Tradesman insurance

Specialist insurance that protects against the risks in your trade from £7 a month*.

  • Fast, easy online quote in 90 seconds

  • Levels of cover to suit you

  • Pay by interest free direct debit

Our specialist tradesman insurance covers a range of risks facing electricians, builders, plasterers, painters and decorators, and many more trades.

Whether you're carrying out repairs in people's homes, doing building work on domestic properties or working on larger commercial projects, you can face many unique hazards as a tradesman. And as your work is often carried out in isolation and with little to no backup, it’s often up to you alone to manage risks and deal with the fallout when things go wrong.

Unfortunately, even with the utmost care and attention, things can go wrong. Tradesmen encounter a variety of risks to their own health and safety, including electric shocks, falls from height and fire. These hazards can also pose a threat to other people, including employees and clients. Then there’s the potential for property damage and tool theft. With all this in mind, having suitable tradesman insurance in place is crucial.

At Markel, we help tradespeople from all sectors to protect their finances with cost-effective insurance policies to suit their needs.

What is tradesman insurance?

Tradesman insurance is a type of business insurance that provides specialised cover for the risks that trades professionals typically face. It can include a variety of cover types, such as tradesman public liability insurance, employers’ liability protection and tool theft cover. Tradesman insurance is there to protect your finances by covering you against the legal costs and repercussions you might face if something goes wrong in the course of your work.

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Do I need tradesman insurance?

From a legal perspective, tradesmen are only required to have employers’ liability cover (if they have employees). However, this really is the bare minimum and many professional bodies and trade associations will demand that you have other insurance policies in place to become a member. Prospective clients may also refuse to hire you unless you have a public liability insurance policy. This means that not having suitable insurance could result in missed opportunities and lost business at the very least.

The consequences for neglecting to take out insurance could be more severe. The fact is, no matter how skilled and experienced you are, mistakes can be made. And in the trades, mistakes can be very costly to put right. For example, if a plumber incorrectly fitted a boiler and ended up causing carbon monoxide poisoning, they could face a professional negligence claim with hefty legal fees and compensation costs. Or if an electrician were to cause a fire by making an error when installing a heating system, they could be left with a bill for tens of thousands of pounds.

Could you afford to cover these costs out of your own pocket? If you couldn’t, then tradesman liability insurance is essential.

You should also consider the possibility of your tools and equipment being lost, stolen or damaged. Even if you’re very careful and take all the right steps to keep your tools safe, there’s always the possibility that you could be left without essential equipment. By insuring your tools from £12 a month**, you can enjoy peace of mind that you wouldn’t be left out of pocket if the worst happened.

Who needs tradesman insurance?

If you’re self-employed and you specialise in manual, skilled work in a particular field, you could benefit from tradesman insurance.

While the term ‘tradesman’ is often used to market this type of insurance, you certainly don’t have to be a man to take out this cover.

We provide specialist insurance to many different types of self-employed tradespeople, including:

Why choose Markel for tradesman insurance?

Here are a few of the many reasons why you can trust Markel when it comes to your tradesman insurance.

✔ Quick quotes
We don’t make you wait. Discover how much you can save on your insurance with a quote in as little as 90 seconds.

✔ No hidden fees
We believe in offering excellent value for money and we pride ourselves on our transparent pricing model. When you choose Markel, you’ll never have to worry about hidden fees.  

✔ 24/7 legal helpline
Get your questions answered any time with our legal advice helpline. Run by qualified solicitors, you can access this facility round the clock.

✔ Highly experienced
With more than 25 years of experience providing insurance to tradespeople, we are well placed to advise you on the best policies for you.  

✔ Highly rated
Our customer reviews speak for themselves. Check out what our customers have to say about us at

How to buy tradesman insurance

To buy tradesman insurance, simply fill out our quick and easy online quote form. Just answer a few questions about your trades business and we will tailor your cover to your needs and provide you with a personalised quote.

You can purchase your cover immediately or up to 30 days in advance.

How much does tradesman insurance cost?

The cost of tradesman insurance will depend on a variety of factors, including:

  • your trade
  • the risks you face
  • the size of your business
  • your business turnover
  • your claims history.

To find out how much you can expect to pay, simply fill out our quick quote form. With policies starting from £7 a month, you might be surprised by how much you could save when you choose Markel.

* Price based on a handyman requiring £1 million of public liability cover.
** Price based on a handyman requiring £1,000 of tools insurance cover on a 24 hour basis.

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Cover starting from £7 a month

Build a tradesman insurance policy to suit you

  • Public liability insurance

    Public liability insurance covers personal injury and property damage claims made against you by clients or other members of the public. We provide this protection with cover limits between £1 million and £5 million.

    Example of a claim:

    A handyman accidentally damages fixtures and fittings when rewiring ceiling lights in a domestic property. The client makes a compensation claim for property damage.

  • Employers' liability insurance

    Employers’ liability insurance provides financial protection to tradespeople with employees by covering the cost of compensating employees who become ill or injured as a result of their work. If you have staff, you’re legally obliged to have a minimum of £5 million of this insurance type in place. At Markel, our policies will cover you for up to £10 million.

    Example of a claim:

    A junior electrician is electrocuted while installing an intercom system at a business premises. He is left with severe injuries and sues his employer for compensation.

  • Tools insurance

    Tools insurance covers the cost of replacing or repairing tools or equipment that are lost, damaged or stolen. Our tools insurance cover limits range from £1,000 to £5,000.

    Example of a claim:

    A professional gardener’s commercial-grade lawn mower is stolen from their garage overnight. The gardener makes a portable equipment insurance claim to cover the costs of replacing the machine.

  • Occupational personal accident insurance

    Occupational personal accident insurance provides payment if you can’t earn a living because of an injury you sustain in the course of your work or on the way to or from your work. This cover provides weekly benefits or a cash lump sum.

  • Owned plant insurance

    Owned plant insurance cover the costs of repairing or replacing your own plant machinery. This can include cement mixers, generators, trailers, and more besides if it's damaged or stolen. Cover limits are available from £10,000 to £50,000.

  • Hired in plant insurance

    Hired in plant insurance cover the costs of repairing or replacing plant machinery.This can include forklifts, cherry pickers, concrete mixers and more, that you've hired from a third party, if they are damaged or stolen. Cover limits are available from £10,000 to £50,000.

  • Contract works insurance

    Contract works insurance covers the work you and your employees are completing on a construction site. If your work is affected by a flood or fire, or by theft or malicious damage, contract works insurance can cover the costs of repairing or redoing the work.

  • Goods in transit insurance

    Goods in transit insurance covers you financially against the loss or damage of goods while in transit from one location to another. This can be either goods transported in your own vehicle, or on your behalf by a third-party carrier.

  • Professional indemnity insurance

    Professional indemnity insurance provides financial protection for your trades business in the event that a client claims you’ve been negligent, made a mistake or offered poor advice. This form of cover can be particularly important if you’re paid to offer advice or designs.

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Cover starting from £7 a month

Frequently asked questions

  • Is business insurance a legal requirement for tradesmen?

    Employers’ liability insurance is the only legally required type of cover for tradesmen (for those who have employees). Other forms of insurance, such as public liability cover and tools protection, are not required by law but they can provide the financial protection your trades business may need to survive and prosper.

  • I need to arrange tradesmen insurance to start work. Do you provide proof of cover?

    Yes. If you purchase a policy with us, we will send you a ‘Confirmation of Liability Insurance’ document, which details the type of cover you’ve taken out. This can be used as evidence that you have the relevant insurance when arranging jobs.

  • What limit of cover should I choose?

    The limit of cover you choose may depend on the regulatory requirements of any industry bodies you’re a member of. Some clients may also require a certain level of cover before they agree to hire you.

    If you’re not affected by industry body or commercial requirements, consider the financial repercussions in worst-case scenarios to help you decide how much cover you will need.

  • How do I make a claim on my tradesman insurance?

    Making a claim on your tradesman insurance is simple when you choose Markel. Visit our claims page to discover how to make a claim and read about our award-winning claims service.

  • How are Markel regulated?

    Markel is regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and Prudential Regulation Authority. To find out more, see the Financial Services Register.

Access free legal services for your trades business when you arrange cover with Markel, including:

24 hour legal helpline 24/7 access to a legal advice helpline manned by qualified solicitors

Legal hub access Access legal templates and resources with the Markel Business Hub

 Receive discounted IR35 contract reviews with your policy

 Expert management of public relations crises with The Counsel House

Cover starting from £7 a month