Why do plasterers need to think about public liability policies?
As you can doubtless vouch for, there is far more to plastering than meets the untrained eye. The skill sets you have amassed in order to become a self employer Plasterer or owner of your own firm are far more expert and specialised than simply smoothing a bit of plaster over a cracked wall.
Think about public liability cover as simple of analogy, it in terms of it being a plaster that can fill in potential financial threats to your business caused by accusations of negligence. In plastering, the risks of such accusations are multiple.
First off, consider the amount and types of people you come in to daily contact with whilst carrying out plastering work. If the bulk of your work is in the domestic sector, the very least you have to consider is your customers. If you are largely a commercial Plasterer, your customer base can be the entire workforce at an office or other business type. Of course, there are your own employees and Sub-Contractors. Jobs in both categories can also bring you in to direct or indirect contact with members of the public and suppliers.
Now consider the equipment and materials you work with and where you work with them. You and your team members use plaster and tools at heights. This simple daily scenario alone conjures up no end of potential risks posed to innocent bystanders. They might become victims of accidents that are not their fault if something falls on them, they trip over a wire or slip on your protective sheeting.
Plasterers additionally have enormous responsibility for property besides people. Plastering is both a functional and a decorative service. Botched plastering jobs can result in enormous amounts of inconvenience and additional expenses to your customers. So can the damage that plaster itself can do to their environments and possessions if it is not properly handled or spilled unintentionally.
Whilst plastering might seem like a seemingly harmless profession on the surface, you need to do more than pay a bit of lip service to liability insurance. You simply never know when the next accident or incident might take place and what it might cost you if you are uninsured.
What inclusions might plasterers need in liability policies?
There are many facets of public liability for you to take in to due consideration when looking at policies that will be right for your plastering business.
Insurers do recognise that different sectors have different insurance needs. As such, it might be a useful starting point for you to compile a ‘wish list’ of the essential policy components most pertinent to your particular circumstances. You can then think about other bolt-ons that might be incorporated in to your policy, for instance if you use commercial vehicles. Key considerations are highly likely to encompass:-
This is the only liability insurance you are legally required to have if you utilise any employees whatsoever to assist you with your plastering business. It includes full time staff, apprentices, casual labourers, part time administrative workers and sub-contractors, literally anyone carrying out duties under your company banner.
If any of them suffer damages or injuries deemed to be resultant of your negligence as their employer, they are equally as likely to surmount a claim against you as are members of the public and other third parties.
Whilst not legally required, it is a sensible measure for Plasterers to include it in their liability insurance. It offers you cover for any claims that your customers might instigate against you for property damages resulting from faulty, incorrect or sub-standard products you either sell or supply to them as part of your services.
A non-legal but integral element of your insurance cover, public liability offers you financial peace of mind against claims brought against you for accidents, damages and illnesses attributable to your plastering business by members of the public or other third parties.
Furthermore, a public liability policy is a must if you sub-contract your services to businesses, for example to Builders. You possibly work independently of their supervision when sub-contracting to them. You might also use your own equipment, materials and tools.
If so, they will generally require evidence that you are insured. This constitutes their own safety net to ensure that any proportionate blame for damages or injuries caused by you whilst working for them can be laid firmly at your door rather than theirs.
Financial protection offering you potential compensation payouts if you suffer damages, losses or thefts to your equipment and tools
Is public liability cover really beneficial to plasterers or simply scaremongering?
Liability insurance is genuinely beneficial to all businesses, none moreso than plastering businesses. You do not simply come in to contact by chance with potentially dangerous tools, materials and equipment – you use them regularly to fulfill the services you offer. Other peoples’ properties are your working environments. You risk causing unintentional accidents and damages daily.
Liability cover is not a scaremongering tactic. It is there for you, offering you what can be ‘sink or swim’ financial protection when something goes wrong. In the life of a professional Plasterer, you know how curveballs can arise.
On the one rare occasion when you may be in a rush and fail to adequately protect a customer’s property, you might spill wet plaster on a work surface in their brand new designer kitchen. This type of example is a relatively minor consideration, but one that would nonetheless hit you hard financially if you overlook appropriate cover.
Think about major considerations besides minor ones and their potential costs to your business. Your work involves protecting other peoples’ possessions and properties against physical damages. Do not forget to protect your business against financial ones.