Does Builders Insurance Cover Roofing?
Caeva O'Callaghan | April 28th, 2021
When word gets around that you’re handy, you may find yourself asked to do odd jobs you didn’t necessarily expect. But will your builders insurance cover you for working at increased heights?
You should probably check with your insurance provider first. There are different risks associated with roofing work than other building work which your insurance may not cover.
A quick phone call to your insurer will clear up the matter, and let you get on with the work or otherwise turn it down in a timely manner.
In this article, we’ll cover the following questions:
- Does builder’s insurance cover roofing?
- Do I need different insurance for roofing work?
- What working height does my builder’s insurance policy cover me at?
In most cases, a little bit of roofing work here and there will be absolutely fine. But roofing is a particularly dangerous area of building work which comes with many risks. Don’t be foolhardy: make sure you have adequate coverage before you set foot on a ladder.
Risks in roofing work
So a customer has asked you to fix a few slates, or replace them after a storm. This is a relatively simple job, if you know how. But it can also be particularly dangerous when such a great height is involved.
Before you say yes to a little extra cash, consider the extra perils you’ll be taking on. Falling from heights is actually the leading cause of death in construction work. As you can imagine, this may involve falling off the roof of the building altogether, but you need to bear in mind that falling through skylights or straight through fragile roofs are just as dangerous.
When you’re working on a sloping roof, you need to have scaffolding in place to prevent people, tools or materials falling from the edge. You must also fit edge protection to the eaves of any roof and on terraced properties to the rear as well as the front. Where work is of short duration (tasks measured in minutes), properly secured ladders to access the roof and proper roof ladders are sufficient.
Working on a flat roof? All you need is simple edge protection – such as a secure double guardrail and toeboard around the edge.
And do not ever trust any sheeted roof, whatever the material, to bear the weight of any person. (this includes the roof ridge and purlins). It simply won’t!
Roofing and builders insurance
In most cases you should already have coverage for small roofing projects with your building insurance, but you really should check with us first.
This is because most policies will cover you up to a height of 15m off the ground. If the roof you’ll be working on is any higher, you need to let your insurance know so they can protect you according to your needs. Working heights can be increased if necessary.
If you’re already working as a builder, you should have public liability insurance in place. This is essential no matter what the job you’re taking on. Your public liability insurance will protect you from any claims arising from any jobs you’re doing.
For example, you’re replacing some slates and you accidentally drop a heavy tool onto a car below, breaking the windscreen. The car owner then makes a compensation claim, blaming you for the damage. Your insurer will then pay out on your public liability policy instead of it coming directly from your pocket. As you can imagine, working on roofs significantly increases the risk of heavy tools falling from great heights.
Talk to our experts about any of your building insurance queries
If you find that you have a knack for repairing slates, or that you fancy a better view, and you want to move into work where the majority of your tasks involve height – fixing gutters, facings, roof work – then let us know.
Special insurance policies exist for this type of work which may suit your needs better, or turn out to be more cost-effective. Remember – buying a policy that doesn’t meet your needs or cover you completely is a waste of your money.
Pick up the phone today, and our builder’s insurance experts will be able to help you get insurance for any job, big or small.
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.