Businesses that carry a high risk of accident or injury claims being made against them need to have insurance to provide financial protection. Scaffolding businesses fall into a high-risk category and therefore need to have adequate insurance in place. This is to protect against claims or liability from accidents or damage. Should any claims be brought, the company will be financially shielded from legal expenses, settlement fees, and medical costs.
Unlike standard or high street businesses, working on scaffolding presents a unique set of potential risks. Business operations are performed high above the ground, sometimes at extreme heights, and the risk of injury can be ever-present—dangers like tripping and falling while climbing ladders or working on scaffolding will need to be covered. There may also be an increased chance of injury or harm to third parties from falling debris or trip hazards.
As with most companies, some insurances must be carried to allow the business to perform its operations legally. In the case of scaffolding insurance, several different forms of coverage can be considered. While not all of them may be legally required, having some types of insurance just makes good business sense.
Insurance for scaffolders can include:
- Employer’s Liability Insurance
- Public Liability Insurance
- Tool and Equipment cover
- Commercial Vehicle Insurance
- Personal Accident Insurance
- And more
Working as a scaffolder requires tools, equipment, and vehicles to perform business services, leaving a high chance of theft or damage. Special insurance coverage is available to protect equipment and offer repair or replacement of items. A tool and equipment policy will provide coverage during the business day and protect from things like theft or damage that happen outside of normal working hours.
Owning to the dangerous nature of the business, many scaffolders choose to purchase personal injury insurance. This insurance provides coverage for medical fees and loss of earnings in the event of a serious or debilitating accident.
What insurance does a scaffolding business need?
To operate a scaffolding business, some insurances are a legal requirement, as in the case of employer’s liability insurance. If your business has at least one employee, then this insurance is required by law.
Employer’s liability insurance will provide coverage against claims made by employees against the company. Claims can be made for accidents or illnesses that happen due to negligence during the course of normal business operations. This form of liability insurance pays for medical appointments or treatment costs and covers the policyholder’s legal fees.
Most anyone who hires you will also insist on public liability insurance. It may be a condition of any contracts you sign and will especially be required where you erect scaffolding in any public areas or pathways.
Scaffolding companies often purchase other insurance that covers commercial vehicles to protect essential work transportation. Depending on the cover level, this insurance can cover the cost of repairing or replacing commercial vehicles in the event of theft or damage.
Scaffolders liability insurance
Public liability insurance is not required legally for any company in the UK. Still, the scaffolding business’s risk factor and nature mean it is sensible to have it in place. It shields from claims made against the company by a third-party for accidents, damages, or losses.
The policy typically covers repair or replacement, medical costs, and legal fees associated with the claim. Coverage stands whether the incident occurs on your business premises or at a client’s location.
Without public liability cover, there is no protection from third-party claims. If the business does not own a public liability insurance policy, then any claims made will be the business’s responsibility and owners. As claims can easily run into thousands of pounds, public liability protection, while not mandatory, is regarded as necessary.
Additionally, customers, other businesses, or government offices may require public liability insurance before a scaffolding company is allowed to perform work on their property. Minimum coverage limits will usually be specified, and proof of insurance will need to be provided. Verification of coverage can recur annually to ensure that the necessary insurance is still in place.
The average cost of scaffolder liability insurance
Public liability insurance policies are available with varying coverage limits. Most insurers offer policies that range from £1 million to £10 million and higher if needed. Several factors will influence the amount of insurance required by a business. In the case of scaffolding companies, premiums can be higher than for other businesses.
The average public liability insurance policy in the UK has an annual premium of £120. For companies that provide scaffolding services as their business, the amount can be much higher. Annual premiums will fall and rise with fluctuating coverage limits and excess amounts, as well as other factors. Still, the scaffolding business cost can easily be £700 – £800 per year—substantially more than the typical average.
This elevated premium reflects the higher level of risk that a scaffolding business is perceived to have. As the risk increases, the price increases, and insurers need to ensure that appropriate coverage levels are provided.