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

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


A roofing contractor’s work is frequently marked by accidents, from the very small incidents to accidents with terrible consequences. These can interrupt the flow of work, delay results, compromise tools and materials, harm workers (or even members of the public), generate bigger expenses and may even cause death. Although you can’t prevent accidents from happening, taking the necessary safety precautions can help when things do inevitably go wrong, which is why roofers public liability insurance can be a real God-send. This, however, only covers certain aspects related to the work.

What is roofer’s public liability insurance?

Public liability insurance for roofers takes care of your customers and anyone else who’s not related to the business, yet may suffer because of it. But what exactly does that mean?

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Simply put, if you are a roofing contractor, it doesn’t refer to your workers, but to people outside your business. It protects your clients, if they happen to be harmed while you’re on a job, and will protect their property as well, plus any bystanders. The latter, for example, may be harmed by falling materials. When you take out a public liability insurance policy, any such harm or damage you may be responsible for will not ruin or hamper your business – instead of paying for a compensation claim from your own pocket, your insurer will cover the cost of the compensation for you. The policy is suitable to all roofers, regardless of the materials and methods they employ – the only roofers that Tradesman Saver is unable to offer public liability cover for, is those that use heat.

Why do roofers need liability insurance?

First of all, you’ll need it due to the hazardous nature of the work itself. There is the risk of falling objects, which can destroy property or harm others. Many injuries can be lethal. Any such incidents harming the public, when you’re held responsible, can be covered through the public liability policy. Whenever injuries occur to others, or a property is damaged, you could face additional expenses that can be a real financial burden. The public liability cover offers protection to your business’ finances, ensuring you have a safety net if the worst should happen. It can even be a great benefit to landing a job as well, as clients will feel more at ease knowing their chosen company or worker has valid insurance.  Many jobs will require you to show evidence of your public liability insurance before you will be able to start work.

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance is designed to cover a unique set of risks faced in the roofing industry. It will take care of all the compensation payments required by clients or members of the public: property repairs or possession replacement, legal expenses and so on. It will offer compensation for death, too. As a roofer, you can and should select the cover based on how you work and what exactly you work with (materials, tools, dangerous chemicals etc.). The price of your cover depends on how many people need to be insured, whether that’s an individual, sub-contractor or a number of employees.

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A typical example of the sort of situation your public liability insurance would cover would be as follows: you’re on a job and you accidentally drop a heavy tool that hits a car below, breaking the windscreen. The car owner then makes a compensation claim, blaming you for the damage. Your insurer will then pay out instead of it coming directly from your pocket.

What if that heavy tool hit a member of the public rather than a vehicle?  The injury caused to the member of the public could be serious and they will likely make a claim for compensation against you.  In this instance, your public liability insurer will defend your position and cover the cost of any compensation payments together with any resulting legal expenses.

Who can be insured?

Your public liability policy will cover you and your employees from causing injury or property damage to others, as well as bone fide subcontractors.  You can also add on cover for casual or temporary workers if your business uses these kinds of staff.

If you do employ staff (whether permanent or temporary), you will also need employer’s liability insurance to protect you against injuries sustained by your employees, and this is required by UK law.

How to get public liability insurance

Getting your public liability insurance from Tradesman Saver is easy. Simply hit ‘get a quote’ to be taken to our quote form. You’ll be asked to fill in details about your company, how many staff you employ, if any, and you’ll be able to select your trade as a roofer. You can add up 3 trades online – if you need to add any other trades to your policy, please give us a call and we would be more than happy to arrange this for you.

At the end of the quote process, you’ll receive your quote that includes our basic covers; public liability insurance, products liability insurance, financial loss insurance and legal expenses insurance. You’ll also have the option to increase the values of these covers if necessary, as well as adding optional extra covers such as employer’s liability insurance, tool insurance, contract works insurance / contractor’s all risks insurance and business contents insurance cover. This allows you to tailor-build a policy specific to your needs with ease.

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