How does public liability cover particularly benefit roofing businesses?
Being a Roofer lands you at the very top end of the scale of Tradesmen who are likely to most benefit from having liability insurance. The type of work you undertake on a daily basis entails many of the dangers involved with other trades plus considerably more.
Resultantly, staff that you employ and anyone else you come in to contact with whilst carrying out your business are at a higher risk of having accidents and sustaining injuries. Resultantly, this places you at higher risk of claims being made against you.
Without labouring on doom and gloom, the risks facing your industry and those who cross paths with it range from minor property damages and personal injuries to utter catastrophes. First and foremost, people are your major concern.
This ethic is equally as applicable whether in reference to yourself, your customers, your employees, members of the public, your sub-contractors or your suppliers.
If anything should go wrong whilst you are physically carrying out your roofing work or as a result of your workmanship, chances are that the person who suffers an accident will seek financial compensation from you. You might be looking at something relatively low key, such as someone tripping over a ladder and sustaining a minor personal injury.
Mid scale damages and injuries could be caused as a result of your equipment and tools or indeed the dangerous materials with which you work, such as asphalt and bitumen.
In the disastrous category, there are many aspects of your roofing work that are realistically capable of causing fatalities, either to the people for whom you are directly responsible or innocent bystanders who have the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Similarly, the damages that Roofers have the potential to cause to properties are exhaustive in their amounts and natures. Careless, inadequate or simply unintentionally incorrect applications of roofing materials and techniques can cause expensive damage to your customers’ properties. In the most serious of cases, business or domestic residencies might be rendered uninhabitable.
If such damages can be traced back to your business, you will find yourself in serious trouble if you do not have adequate liability cover to help you shoulder the financial burden of compensation payouts and legal expenses.
What aspects of roofers public liability are obligatory or optional?
When discussing accidents, damages, injuries, illnesses and even deaths for which your roofing business might be held partially or solely responsible, it is easy to forget that a well thought out and structured public liability policy offers you a far broader range of protection.
Besides protection against claims brought against you, there are also optional elements of public liability cover offering you financial compensation for damages to or losses of your tools of the trade. So liability insurance is not to be thought of purely as a cautionary measure that unnecessarily sponges from your hard earned income.
The sole policy that you are legally obliged to take out is Employers Liability, from which you are only exempted if you operate as a one man band business. All other elements are optional. However, taking in to account the undeniable fact that roofing work entails numerous dangers, liability cover for Roofers is typically put together in the following way:-
You are obliged to have Employers Liability insurance if you employ anyone over and above yourself to carry out your company business. This is not only applicable if you have full time staff members. It is also applies to casual or part time staff and sub-contractors who work out in the field with you, not forgetting any office staff who deal with the administrative side of your business.
All have equal potential of suffering an accident, damages or illness whilst at work for which your negligence might be deemed a contributory factor.
You not obligated by law or any other body to take out a public liability policy, although credible Roofers generally see no sense in not having it. This core element of liability cover insures you against accidents and damages caused to anyone who is not directly responsible to you; those are covered by your Employers Liability.
Public liability primarily accounts for your customers or members of the public, plus any other ad hoc individuals whatsoever to whom your work might cause injuries.
Like public liability, products liability is optional but still considered essential by most Roofers. It covers you against potential damages claims from your customers as a result of materials or products sold or supplied to them by your business.
Tools & Equipment Insurance
Again non obligatory, inclusion of tools and equipment in your public liability policy offers you the welcome opportunity to make a financial claim for damages, destruction, losses or thefts, either from your own premises or elsewhere.
Are there any elements of liability cover that differ between roofing businesses?
Liability cover for Roofers is not offered on an ‘off the shelf’ basis, hence, a selection of policies are offered to suit the specifics of your business.
When applying for liability insurance you will need to clarify whether your business is cold roofing, such as slating or tiling, or hot roofing, including working with bitumen, asphalt and naked flames. This will be taken in to account when your indemnity levels are agreed upon – this means the upper limit of compensation that would be paid on your behalf for successful claims against you.
In the likelihood that you use a vehicle or vehicles for business purposes, you might improve your deal to cover this at the same time. Even though insurance for commercial vehicles or a fleet of vehicles is unrelated to public liability cover, it can be interlinked.
It is finally worth bearing in mind that if you sub-contract your roofing services to other firms, having public liability insurance can often make the difference between winning or losing lucrative work. If you work under your Contractors supervision, using their equipment and materials, it is not necessary, as you are covered by their insurance policy.
If, however, you work independently of their supervision and with your own equipment, materials and tools, Contractors largely require reassurance that any accidents and damages caused by you or yours remain fully attributable to your business and not theirs.