Which insurance is important for locksmiths and why?

A locksmith fixing the locks on a door in a client's home.

Being a locksmith requires skill, dexterity, determination, patience, and sharp eyesight, all of which is usually underpinned by years of experience and ongoing training to ensure your skills can cope with the multitude of new security locks that enter the marketplace.

It can seem counterintuitive to train someone how to pick a lock, but a locksmith’s services are vital to many, especially if you provide emergency locksmith services. Some people are forgetful by their nature, whilst others are so busy that they do things without thinking, resulting in shutting their front door and leaving their keys in the house, leaving their keys at work, or in some instances, snapping the key in the locking mechanism.

Of course, the main service a locksmith provides is security to homes and businesses. From fitting advanced locking mechanisms to doors and windows, to replacing locks on premises that have been broken into, a locksmith’s services provide security, peace of mind, and can potentially reduce insurance premiums.

How do locksmiths find themselves peace of mind and security?

What are the potential risks a locksmith faces?

A locksmith’s work can be delicate and poses an immediate risk of damage to a door at a customer’s property, which can occur when removing an old locking mechanism and when fitting a new lock. Damage to property can result in a compensation claim from your client, even if the damage was caused accidentally.

Whilst placing a toolbox and other equipment and replacement mechanisms on the floor can create a hazard to your customer and to other members of the public.

Years of working at close quarters with small tools, grub screws, and fiddley mechanisms can result in repetitive strain injuries (RSI) or arthritis, especially to fingers, which could seriously curtail your ability as a locksmith to do your job properly.

Locksmiths may also suffer from impaired vision over time, due to working with such small items, which can require regular eye tests and spectacles. Other health hazards can come from manual handling risks and carrying heavy or awkwardly shaped items.

Increasing theft is another concern, not just for locksmiths but for all trades professionals. Your tools and equipment can cost a lot of money to replace, so if they were ever stolen you could face an expensive outlay to keep your business running smoothly. Break-ins to work vans is common as opportunists and organised criminals look to make quick money from the theft and sale of tools. This can also result in great expense if repair is required to your vehicle or if your work van is stolen.

How can locksmiths protect their livelihoods?

Business insurance is vital to minimise the potential disruption to any trades business, and locksmiths are no different. We look at some of the key insurance policies that offer protection to locksmiths and their customers.

Cover for your customers and their property – Any business that deals with customers face-to-face needs to hold public liability insurance (PL). Despite this form of insurance not being compulsory by law, it is widely regarded as one of the most important types of cover, because it protects both your business and your customers.

Accidents that cause injury or property damage, which can be expensive to rectify. PL insurance provides cover for legal fees in defending a claim and compensation awards to the claimant. So, if you do damage a customer’s door while fixing their lock, or if someone does trip over your tools, then at least you’ll know you are fully covered.

Looking after your own welfare – It goes without saying that if you’re self-employed and you’re unable to work through illness or injury, then that’s going to cause you a few problems.

Accidents, injuries and illnesses can occur in the course of any profession, but if you work in a manual profession and/or use sharp tools or other machinery, then you increase your risk of an accident.

Occupational personal accident insurance (OPA) will cover you if an injury or an illness sustained during your job stops you from working. The policy can pay out a lump sum or an ongoing payment to cover your loss of earnings, which could be vital as a self-employed trades professional.

Caring for your employees – If you employ staff (full-time or part-time) you are legally required to hold a minimum of £5 million of annual employers’ liability insurance cover. The policy safeguards your business against compensation claims made by employees – including ex-employees - if they are injured or become ill because of the work they do for you. Policy cover can include medical costs, legal costs, and loss of income, as well as other related damages.

Please note: it is an offence not to hold EL insurance if you employ staff and you can be fined £2,500 for each day you are not adequately insured. You must also display your EL insurance certificate and can be fined £1,000 if you do not display it or if you refuse to make it available to inspectors when they ask to see it.

Covering your premises and your equipment – Events such as a fire, flood, or a break-in, could result in thousands of pounds worth of damage. Our office insurance provides cover for you for these business risks.

We offer a range of covers, including buildings and contents insurance, business equipment cover and business interruption insurance, to comprehensively protect your property. Each policy can be tailored to meet your specific needs.

By ensuring you have the adequate cover in place, you can reduce the potential business risks to your locksmith company and benefit from peace of mind.

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