A guide to bricklayers’ insurance

A bricklayer’s trowel laying next to a completed wall

Whether you work alone as a bricklayer or own a business that employs others, it's likely that you'd benefit from taking out insurance. It’s important to understand what cover options are available, and what might suit your needs as a tradesperson.

After all, having appropriate cover not only helps to protect your finances, but it can also give you peace of mind.

In this guide, we outline some of the most popular types of financial cover for people in your line of work, and we answer the question of whether you need insurance as a bricklayer.  

Do bricklayers need insurance?  

Most types of insurance aren’t a legal requirement for bricklayers, meaning you’re not obliged to purchase them. There is one exception to this if you have people working for you - and that’s employers’ liability insurance. We’ll cover this in more detail later on.  

However, despite the majority of insurance policies being optional, there are certain types of cover that may be important for your business. After all, when you’re working as a bricklayer, accidents can happen and, if they do, you’ll want to be protected from the financial fallout. From damaging a customer’s property to your tools being stolen, many things can go wrong in your job.

There’s also a danger of you or one of your employees being injured at work. In your role, you might lay hundreds of bricks a day, and all the lifting, bending and twisting this involves can put you at risk of various strain injuries. There are also the hazards associated with working on building sites, dealing with potentially dangerous equipment and working at height, which can result in injuries ranging from cuts and fractured bones to head traumas.

The fact is, no matter how careful you are, you can’t completely eliminate the risks you face. Having suitable insurance in place means that, if the worst should happen, you won’t be left counting the cost.

Bricklayers’ insurance can include a number of different types of cover. We discuss some of the most important below.  

Bricklayers’ public liability insurance

As a bricklayer, you regularly deal with clients, members of the public and suppliers. As such, you could benefit from taking out public liability insurance. This type of cover is designed to protect you if a third party suffers property damage or injury because of the actions of your business.

For example, a member of the public might trip over a tool box you have left on the ground, suffering an injury as a result. Or you might accidentally drop a brick from height onto a client’s car, causing serious damage. In a case like these, you could end up facing expensive legal action and compensation claims. Public liability cover is there to protect you in such scenarios.

As well as helping to safeguard your finances, there are other reasons to consider getting public liability insurance. For instance, certain types of contracts might require you to have this cover, meaning that if you lack this insurance, you could miss out on business opportunities. Also, some trade associations and professional bodies require you to have this form of cover in place in order to register.

Bricklayers’ employers’ liability insurance

As mentioned earlier, the one type of insurance that is legally required for some bricklayers is employers’ liability cover. If your business is based in the UK and you have one or more workers, it’s highly likely that you’ll need employers’ liability insurance. There are a small number of exceptions to this. For example, if your employees are all direct family members and you are not incorporated as a limited company, you may be exempt. If you’re not sure whether or not you’re required to get this type of cover, you can contact the team at Markel Direct for information.

Employers’ liability cover protects you against compensation claims brought by workers if they become ill or are injured as a result of their job. For example, if one of your employees fell from a ladder and sustained serious injuries, employers’ liability insurance would cover your legal and compensation costs if they decided to sue you. Figures from the Health and Safety Executive show that there are close to 60,000 injuries among construction workers each year in the UK and 78,000 people in this industry suffer work-related ill health, highlighting the importance of this type of insurance.

The legal minimum level of cover is £5 million, but some businesses opt for more than this. It’s important to be aware that if you should have this type of insurance in place but you fail to purchase it, the Health and Safety Executive can fine you up to £2,500 a day.

Should bricklayers insure their tools?

As a bricklayer, you need certain tools to do your job. From hand tools like trowels and hammers, to power tools such as mortar mixers and drills, you might rely on many different pieces of equipment. If these items were to be stolen, lost or damaged, you could be left facing significant costs to repair or replace them. This is where tools insurance comes in. It covers you for these events.

Perhaps your equipment is stolen from your locked work van, or maybe there is a flood at the premises where you store your equipment, causing major damage. In instances like these, having tools insurance in place can be vital to protect your finances.

Bricklayers’ professional indemnity insurance

If you provide professional services for a fee as part of your role as a bricklayer, for example, you offer designs or advice, you might want to consider taking out professional indemnity insurance. This type of cover protects you if a client sues you over alleged mistakes in the services you have provided.

How much is bricklayers’ insurance?

The amount you pay for bricklayers’ insurance will depend on a number of factors, including the size of your business, the types of projects you work on, the tools you rely on, the level of cover you require and the number of workers you have, if any.

An easy way to find out how much you can expect to pay for this type of financial protection is to use our online quote form.

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