Whether you are a self-employed plumber with an ABN or your running a business and employinh others, specialist insurance protection is a must-have for any plumber. Plumbers who employ contractors need to buy employers liability insurance. This is a legal requirement in all states.
What kind of insurance should a plumber have?
Public liability insurance.
Public liability insurance may not be mandatory by law, but it is well worth having. It covers any financial liabilities that may arise as a consequence of your plumbing operations. For example, if a drain pipe leaks after one of your jobs and damage is caused to the property, the policy would cover an agreed amount of compensation to the customer.
Similarly, if a member of the public were injured as a result of your work, your insurance policy would cover any legal costs and compensation payments that arose.
Plumbers may be asked to show that they have public liabilare often asked what kind of insurance covarege thay hace, before being awarded a contract.
Employers liability insurance.
The law states that all employers are responsible for their employees health and safety while they are at work. If one of your employees is injured or falls to a sickness on the job, they might sue the employer for compensation. The obligatory insurance cover is there to cover the cost of any successful law suit claims.
What other insurance should a plumber have?
There are a range of covers available fo plumbers that can be bolted on to make a policy more tailored, but here are some of the most common:
Plumbers can obtain insurance cover for the tools of their trade, whether they are hand or power tools. The policy will usually provide for them to be replaced by new equivalents if they are stolen or damaged. You will probably be given the option to extend the insurance to cover any tools that are left in vehicles overnight, but you could find this adds significantly to the premium.
In addition to cover for work tools, you may need cover for office equipment such as computers. Again, it may be possible to extend cover so that items such as laptops and mobile phones are protected when away from the premises. The policy may stipulate that they are not left in a vehicle overnight. Buildings cover. This element of the plumbers insurance policy protects the firms premises against damage caused by fire, weather damage, flooding and similar perils.
You may need a separate commercial vehicle insurance policy to cover your van. If you have three or more vehicles you could possibly save money by taking out a motor fleet policy.
What if I am contracting or sub-contracting?
As a contractor, it is important to check the extent and scope of your potential liabilities and make sure have the adequate cover in place. You should also be aware of the situation regarding any sub-contractors that you use. They may need their own insurance.
If you work as a sub-contractor work on an unsupervised basis, you will need your own cover. If you are supervised, you should be covered by the main contractors policy.