Price Comparison websites may seem like a good idea if you’re in a hurry to get insurance cover, but insurance is a complicated business and installers are being warned to take care and read the small print – to ensure they cover they have is adequate and relevant.
Inadequate cover puts contractors and the homeowners or developers who have hired them at risk if things go wrong.
There’s a wide range of insurance available for those in the building services sector and the cover that some of the types of policy provide often overlaps.
We thought it would be useful to run through some of the policies on offer, to help you pick your way through the small print:
Public Liability Insurance
Perhaps the most well-known, Public Liability insurance protects against injury or loss of life to a third party or damage to a property as a result of work undertaken at the site.
Premiums are based on the work being carried out, the size of the firm and their claims record. An indemnity limit of £5 million is average, but it can be much more.
Employer’s Liability Insurance
You can’t trade without this and it’s designed to protect your staff against injury at work as well as former employees against illness resulting from work whilst they were in your employment.
Product Liability Insurance
This covers you against claims for personal injury or damage to property relating to any products you’ve supplied.
Contract Works Insurance
A useful insurance that protects the work you’re undertaking. If there’s a fire, flood, storm or any vandalism or theft, during a project, Contracts Work Insurance will cover the cost of putting things right.
Contractors’ All Risk Insurance
CAR insurance is a non-standard insurance policy that provides cover for property damage and third-party injury or damage claims.
Damage to property covers things like improper construction, damage during renovations and damage to temporary works constructed on site.
Contractors’ Combined Insurance
This, as its name suggests, lumps together a range of individual insurances and covers you for Public Liability, starting at £1 million; Employer’s Liability, with cover starting at £10 million; Contractor’s All Risk (including Contract Works, Own Plant and Hired in Plant insurances) and Contract Works Insurance.
Legal Expenses Insurance
Covers the costs associated with compensation awards and employment disputes as well as compliance and tax investigations.
Tools and Equipment Insurance
To cover you against damage to, or the theft of your tools and equipment.
Professional Indemnity Insurance
Useful for those involved in design and construction, this insurance covers claims against professional negligence.
Personal Accident and Sickness Insurance
An insurance aimed at construction business owners; it protects against costs arising from the inability to work, due to illness or injury.
Business Interruption Insurance
This insurance covers costs and loss of incoming during periods you’re unable to operate, due to illness, injury or other causes beyond your control, for example fire, flooding or theft.
Joint Contracts Tribunal (JCT) Insurance
This is a complicated. An insurance taken out by the employer and the contractor that covers the reinstatement value of work that has been physically damaged during a period of work by one of the parties.
With different options to cover different types of building, we recommend that particular care – and even professional help – is sought in picking the correct one.
Construction is a potentially hazardous industry and accidents do happen.
Make sure you’re properly informed when you’re taking out cover and if you’re in doubt, seek professional advice from a broker.
Price comparison websites are tempting, but taking a short-cut isn’t the answer when there’s so much at stake.