When you’re a self-employed tradesman, do you need public liability insurance?

Written by Henry Young. Posted in Career & Jobs

Just about everyone will agree with the fact that being a self-employed tradesman is the best thing ever. You’re literally your own boss. This means that you work only when you want to. Not only do you work more flexibly, but also you can command a higher rate. The UK needs builders, plumbers, and electricians, so the last thing to worry about is that you’ll not find work. If you’re going self-employed for the very first time, you’ll have to inform the HMRC and select the appropriate business structure. Is that all? Actually, no. You’ll also need insurance and not just any insurance, but public liability insurance. There’s nothing more significant than having cover in place. If you are convinced that this is what you need, you might want to reconsider.

Understanding what public liability insurance is

It’s difficult to grasp the importance of Public Liability Insurance  without understanding what it is. For your knowledge, public liability insurance is a type of cover policy that is meant for professionals like yourself, in other words, tradesmen. The cover policy protects you if someone sues you, as the result of your business activities. You’d be tempted to think that people sue only for serious things, like personal injury or death. What you don’t understand is that people are willing to take you to court even fi the only thing you did was to unintentionally damage their home. You can’t afford to pay compensation and take care of legal costs, so it’s better to protect yourself against a possible eventuality.

No, public liability insurance isn’t a legal requirement

The thing is that it’s not compulsory to have this cover in place. Public liability insurance isn’t obligatory in the UK, despite the fact that it should be. So, why would you even need it? Because, as a tradesman, you always deal with members of the public. Regardless of whether you’re a builder or an electrician, your have contact with the public domain. What you need more than people skills is covering your back. What will you do if a client trips over a tool you’ve forgotten on the floor? Or if the work that you’ve done injures someone? The point is that you need some level of cover. It’s a must and you can’t go on without a cover policy. More info on this kind of protection for self-employed people can be found on the Internet.

Take public liability insurance

Until this point, it’s clear that you have to have guarantee of compensation. What you have to do is take out coverage with an insurance company that delivers services to small businesses and self-employed tradesmen. Arranging for guarantee of compensation should be done right away. The question now is if you should purchase from just about any insurer. The answer is a definite “No”.  You should be doing business only with a certified broker. You’ll be happy to hear that in the UK there are plenty of reliable and trustworthy insurance brokers. They help you when you need it and, most importantly, they delivered personalised solutions.  When in the market for public liability insurance follow these steps:

  1. Find an insurer. In order to find an insurer, do online research. If you type in “public liability insurance” in the search engine, you’ll get a great many results. But which one should you choose? Obviously, search engines list the very best brokers at the top of the page, so that’s where you should be looking. You should go with the first result. Or the second.
  2. Compare public liability insurance quotes. All insurers claim to offer the best deal. So, how do you know for sure if you’re really saving money? There’s a way to know if you’re provided a genuine opportunity: to compare public liability insurance quotes. Small businesses and self-employed tradesmen do it, so why shouldn’t you? After all, it’s your money.
  3. Choose a cover policy. This step should the easiest one, but it’s in fact the most difficult one. Why? Due to the fact that not all coverage policies guaranteeing your compensation are equal. Find a cover policy that meets your needs. Unlike other professionals, you carry a higher risk and, thus, require a high level of cover. The old adage “ You get what you paid for” is true, so don’t be tempted to acquire the least expensive policy.
  4. Submit the public liability insurance application. Last but not least, you’ve got to submit an application to the insurance company. Fill out of the application with real information. If you ever need to make a claim and the insurer discovers that you’ve lied, your cover policy will be cancelled.

The hidden benefit of public liability insurance

So, public liability insurance is necessary if you’re taking the self-employed route. The insurance policy provides you protection and, consequently, you can do your job. Wait, isn’t there something else? Yes, there is a benefit that not many people talk about. Having cover in place makes you look much more professional. That’s it, professionalism. While it seems almost impossible to stand out in the trades industry at present, it can be done. Even though personal liability insurance isn’t mandatory, it can help you stand out from the competition. What you can be sure of is the fact that clients will see you with different eyes.  We mean this in a positive way, not a negative one.

Taking into consideration that any effort to attract attention is worth it, what are you waiting for? individuals as well as private corporations are looking for people that they can trust and rely on. The reason for this is that they have had plenty of negative experiences and they’re not exactly willing to take their chances. Not that you aren’t reliable or trustworthy. Giving them your word isn’t enough anymore. You’ve got to provide some sort of guarantee. Prove the legitimacy of the business that you’ve started. It’s in your power to do so.