Does Plumbers’ Insurance Cover Me If There Is An Accident On Site?
Caeva O'Callaghan | October 5th, 2021
There are many different insurance products on the market for plumbers and contractors. But will your plumbers insurance protect you against costs arising from accidents and injuries?
Yes. In fact, the main purpose of your plumbers’ insurance policy is to protect you in case a member of the public or one of your employees is injured while on-site.
If a member of the public injures themselves while on-site, the claim will fall under the public liability section of your plumbers’ insurance. If one of your employees or bona fide subcontractors injures themselves during the course of their work with you, the claim will fall under the employers’ liability section.
In this article, we’ll go over the following questions
- What is public liability insurance?
- Are my employees covered by my plumbers’ insurance?
- How can I manage on-site risks?
Even if you only employ people on a part-time or temporary basis, you should take out employer’s insurance to ensure they have protection in case they get hurt.
What is public liability insurance?
Public liability insurance is meant to protect your customers or any member of the public in the event that a claim should arise and you, as the plumber, are responsible.
For example, if you’re working in your client’s bathroom and accidentally smash a porcelain sink, your public liability insurance will cover the cost of the labour and materials involved in its replacement.
It also covers injuries that members of the public may suffer while on-site. If your client, or one of their visitors or loved ones, suffers illness or injury as a result of plumbing work in progress, your public liability insurance should cover associated costs. These could be loss of income while they heal, hospital costs and more.
As a tradesman, you really do need public liability insurance. If you don’t have it and an accident happens, you may find yourself having to pay out of pocket – and the consequences can be costly.
Are my employees covered by my plumbers’ insurance?
If you’re a plumber working as a contractor or subcontractor, you should make sure you have the right insurance to protect those you’re working with, as well as those you’re working for.
From an insurance point of view, you may have three types of people working for you:
- Employees who work with you permanently or part-time
- Labour-only’ subcontractors, who work under your supervision using your tools and materials
- ‘Bona fide’ subcontractors, who typically make their own decisions and use their own tools and materials
If you have any employees or labour-only subcontractors, you’re legally required to have employers’ liability insurance. This protects anyone who works for you against accidents, theft, and other workplace risks. When you get a quote, you will need to give your insurer a lot of information to make sure they have all the necessary details. Your insurer may not agree with your assessment of whether a subcontractor is labour-only or bona fide, so be as clear as you can. In most cases, you’ll need to check that any bona fide subcontractors also have their own public liability insurance
How can I manage on-site risks?
Kitchens and bathrooms with work in progress are a minefield of potential injuries, as well as damage to property. In order to keep your insurance claims valid, you should always make sure your working conditions are as safe as possible, for you and anyone else who might pass by.
Always use appropriate signage, and lots of it. Inform everyone that you can that a floor may be wet, that you are working on gas or if dust will be in the air. If you’re going to be doing dusty work, put down plenty of sheets and plastic over doorways to lessen the risk of debris spreading.
Always adhere to strict safety measures when working with power tools. Never leave them unattended, and be sure all your employees have proper training for the equipment they are using.
And of course, make sure you and your employees always wear safety gear including goggles, dust masks, sturdy boots and gloves whenever you are working.
Want to know more about public liability cover and employee cover on your plumbers’ insurance? Give us a call today and we can walk you through what’s involved.
All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.