What insurance does a self employed plumber need?
A busy plumber is active all day, every day working on customers’ premises, exposing the business to significant risk of injury or damage to customers and others. The risks include liability arising from both water damage and use of heat that can cause catastrophic loss or damage.
If a self employed plumber has employees, whether full time or part time, clerical or manual, there is a statutory requirement to have employers’ liability insurance. Employers’ liability insurance covers the employers’ legal liability for death, injury or disease to employees arising out of the course of the business. Whilst the statutory minimum limit of indemnity for employers’ liability insurance is £5,000,000, insurers offer a standard limit of indemnity of £10,000,000. There are exemptions from the statutory requirement to have employers’ liability insurance, which includes if the employees are certain specified close family members. The close family members’ exemption does not apply if the business is a limited company. However, the exemption does not preclude a close family member from pursuing a claim as an employee in the event of injury at work, so it may be in the best interests of the business not to take advantage of the exemption and purchase employers’ liability insurance for close family members. If the business is a partnership, employers’ liability insurance is not required for the partners and they will not be covered as employees unless the insurer has agreed to include cover for the partners.
How much does insurance for self employed plumbers cost?
The cost of insurance can vary greatly between insurers, but it does not necessarily follow that the more expensive policies provide better cover, with a good standard of public liability insurance starting at just a few hundred pounds. The cost increases with the number of insured persons, and the covers/limits required. Whilst insurance policies can look the same, and in fact the basic underlying policy wordings have very similar intent, the end products can be very different. Key issues to look out for any restrictions to working practices such as location, height, depth and heat work restrictions or exclusions, and cover restrictions such as restricted limits of indemnity and excesses. These restrictions and exclusions can be included by specific endorsements or contained in the main policy wording. As the protection given by the insurance may end up being key to the survival of a business, it worth spending time looking closely at a range of insurance offerings to ensure the most appropriate product is purchased, which may or may not be the cheapest.