Does Plumbers’ Insurance Cover Me if I Damage Something On-Site?
Caeva O'Callaghan | March 7th, 2022
You need plumbers’ insurance before you work on other people’s homes – but will a typical plumbers’ policy cover you if you cause unintentional harm?
Yes – your policy will cover you for damage to property not owned by you but damaged by you on site.
This is called third party liability insurance, and it’s the minimum level of insurance you need to trade as a plumber in Ireland.
Read on to discover answers to these questions:
- What’s included with plumber’s insurance?
- Do I need public liability insurance?
- Will plumbers’ insurance cover equipment?
Before you start work as a tradesman, you need to have the necessary cover in place.
What’s included with plumber’s insurance?
Plumbers’ insurance protects their clients, members of the public and others they work with against risks.You may also be able to purchase insurance which protects you against accidents or injury, covers your tools and equipment, and covers business interruption if you get sick.
Plumbers’ insurance allows you to work in and on others’ homes safely, and will cover the costs of repairs if unintentional damage is done. This applies not only to their clients’ property, but anything else that could be damaged which belongs to someone else.
For example, say you’re working on a shower leak in an upstairs flat, and during the course of your work something goes wrong and water starts pouring into the flat underneath. Although you weren’t working on that property, having the right insurance in place will cover you for the damage.
Accidents like these are the number one reason plumbers need insurance. Without it, you may find it difficult to find clients willing to take a risk on an uninsured tradesman.
Do I need public liability insurance?
Yes. Any plumber worth their salt needs to purchase insurance before they take on work, and you will need public liability at a minimum. This will ensure others are protected while you work.
Public liability covers you for the risk of damage to other people’s property besides your own. It’s the most important part of plumbers’ insurance, as it protects your clients or any member of the public in the event that a claim should arise and you, as the plumber, are responsible.
Basically, this is exactly what you’ll need to claim against if you accidentally damage your client’s home or belongings while working on the site. Their public liability insurance will cover the cost of the labour and materials involved in repairs or replacements.
If you haven’t got public liability insurance and your customer’s or a neighbouring property suffers damage in the process, there is nowhere for repair money to come from except your own pocket. If you cannot pay, a messy legal struggle will probably ensue and your business will suffer.
Will plumbers’ insurance cover equipment?
If you have damaged your own tools or equipment on site during a job, your insurance will only cover you if you have this extra cover already added to your policy.
Contract works insurance or contractors’ all risks (CAR) insurance – not to be confused with insurance for your car – gives you protection if the project underway is flooded or destroyed by fire. However, it also covers damage to materials and equipment, including hired-in equipment. It’s a very useful add-on to have.
Products liability, meanwhile, will cover you in the event of a claim relating to parts and materials you install. So, if you’ve purchased a faulty shower unit and the job suffers delays as a result, this is the insurance you would claim on.
In these types of cases, your insurance provider 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.
Confused about plumbers’ insurance? Don’t worry – give our friendly experts a call today, and we can sort out the cover you need.
YOUR LOCAL TRADESMAN INSURANCE SPECIALISTS
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.