Protecting your carpentry and joinery business
Any joiner will understand and appreciate the risks and responsibilities of working in this profession and the need for comprehensive insurance to protect you if something goes wrong. With so many covers to consider, it can be difficult to know what’s relevant to you and how the cover would work to protect you. By bringing to life some scenarios we hope to help you understand how the right insurance can protect you and your livelihood and give you peace of mind should something unexpected happen.
The key cover that should be included within your carpenter’s insurance is public liability as this protects clients and members of the public against injury and accidental damage to property caused by your business activities. For example, if you accidentally drilled through a pipe while fitting some kitchen cabinets, any damage caused as a result can be covered by your public liability insurance. Similarly if a customer tripped over your tools and injured themselves, any medical and legal expenses will typically be taken care of, as well as any compensation claims awarded.
While many joiners work alone or in partnership, some will employ full or part time staff or even labour only sub-contractors. Employers have a legal obligation to protect their staff against accidents at work; employers’ liability does exactly that. As careful as you may be, accidents do happen. With power tools and heavy lifting involved joinery may be considered risky business. Employers’ liability insurance can cover any legal costs and medical expenses as well as claims for compensation as a result of an employee injuring themselves at work due to your negligence. This cover is required by law even if your staff are working on a casual basis.
Personal accident cover
Considering the possibility of an employee or customer injuring themselves while you work is crucial; but how would you cope financially if you were unable to work following an accident at work? A simple fall or slip at work could leave you out of action. By including personal accident cover within your carpenters insurance, you can protect your income in case the worst happens and you’re unable to work. This cover would typically provide a weekly income to tide you over until you’re able to return to work.
Tool and contract works cover
So you’ve protected the people involved in your work and safeguarded your business financially against compensation awarded as a result of an accident. Next you should consider the tools you use on a daily basis and how you would cope if they were damaged or stolen. Depending on the nature of your work, you may use hand tools, power tools, or even larger plant and machinery to complete the job in hand. Tool cover and contract works cover can offer protection for the equipment you use as well as hired in plant and machinery to minimise disruption to your business should something happen. Tool cover is designed to protect a small amount of tools with limits typically offered up to a few thousand pounds, but sometimes this just isn’t enough. Contract works cover is generally more comprehensive than tool cover, and is offered by most insurers for those looking for higher levels of tool cover. It can include temporary buildings and hired in plant and is generally aimed at those undertaking larger contracts and projects.
The final consideration when buying your insurance is the need to protect against legal action that may be brought against you or in the event that you need to pursue legal action against someone else in relation to your business. Many insurers will typically include this cover as standard, so be sure to check and consider your options. Typically this will cover a number of defined events, including criminal prosecution, tax and VAT disputes and contract disputes as well.
Comprehensive joiners insurance
All of these covers can typically be combined to offer a comprehensive joiners insurance package that is tailored to your unique requirements. Our specialist insurance advisors can help you find the cover that’s right for you by offering professional insurance recommendations over the phone based on your requirements. Alternatively if you know what covers you need compare prices online from a panel of some of the UK’s leading insurers in a matter of minutes. Protect your business today, don’t risk jeopardising your livelihood.