Is pubic liability cover necessary for joiners or a necessary evil?
As the business owner of a professional joinery firm, you are by no means on your own in looking upon liability insurance as a bit of a necessary evil.
You work long and hard for your money in a highly competitive sector. Putting this fact in to context, it becomes more necessary, and less evil, that you consider protecting what you have established and grown. In the world of business, such protection incorporates liability cover against any claims instigated against your outfit for damages and accidents.
Such claims can affect any type of business and ensue from a variety of different sources. There are two potential sources against whose potential future claims you need to think about financially safeguarding your business.
The first potential source is the innocent bystander, who could be a customer, a member of the public, a sub contractor or a supplier – any person who is not directly employed by your business. The second is a staff member – any person, with the exception of any of your immediate family members you might help you run your firm, who is employed by you in any capacity.
With your years of time served joinery experience under your belt, your attention hardly needs drawing to the amounts and types of accidents and incidents that can occur as you go about your daily joinery jobs. You might work for a mixture of both corporate and domestic customers who requirements take you to very different kinds of business premises and residential properties.
The mix of people you come in to contact with whilst carrying out their work consequently spans a broad spectrum of customer business employees, to private customers and visitors to their homes, to Joe Public.
Cases arise against joinery firms as results of minor or major accidents. They can result from something as seemingly innocent as someone taking a tumble over a plank of wood left on the ground or a wire of a power tool left trailing. At the more serious side of the scale, the amounts and natures of risks posed to any person coming in to contact with you or your team members carrying out joinery work are untold.
You know as well as and better than anyone else the risky business you are expert in, the powerful tools of your trade and the dangers that the wood you use can pose.
If anyone at all, either staff or non staff, suffers damages to their property and possessions or injuries to their person that can be pinned on your business, make no bones about it that they will probably try to do just that. It makes no difference that incidents are caused unintentionally as no one causes small or large upsets on purpose.
If and when notification of proceedings lands through your letterbox, you would not want to face the music alone and without the prospect of financial back up. Having public liability to fall back on equates to your peace of mind that amounts awarded to successful claimants against you, plus legal expenses, are duly covered.
What does typical joiners public liability cover look like?
On the whole, many joinery businesses have similar inclusions in their liability insurance, although naturally these can either be filtered out or expand depending on the specific sizes and natures of operations. When discussing your own liability cover with your Insurance Broker, you can typically expect the following aspects to be covered during the consultation:-
Employers liability is not an optional but a legal requirement if you employ anyone at all, in any capacity, to carry out work on behalf of your company. Considering in any capacity, this means casual, part time or sub contracted joiners or labourers who might help you out on sites. Also administrative assistants who tend to the office side of your business.
Employers liability is often universally fixed to cover up to £10 million worth of indemnity by way of payouts and legal expenses awarded to your team members who have their cases against you upheld.
Public liability is, in effect, the other half of the whole that goes hand in hand with Employers liability. It does exactly the same thing as Employers liability but covers you against claims made by non staff individuals. Indemnity levels of public liability cover are often set at £2 million, £5 million or £10 million. Your Insurance Broker will recommend the right level of cover for you after establishing an initial insight in to your business.
Equipment & Tools Insurance
Insurance of your tools of the trade is largely self explanatory and offers you the opportunity recoup your costs if you suffer unforeseen damages, losses or thefts. Other key aspects of liability insurance often focus on payouts on your behalf for claims made against you. Equipment & Tools Insurance centres around potential amounts paid to you.
Products Insurance is an important facet of liability cover for Tradesmen. It provides a safety net against potential claims brought against you by your customers for damages or accidents caused by the products you used to fulfill their requirements or consequently supplied to them.
Is there anything more to bear in mind before dotting the I’s and crossing the T’s?
The answer is undoubtedly a resounding yes – for any aspect of running a business, there is bound to be insurance to cover it. Other causes for concern that might be very relevant to your business include sub contractors, a single company vehicle or a fleet of company vehicles.
Whatever you decide to include in or exclude from your public liability policy, remember that it is there to ensure you are kept safe rather than sorry. Whilst Employers liability alone is legally obligatory, your key question is that of being penny wise yet pound foolish by being unprotected.