Insurance for scaffolders
Scaffolders are faced with a variety of unique risks associated with their trade, including having to work at various heights with equipment and building materials that are exposed to the elements.
These factors, combined with having to work in close proximity to members of the public, make it important to purchase specialist scaffolders insurance, whether you’re a tradesman with several employees or you work alone.
You’ll likely find that your insurer asks detailed questions about the nature of your business, as well as requesting a breakdown of the various heights at which you work, the type of premises in which you work, and whether hazardous locations (such as airports, railways and power plants) are involved.
Some insurers offer ‘unrestricted height limit’ in their policy, which can be useful if you regularly work at high locations. If your business’s operations are deemed particularly risky, you may face higher insurance premiums – especially if your work directly affects the public, which can include jobs like providing staging for public events.
The following are some types of policies that may be included in your scaffolders insurance package:
- Buildings and contents insurance:
If you work from a business premises or yard, you may benefit from buildings insurance, which can provide protection against risks such as damage and theft. Similarly, you may want to purchase contents insurance, which specifically protects the contents inside your premises. Contents insurance can provide financial assistance if you need to repair or replace your contents in the event of damage or theft.
- Professional indemnity insurance:
As a scaffolder, you provide a service to a client or employer. As they have placed their trust in your ability to provide that service, it can be costly if they claim your service or advice has caused them financial, material or physical damage. Professional indemnity insurance can provide the necessary finances needed to defend against, and provide compensation for, such a claim.
For more information, visit our professional indemnity insurance explained page.
- Public liability insurance:
Considered important for all trades, public liability insurance can help guard against claims from members of the public who have suffered illness or injury due to your business’s activities. This is particularly useful to cover your work on-site and at your clients’ premises, but can also cover clients visiting your business premises. If you are a member of the National Access and Scaffolding Confederation (NASC), you will be required to purchase public liability insurance to a minimum of £5 million, and employers’ liability cover to a minimum of £10 million.
Click the link to compare public liability insurance.
- Employers' liability insurance:
If you have employees as part of your scaffolding business, whether they are contractors or casual workers employed on a paid or unpaid basis, you are legally required to purchase employers' liability insurance. This can provide financial assistance if your staff fall ill or suffer injury as a result of working for you.
- Product liability cover:
If you manufacture scaffolding, you will need to comply with the NASC’s Code of Practice for the Hire, Sale and Use of System Scaffolds, which involves purchasing product liability insurance cover with a value of £2 million. This cover can help protect your business if you need to defend a claim that your product has caused injury or damage to people or their property.
- Contractors’ All-Risks (CAR) insurance:
Contractors’ All-Risks insurance is also called contract works insurance. This cover can provide the finances necessary for repairs if you’re responsible for causing any damage to the property you’re working on. Contractors’ all risks insurance is useful if you find yourself having to do two jobs for one payment – doing both the job you were hired to do, and any repairs after unexpected damage. An all-risks policy can also cover plant and machinery, and tools and temporary buildings, although you may want to purchase separate covers for these instead.
- Plant and machinery insurance:
If you own plant and machinery that you use in your scaffolding business, it may be worthwhile purchasing plant and machinery insurance which can provide financial assistance should anything happen to your equipment while you are on a job. If you hire plant and machinery, it can be useful to purchase insurance to protect the equipment while it’s your responsibility.
- Tools and equipment insurance:
If tools and equipment are a crucial part of your business, it is important to ensure they are protected against risks such as damage, loss and theft. Tools insurance can provide the financial assistance needed to quickly repair or replace your tools. While the level of tools insurance cover available varies, it’s likely to offer protection for your hand-tools, power-tools and other equipment. Tools insurance may also extend to cover tools in storage and while in transit. You may consider purchasing theft cover to protect your tools and equipment against theft. It is important to make sure you do not underinsure or over-insure your tools and equipment – it may help to keep receipts so you can work out the value of your business items.
- Van insurance:
If you regularly use a van for your business, van insurance can help cover risks such as damage, theft, loss and road accidents. If your business involves a fleet of vehicles, fleet insurance can be helpful in covering your vehicles under one policy.
- Business interruption insurance:
If you are unable to trade due to an insured event, business interruption insurance can provide financial assistance to cover the loss of income you experience as a result. In a similar vein, personal accident insurance can prove helpful if you find yourself unable to work due to an accident that causes serious illness or injury.
- Indemnity to principals insurance:
Contractors may find their clients require them to include an indemnity to principals policy. This cover can provide protection for the client in the event the contractor is negligent, and a claim is made against the client as a result. You can purchase indemnity to principals insurance separately, or add it to your professional indemnity policy. If you choose the latter, the policy will regard claims made against your client as if the claim was made against yourself.