Why plumbers need tradesman insurance. A guide to plumber insurance

A plumber in a customer's home fixing a sink.

Plumbers face numerous risks when they undertake each job, some of which are not obvious when they quote for the work and only become apparent when they start the job.

Regardless of this, the individual plumber, or the plumbing company, are liable for any injuries or damages that occurs.

Working with water can be risky as it can cause considerable damage to property as well as posing an accidental slip and fall risk to members of the public.

This is why plumbers public liability insurance is vital for ensuring each plumbing project is successful, including protecting the income earned from the job and safeguarding your customer’s premises should anything go wrong.

We take a look at the potential risks that plumbers face daily and how certain types of insurance can help in our concise guide to plumber’s insurance.

Meeting the requirements of the project and the main contractor

Many self-employed tradespeople work on-site for general contractors, as well as undertaking their own projects. As a self-employed plumber you may be drafted-in to fit a bathroom, or you could be contracted to work on a larger housing development for multiple homes.

The main contractor will typically have a list of required insurance policies that you must carry before you can start work on-site. These will typically include plumbers public liability insurance as a minimum, plus professional indemnity insurance in certain cases.

The larger the site, the more important it is to carry the correct level of cover. Some organisations will also require you to be accredited with the regulatory body for your profession.

On-site risks can be mitigated with liabilities cover

The most obvious risk is what could potentially go wrong on-site. Plumbing entails cutting pipes, digging trenches to fit water pipes, welding pipes, and potentially soldering, lifting and carrying heavy items such as pipes and boiler units. Add to this gas when fitting boilers and the risks that come with that, including fire and potential explosions, and the role and tasks of a plumber begins to take on a whole new meaning, especially to the lay-person.

Excavations, welding and cutting can potentially cause injuries, to the plumber and passers-by, plus damage to property. These risks are why public liability insurance is arguably viewed as the most important form of cover for plumbers.

Many self-employed plumbers work on their own, but those who employ staff, include apprentices, need to carry Employers’ Liability insurance by law, with a with a minimum of £5 million of cover.

Negligent work and mistakes

As mentioned earlier, water can cause significant damage to property and household items which can cost as lot of money to repair or replace.

If a pipe needs to be capped-off or welded but the finish applied isn’t 100% watertight, then you could be held responsible for the cost of any damage caused should that pipe burst.

Mistakes occur, especially where there is human intervention, that’s why professional indemnity insurance is so important to ensure your business is protected. You can find yourself on the receiving end of a negligence claim even if you feel you have done nothing wrong.

Plumbing product failure

A potential failure in plumbing work can lead to extensive damage to property and potentially to the health of members of the public. Product failure can take many forms and isn’t just down to the product itself, it can be how the product is installed too.

The installation of pipework can be prone to errors such as damage to pipes or gaps left in joints, both of which could cause leaks over time. Water leaks can lead to destructive issues including potential ground subsidence and contamination of drinking water. Worse still is the potential for sewage leakage, which could cause serious health issues that require medical treatment and/or veterinarian treatment to pets who may fall ill.

Incorrect plumbing and heating advice

Plumbing advice is sought by both customers and property developers when designing and redesigning homes and extensions. Whether you charge for your advice or provide it for free, any advice that you give could result in a negligence claim against you if that advice is proven to be flawed and causes a financial loss.

In an instance such as this, professional indemnity insurance will respond to cover your legal defence fees in the event of a claim being made against you. If the claim is upheld, in many cases professional indemnity insurance will cover the compensation awarded to the claimant.

Personal injury or illness sustained while working

Cutting, welding, gas, flames, digging, lifting… these are all in a day’s work for a plumber, yet each one of these activities can cause a personal injury, some of which could be more serious than others. Plumbers also face hidden dangers in their jobs which can include potential sewage leaks, which could lead to health issues that might lead to hospitalisation.

Occupational personal accident insurance offers cover for certain work-related injuries and illnesses sustained during the course of your work which stop you working and impact your earning potential, your business, and your lifestyle.

Cover for your tools and your van

With tool theft being so common, it pays to have your tools insured. According to research by Powertools2U, the average tool theft claim in the UK is now estimated at £1,692.

Tools insurance could save you a lot of money, eliminate stress and help you get back to work quicker. Tools insurance can also cover you if your tools are lost or damaged.

Our tradesman insurance offers tools insurance protection starting from £1,000 up to £5,000. In the event of a claim being made, the policy will pay you the amount of to replace your lost equipment.

3 tips to help you to easily identify what has been taken:

• Keep all your tool receipts in case you have to make a claim.
• Keep a log of all the tools you have in your van.
• Note down the serial number of each item where possible.

Plumbers insurance is designed to protect you against the unexpected. If something goes wrong during a project, working with electricity can make the consequences of a mistake very serious or even fatal. Our insurance policies can be tailored to protect your business against a wide range of scenarios, including the legal fees and compensation awards that are involved with a claim.

Click here for a quick online quote for your plumbers liability insurance.

Or call 0333 242 9053 to speak to one of our team.

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