Does Plumbers’ Insurance Cover Defective Workmanship?

Caeva O'Callaghan | December 1st, 2021


No matter if you’ve been in the trade for years, everyone makes mistakes. But will your plumbers’ insurance cover defective workmanship?

Yes. Third party property damage is covered under your plumbers’ insurance policy, along with other important types of cover you need to protect your business.

Defective or faulty workmanship is defined as application of poor practices that can render a structure unsafe or unsuitable for the purpose for which it was intended. Put simply, if you do something wrong, that’s poor workmanship.

In this article, we’ll cover the following:

Plumbing is a high-risk profession where dangerous tools and potentially noxious substances are often used. It’s easy to make mistakes, even if you’re experienced, so this is why you need comprehensive cover to protect you.

What insurance do plumbers need?

Plumbers need to have specialist insurance for their line of work. Having the necessary cover in place will allow them to work in others’ homes safely, and will cover the costs of unintentional damage or injuries.

The kind of work you undertake as a plumber in particular means you need different cover than, say, a painter would. You’ll be working on dangerous and vital parts of a home such as heating and sewage, which your client cannot afford to go wrong. You may also be working with gas, which requires totally different training and comes with higher risks.

If you add on extra cover, you can also get your tools and materials fully insured. Products liability will cover you in the event of a claim relating to parts and materials you install. Bought a faulty pipe? This is the policy you need if the pipes are damaged or wrong, and the job suffers delays as a result.

In the majority of cases, the insurance provider you have your policy with will pursue the manufacturers. As long as the part turns out to be defective, it wasn’t your own fault and you installed the materials correctly, the manufacturer will be liable.

Am I covered for public liability as a plumber?

Yes. Public liability insurance comes as standard with any plumbers’ policy. Public liability is a vital part of commercial insurance, as it protects your clients – or any member of the public – in the event that a claim should arise and you are responsible.

Plumbers’ all risks is a type of insurance which covers almost anything that could happen. All risks insurance includes cover for contract works, such as damage to the project being worked on, own plant, hired-in plant and employee’s tools.

For example, we had one client whose employee did not properly clamp two water pipes, which resulted in a massive leak later on. The resulting damage and claim was sizable, as there was a considerable amount of third party property damage.

There was also a public liability claim as the owner of the apartment slipped on the wet floor and injured themselves, adding to the cost of having to be rehoused during the property’s renovation.

Without the necessary insurance cover in place, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to cover such costs out of pocket.

What is plumbers’ professional indemnity insurance?

When you take out your plumbers’ insurance policy, your provider might also offer you additional cover such as professional indemnity insurance. It’s well worth taking out, especially if you are involved in the design process.

Professional indemnity covers your legal liability for the advice and design that you provide. Whereas other insurance covers what you do and use, professional indemnity covers what you say.

Tradesman’s insurance does not cover professional indemnity as standard, but it’s a cheap and simple section to add on to your policy if you need it. Many plumbers and tradesmen only rarely require professional indemnity cover since there is usually an architect, engineer etc overseeing the project.

Confused about plumbers’ insurance? No need to be – give us a call today, and we can help find the right policy for your business.

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