A guide to trades insurance. What you need to know to get on-site.

07 Jul 2023

Every day, tradies look danger and risks straight in the eye. Because whether you’re an electrician or a plumber, a carpenter or a builder, or any other type of tradie, you’re often only a moment away from a potentially hazardous situation.

Would you get up on the roof of a three-storey building to replace tiles without scaffolding? Would you do electrical work without turning the power off at the switchboard, or give a customer’s house a coat of paint without putting down drop sheets?

Not. A. Chance.

But when it comes to getting an insurance safety net in place to look after you, your business and your career, some tradies are a bit reluctant.

Maybe a bit overconfident too. ‘It’ll be right, it’ll never happen to me!’

Unfortunately, that won’t wash with your partner and family when you’ve had your tools or vehicle stolen or have suffered an injury or illness that’s laid you up for a while. Or you’ve got a claim against you for a significant amount by a member of the public who was injured on your job.

It’s definitely a case of better safe than sorry here – so check out the must-have insurances for tradies.

It’ll help you sleep better. We promise.

What insurance cover does a tradie need?

Public liability insurance

There’s so much that could go wrong on a job, so it’s important to make sure you’re covered. Public liability essentially covers other people and their property – so, if they trip over a cable and break their leg, your drill accidentally goes through a water pipe, a tin of paint spills over a new, very expensive rug, or any of the other countless things that could go wrong when you’re on-site, you’re covered.

Just keep in mind, however, that public liability only covers other people – not you or your employees, and won’t cover damage to your own goods either.

This one’s usually needed to get your licence in the first place or access a site – but regardless of whether it’s mandatory or not, it’s just smart to have public liability.

Personal injury/accident and illness

This one, however, is often one tradies overlook, unless it’s a mandatory requirement for entering a work site. If you are working without it, it’s a pretty big thing to overlook because you’re effectively banking on not getting seriously ill, or seriously injured.

Personal accident and illness insurance will cover you if you’re unable to work for a significant period of time. As a self-employed tradie, is it really worth the risk? 

Tools insurance

It goes without saying that without your tools, the job can be a bit of a struggle. And the value of those tools is pretty significant. Tradies tool insurance may provide coverage for your tools if they’re stolen, lost in an accident or vandalised – and with Tradesure, you can get full ‘new for old’ replacement value for your tools, too.

Just keep in mind, however, that public liability only covers other people – not you or your employees, and won’t cover damage to your own goods either.

Trailer and vehicle cover 

Your trailer’s most likely an essential part of your operation – storing and carrying your tools from site to site, job to job. But if your trailer gets stolen or is damaged in an accident, it would cause a serious issue. Your vehicle insurance may cover your trailer if it’s stolen or damaged while it’s attached to your vehicle – but only up to a certain amount, and if it’s not attached to your vehicle at the time, you may not be covered at all. Trailer insurance means your trailer’s covered, whether it’s attached to your vehicle or not.

Here at Tradesure, we can also help fix you up with vehicle cover too.

Contract works

This one can cover any building work for loss or damage during construction – from theft or malicious damage to natural weather events or disasters. Just as you need building insurance for a completed building, you need contract works insurance for anything that’s in the process of being built.

The importance of valuations

Getting accurate valuations for your tools is essential – it’s surprising how much you accumulate over the years, and if your tools were all stolen, the cost to replace them could be astronomical without the correct cover in place. Just remember that anything worth more than $2000 will have to be individually listed on your tools insurance policy – and make sure you’ve got a list of your tools written down somewhere too.

Managing the price of premiums – don’t fall into the trap of cutting back on your insurance!

It can be easy to look at insurance and think ‘get rid’. After all, it’s one of the only things we ever buy that we don’t want to use. But that’s the point – it provides security, safety and reassurance – and can give you the confidence that, whatever happens, you’re covered.

If you want to save money – and let’s face it, who doesn’t? – then speak to us here at Tradesure to make sure you’re covered only for what you need, and your policy is structured in the right way.

We can do a few things, including increasing excesses (the contribution you make to a claim), packaging your policies, and ensuring you’re only covered for what you need, to help keep your insurance cover affordable while making sure you have the right protection in place.

The importance of working with specialists 

While you can get an insurance policy from any number of general insurers, it’s smart to work with people who understand your industry, know your risks and speak your language. By buying from a specialist, you’re getting a solution that's been developed to cater for your risks based on years of experience in your industry, rather than a generic solution.

And when you need to make a claim, you can rest assured our dedicated team will handle that quickly and expertly – meaning you can get on with your day.

Get advice from a trades insurance professional

Get advice from a trades insurance pro by calling 1800 872 331, send us an enquiry, or get a free, no-obligation quote for your liability online today.

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