Roofers are more likely to be in need of insurance than any other business. Public liability covers the possibility that you may damage the building you are working on. You should also insure your van or lorry. Make sure your sub-contractors also have public liability insurance. It is also important to declare to your insurance company any heat sources (such as a hot air gun or bitumen boiler). Some insurance companies even consider a soldering iron to be a heat source.
I apologize in advance for using technical terminology, but I will try to make them clear when they are.
Sub-contractors can be any other workers or businesses that assist you in your contract. Your insurance company will ask you to provide written evidence (such as a copy of their public responsibility insurance certificate) that you have seen the document.
This is because, in the event of an accident, your customer may file a claim against yourself and your insurances will seek to pass it on to the sub-contractor responsible. If they don’t have any insurance and you can’t prove they did, you could be held responsible for the entire amount.
Alternativly, you might be able obtain a duplicate of their public insurance certificate to confirm that the policy is valid. We have found that many businesses cancel their insurance within a few days of taking out their policy. In many cases, however, it may only been purchased to get their certificate. In order to get cheaper premiums, a growing number of people purchase their insurance through online comparison websites. Because they have made a false statement, their policy won’t pay any claims.
Sub-contractors are personally liable for the claims. However, unless the claimant can pay thousands (or even tens to thousands) of pounds it is unlikely that they will be compensated. In order for your insurers to consider paying the claim themselves, you will need a clause called “contingency liability” in your insurance policy.
Alternately, you may include a Sub-contractor under an insurance policy. These workers are called “labour-only” sub-contractors. They also have their own insurance and supply their own tools.
You must ensure that your “indemnity of principal” extension is in place if you subcontract to another contractor.
This is a quick checklist of items you should insure.
- Do you own your workshop or do you rent it? You need buildings insurance, if so.
- Add the cost of new equipment to your stock, and arrange workshop (or combined) contents coverage
- Are you a tenant and responsible for any items your landlord provides, such as shopfronts (including glass)? This can often be added to a workshop insurance policy.
- Tenant: Did you make any modifications to your workshop during your move in? Add tenants improvements to your salon policy if you have done any repairs, such as painting, building a counter, or writing on the glass. Your landlord won’t likely replace it if it is damaged by fire.
- Public liability coverage is essential for anyone visiting your workshop. Sometimes this is called “property owners liability”.
- Public liability will be required in the event that you cause damage to or harm to your customer’s property.
- Do you drive your motorcycle or car for work? Tell your insurers if you do. Your insurance company won’t provide satisfactory social domestic or pleasure coverage and commuting will only cover your driving between your home/workplace.
- Employers who employ employees or are not sole workers in a limited company will be subject to liability.
- Your van or lorry.
- Remember to take care of yourself! A personal accident or illness can result in you losing money. Although a personal sickness and accident policy is the simplest solution, your financial adviser may be able to offer more options.
These points should be considered when purchasing public liability insurance.
- Are you sure that all your work has been declared?
- Did you advise all your work places? There will always be work places that are not permitted (such as factories or nuclear power plants) and there will always be height restrictions (exclusions of buildings higher than 15 meters is quite common).
- Does the policy cover heat use? If heat is used and it’s not excluded, insurers will decline to pay a claim because you have falsely declared that you are obtaining the insurance.
- Does it include sub-contractors?
- Do you include “contingency liabilities” coverage?
- Is it inclusive of an “indemnity clause principal”?
- What is excess? Excesses up to 10,000 have been reported. If you cannot afford to spend this much money in the next few weeks, we recommend you look for a policy that has a lower excess. Keep in mind that claims involving heat often have a higher excess.
Responsible businessmen make sure that all insurance policies are in place when their business starts.
You only need to have motor insurance for your cars and employer’s liability insurance for any employees. Surprised to find out that even if you own a limited company, you may still need employer’s liability. Your partner might help you with paperwork, for instance.
At this point, I would recommend you to call a professional advisor and ask about insurance. Rather than searching the internet for information that may be of interest to you, you should pick up the phone.
You may also find that nearly nobody is willing to insure you if you heat.