Different businesses face different risks, and as a roofer you’ll encounter a variety of threats on a daily basis.
There are many aspects of your profession that your insurance policy should cover – in particular the heights at which you’re going to be operating and the fact that you may be working with heating tools.
If the nature of your work involves these two major risk factors, it is important to make sure your policy includes sufficient protection – as well as providing cover for other aspects of your business where you’re exposed to certain threats.
Different insurers have different restrictions and conditions when it comes to providing quotes, but a typical insurance policy for roofers should include the following forms of cover:
- Working at height:
Although all roofers work at heights, you may find that some insurers impose restrictions on the height you can work at, while others offer an unrestricted limit. Check your policy against your present and future business activities carefully to make sure you are fully covered for the heights you expect to work at.
- Working with heat:
Some roofers engage in heat work – such as using felt, asphalt and bitumen for roofing, and using soldering irons and welding materials. You’ll find that some insurers do not accept roofers who use heat, while some impose a heat limit and others offer cover for both hot and cold roofers. If you do work with heat, you should let your insurer know so they can ensure you’re properly covered.
As well as protecting your business against risks, the right cover can also prove important when it comes to securing customers – many may insist on seeing a copy of your insurance policy before agreeing to your services.
Whether you work on domestic or commercial properties, it is important to tailor your insurance package to your needs. Some of the typical policies you’ll also be offered as part of a roofers insurance package include:
- Public liability insurance:
Public liability insurance can protect your business against claims by members of the public – which includes your customers, visitors to your business premises and passers-by – that your business has caused them to suffer injury or illness, or caused damage to their property. This cover can provide financial assistance with the legal costs associated with defending against claims of this nature, and help to pay any compensation due.
You won’t need public liability insurance if you sub-contract your roofing services to other firms, as you should be covered by your employer’s insurance policy. On the other hand, if you use the services of self-employed roofers, you’ll need to make sure they have purchased adequate public liability insurance.
- Employers’ liability insurance:
If you employ staff or workers in any capacity, you are legally required to purchase employers’ liability insurance. This cover can provide financial assistance if you need to defend against claims from your employees that working for you has caused them to suffer illness or injury. It can also help to cover compensation costs following a successful claim.
While you will need to ensure all staff you employ are included in your policy, you are not obliged to purchase employers’ liability insurance if you only commission the services of self-employed contractors, who are expected to purchase their own insurance.
- Product liability insurance:
You may benefit from product liability insurance which can provide protection against claims from members of the public that the materials or products you have used for roofing have caused your customers to suffer illness or injury. This cover will also be relevant to you if you sell any products as part of your business.
- Professional indemnity insurance:
You may consider purchasing professional indemnity insurance, which can provide financial protection for professionals who offer a service or advice in their field of expertise. This cover can be useful if your advice, service or workmanship is accused of causing your customers material, physical or financial harm. For help comparing professional indemnity insurance, click the link.
- Buildings and contents insurance:
If you are based at a business premises or yard, you may benefit from buildings insurance, which can provide financial assistance if you need to repair the main structure of the building and its permanent fixtures and fittings after damage – whether accidental or malicious. Similarly, contents insurance can provide financial assistance if you need to repair or replace the contents associated with your business after damage, theft or loss. This can include furniture, computers, tools and electrical equipment.
- Tools insurance:
While contents insurance can provide cover for your tools and equipment, you may find it beneficial to purchase separate tools insurance. Tools insurance can provide financial protection for the tools of your trade in the event of theft, damage and loss. It can also include your building materials, stock and any industry-specific equipment. If you own or hire plant or machinery you may consider plant and machinery insurance which can specifically protect these large, specialist items against damage and theft.
If you regularly travel with your tools, equipment, materials and machinery, you may benefit from goods in transit insurance, which can provide protection for your items while they are being transported from site to site. You may also consider vehicle insurance, and if you use more than one vehicle you could purchase motor fleet insurance which can cover multiple vehicles under one policy.
- Contract works:
Contract works, or Contractors All Risks (CAR) insurance can provide protection for on-going works – that is, the building you are working on. This cover can provide financial assistance if something happens to the property or to the materials you’re working with, and you subsequently need to arrange extra labour to repair damages - or need money to replace materials.
- Cash on premises cover:
You may consider purchasing cash on premises cover, which can provide protection for your business money against theft and loss. Insurers also offer personal assault cover which can help with medical bills if you or an employee is injured during a theft or attempted theft.
- Business interruption insurance:
Business interruption insurance could prove useful if you find yourself unable to trade due to an insured incident. Whether this is the loss of tools due to theft or a lack of staff as a result of injury, business interruption insurance can provide financial assistance to cover the loss of revenue you may experience during this time and any increased costs of working – such as hiring new staff or obtaining replacement tools.
- Personal accident insurance:
Personal accident insurance can provide financial assistance to cover any loss of income you experience if you find yourself unable to work due to serious illness or injury. This cover can also provide assistance with medical costs and any subsequent adaptations you need to make to your home or business.
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