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Could I Be Sued If I Don’t Have Tradesmen’s Insurance?

Caeva O'Callaghan | November 18th, 2021


What are the risks of not having tradesman insurance

Getting insured should be one of your first priorities when setting up a business. But if you don’t have it, can you still be taken to court?

Yes. You may be prosecuted as a result of not having tradesmen’s insurance if things go very wrong.

Your insurance company will help defend you if you are taken to court, as well as paying compensation and charges if you are found liable.

Read on to discover answers to the following:

  • Is it a legal requirement to have tradesman’s insurance?
  • How does tradesman’s insurance help if I am sued?
  • What happens if I don’t have tradesman’s insurance?

Having the correct insurance will mean that you and your business is protected in the event that legal action is taken against you. Without it, things could get very expensive, and very messy.

Is it a legal requirement to have tradesman’s insurance?

Technically speaking, no. But you won’t get very far – and you could end up in very hot water – without it.

You can help to fix your friend’s roof, put down a floor, do some basic plumbing or even electrical wiring, all without insurance. It goes without saying that you need to know what you’re doing before you begin, and adhere to strict safety guidelines.

However, you would be doing all of this at your own risk. If anyone was hurt, or their possessions or home damaged through the process, you would be liable, and you would have to pay for associated costs.

In order to be considered a reputable tradesman with an upstanding business, having full insurance is non negotiable.This will allow you to work in others’ homes and properties safely, and will cover the costs of repairs and injuries.

Building is dangerous work, which is why it’s so important to be fully insured. If you are not, you’ll find it difficult to find clients willing to take a risk on an uninsured tradesman. And, if things go wrong, you could find yourself disastrously out of pocket.

How does tradesman’s insurance help if I am sued?

Your insurance company will defend you as well as paying any compensation that is awarded in the event that you are found liable in court.

Having public or employers’ liability will not impact on your likelihood of being sued, so it’s always worth having this cover in place before you need it.

Of course, the best way forward is to avoid court if you can. It may be worth taking a relatively small hit if you can fix the mistake or admit you were at fault and repair what’s gone wrong.

But if you are adamant that you should fight your case, you should always have full tradesman’s insurance in your corner. Bear in mind, it may make financial sense to settle, even if you believe the claimant has a weak case.

If you win, you are unlikely to recoup all your costs. If you lose, you may have to pay most or all of the claimant’s costs, as well as your own.

Insurance will help cover your costs, but may not pay for everything. Consult your policy documents to make sure you understand what you might need to pay for.

What happens if I don’t have tradesman’s insurance?

If you don’t have insurance, the likelihood that you lose your case is significantly higher. Any tradesman without insurance is going to be seen as taking risks while operating, which is never a good look.

Obviously, this may lead to a criminal conviction, and you may be banned from trading for a specific number of years, depending on what happened.

But if you don’t have insurance, the next biggest impact this will have is that you’ll have to pay for your time in court, including all defence costs and expenses, as well as that for the other party if you lose.

Getting basic tradesman’s insurance and covering yourself for public liability at a minimum is a very cheap business expense. It’s not worth cutting this relatively minor corner, as it can turn into a huge obstacle down the road if the unexpected were to happen.

We can get you competitive quotes on your business insurance. Call us today to find out more.

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YOUR LOCAL TRADESMAN INSURANCE SPECIALISTS

JEAN MARC ROLLAND

NAVAN

RACHEL DIXON

DUNDALK

LINDA WEST

MONAGHAN

All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.