Carpenters work regularly with members of the public, using tools and equipment that can pose risks to themselves, their customers and their employees.
Whether you work on domestic or commercial properties, purchasing a comprehensive carpenters insurance package can help to guard against the financial impact these risks can have if certain accidents or unfortunate events occur.
Typically, insurers offer a range of key policies alongside additional covers to help ensure your policy is suited to your business’s needs. Here’s a quick guide to some of these policies – and the circumstances in which they could prove necessary:
- Public liability insurance:
Public liability insurance is usually offered as standard with a carpenters insurance package and can provide protection against claims from members of the public that your work has caused them to suffer injury or illness – or has caused damage to their property. This policy can cover claims resulting from incidents occurring at your business premises and at the homes or businesses of your customers. If you employ staff who also work among members of the public, you’ll need to make sure your public liability insurance covers them as well.
Click the link to find more info on what public liability can cover.
- Employers’ liability insurance:
If you do employ staff – whether permanently or for seasonal work – you are legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. This cover can provide protection against claims from your employees that working for you has caused them to suffer injury or illness. Insurers usually offer cover for temporary employees separately, and may specify the amount of days they will be covered for (usually up to 100 days). Insurers may also place a limit on the number of employees that can be covered with one policy.
- Professional indemnity insurance:
You may be interested in purchasing professional indemnity (PI) insurance which can cover your business against claims that your services or advice has caused a customer to suffer physical, material or financial loss. You may find PI insurance useful if you advise customers, other builders or businesses on carrying out building or carpentry work. For a more comprehensive look at professional indemnity cover, click the link.
- Buildings and contents insurance:
If you own your business premises, you may consider purchasing buildings insurance and contents insurance. Buildings insurance can provide financial assistance if the main structure of your building and its permanent fixtures and fittings need repairing or replacing. Contents insurance can provide financial assistance if the contents at your business premises – such as furniture and equipment – are damaged, lost or stolen and need repairing or replacing. Contents insurance can include your business equipment but you can purchase separate business equipment insurance as well.
- Tools insurance:
As a carpenter, your tools are one of the most important aspects of your business. Tools insurance can prove to be essential to your carpenters insurance package and can provide financial reimbursement if you need to repair or replace the tools of your trade after theft, damage or loss. If you do purchase tools insurance, make sure you do not overestimate or underestimate the replacement value of your equipment. Insurers may offer extensions to cover tools and equipment at a separate storage location.
If you regularly transport your tools from site to site, goods in transit insurance can provide protection for your tools while being transported. It may also be worth purchasing vehicle insurance which can cover the vehicle you use for your business, and may provide financial assistance for a range of events – including accident, fire and theft.
Typically, tools insurance covers portable and hand-held tools and equipment. If you use fixed woodworking plant or machinery – whether they are your own machines or are hired – you may need to purchase separate plant and machinery insurance which can provide financial assistance to replace or repair larger tools and equipment.
- Contract works insurance:
Contract works insurance is also known as Contractors’ All-Risks (CAR) insurance and typically covers a wide range of eventualities. This cover can provide financial assistance if you accidentally cause damage to the property you are working on, and can potentially enable you to avoid having to pay extra to repair the damage to the property. It can also cover costs associated with replacing any tools or materials that have been destroyed, or hiring extra workers.
- Cash on premises cover:
You may consider cash on premises cover which can cover your business money in the case of theft or loss. Cash on premises cover can protect money at your business premises, while in transit and while stored in safes. Typically, insurers also offer personal assault cover which can provide financial assistance if you or an employee is injured during a theft or attempted theft.
- Business interruption insurance:
Business interruption insurance can provide financial assistance to cover the loss of income you may experience if you are unable to trade at full capacity due to events covered in your insurance policy. It can also pay for any additional costs of working, such as setting up at a temporary location or hiring replacement staff.
- Personal accident insurance:
Personal accident insurance can provide financial assistance if you are unable to work due to serious illness or injury. This cover typically provides compensation for any hospital bills, any modifications you need to make to your home, and any loss of income you experience during the time it takes you to recover. Personal accident insurance can be extended to include your employees.
You may find that some insurers will restrict cover depending on the heights and depths at which you work. They may also restrict the use of heat equipment and may only be willing to cover work at specific types of premises.
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