer’s insurance cost so much?
The simple answer to this is because roofing is hazardous work. It involves work at height which increases the risk of employees being injured as well as increasing the risk of items being dropped onto members of the public and their property. If there is any use of heat, this also increases the risk of fires.
All of this can result in insurance claims that cost a lot of money. Claims for personal injuries can easily run into hundreds of thousands of pounds and the cost of personal injury claims is currently rising by around 8% per year, much more than general inflation. Fire damage claims can also be expensive to settle, particularly where commercial premises are involved because the claim will not only be for the fire damage itself, but will also include an amount for lost revenue.
And it’s not just genuine claims that increase the cost of insurance for roofing contractors. Even if a liability insurance claim is made against you for something that is not your fault, the cost of defending that claim can be substantial. There is an increasing number of such “try on” claims being made thanks to the “no win, no fee” accident management firms that are advertising everywhere from television to social media.
How can I reduce my roofer’s insurance cost?
First, make sure you don’t have claims because that’s one sure way to ensure your roofer’s insurance cost will rise.
That probably sounds obvious. After all, nobody in their right mind deliberately sets out to have an accident. But minor changes to your working practices can make major differences from a safety perspective. A small investment in safety equipment or spending slightly longer on a job to make sure it is done safely can pay dividends when it comes to your insurance premiums.
Of course, preventing claims does more than just keep your insurance costs low. If an employee is off work because they have been injured in an accident, this creates problems for your business. Injuring third parties or damaging their property would have an adverse effect on your business reputation. Safer working brings all manner of benefits.
You should also make sure you have the right insurance cover. As mentioned, heat use increases the risk of fires. If you aren’t doing any heat work, accepting a heat use exclusion in your insurance policy will bring your roofer’s insurance cost down. Similarly, the risk of an accident increases when you work at greater heights. Given this, if you specialise in low level roofing work such as work on private garages, accepting a lower height limit in your insurance policy will result in savings.
However, this does not mean that you should accept exclusions that would mean you are uninsured for some of your activities. It’s a false economy to buy inadequate insurance cover because any savings you make could be wiped out in the event of an insurance claim.
Finally, use an insurance provider that specialises in roofer’s insurance to make your costs stretch further. Any good insurance provider for roofers will include public liability (PL) insurance, products liability insurance, legal expenses insurance and financial loss cover as standard, providing you with the widest ranging cover from the offset. They will also offer optional additional covers such as employer’s liability insurance, if necessary, tools and equipment cover, business contents cover and contractor’s all risks insurance, which is a must if you work on construction sites. Our roofer’s insurance starts at £125, which is very competitive in comparison with those in the market.
It is important to be aware however, that larger roofing contractors or roofing contractors working on hazardous projects will naturally incur higher costs, but this is only a reflection of the sheer level of risk these roofers face on a daily basis.