Painters Insurance

Most tradesmen looking for insurance are subcontractors, whose insurance needs are fairly straightforward.

But what if you’re running a more complex trade business, such as one that employs multiple staff or operates from a workshop or other premises?

In this case your needs will be more broad, and you’ll need to start looking a more comprehensive business insurance package.

Changing needs

A typical tradesman who works for himself will need three main forms of cover:

  • Public liability – to protect himself in the event that he causes property damage or personal injury
  • Tool insurance – to protect his tools in the event that they are stolen or damaged
  • Income protection – to protect his income in the event that he cannot work due to injury or illness

In this case we are talking a tradie who subcontracts to others on building and construction projects, maybe does a few small jobs of his own and has no need for a workshop of his own premises.

If you have taken the next step and any of the following apply to you, you will need a greater level of cover:

  • You are operating from your own workshop or other premises
  • You are employing additional tradesmen and other staff
  • You are taking responsibility for your own major projects
  • You are importing and/or storing your own materials
  • Anything else outside of general trade work

Any of these points will trigger additional insurance requirements. Of course there is no law saying you have to take out cover, but not doing so will leave you financially exposed.

We’ll now take a closer look at these points and what the insurance needs may be.

Note that we won’t be talking about public liability, tool insurance or income protection in this guide, as each of these policies are extensively covered elsewhere on our website.

Operating from a workshop

If you operate from your own workshop or any other kind of premises you’ll need to look at some form of property insurance.

For leased premises at a very minimum you will likely need Glass coverage included in your public liability policy, as most lease agreements list this is a mandatory requirement.

If you happen to own the workshop then you’ll need to insure the building itself.

Most likely your workshop will be filled with equipment and furniture, so you’ll need property insurance for these items as well.

Employing staff

Employing your own staff, as opposed to using subcontractors, will trigger the requirement for workers compensation.

Depending on which state you operate in you may have needed workers compensation as a sole director of your company anyway, but once you start employing staff you will require this insurance regardless of which state or territory your business in located in.

Workers comp (sometimes referred to as workcover) will protect your business and your staff in the event that they suffer an injury whilst at work or on the job.

Taking responsibility for your own major projects

If you are taking on your own projects, such as building spec homes, you’ll need to ensure those projects are protected against various forms of damage.

You can’t take out standard home insurance on a home which is not yet completed, but you can cover it via a contract works insurance.

Contract works insurance can either be taken out on a project specific basis if you are just doing a single project, or on an annual basis if you are taking on multiple projects each year.

Importing or storing goods

When taking the next step up from being a subbie, many tradesmen will start sourcing their own materials for their projects.

Increasingly many trade businesses are not just buying materials from local wholesalers, but are importing them directly from overseas, and in particular China.

If you are importing materials or even just having them transported locally you’ll need to look at transit insurance to ensure your goods are covered whilst in transit.

If you are then storing the materials, either at your own premises or in storage hire, you will also need to take out the appropriate insurance to cover them in those locations.

More information

As you can see, as your business starts to get more complex so do your insurance needs.

Your standard public liability and tool insurance package is great whilst working as a subcontractor and taking on small projects, but it’s not going to be good enough on its own for a more advanced trade business.

Although the Tradesman Insurance website only allows you to request online quotes for the basic range of products, we do have access to insurance brokers who can assist with all of the insurance types we have covered in this guide.

For more information or to obtain quotes and cover please get in contact with us.