There are five or six types of insurance an electrician should consider buying to avoid financial disaster if an accident, injury or other peril occurs. While every electrician’s insurance policy is different and what works for someone else might not make sense for you, there are a few things to keep an eye out for. Here’s what you need to know about electrician insurance before buying a policy.
First, public liability makes up the foundation of the best electrician insurance policies – it’s the staple of a quality sparky, and most tradesmen wouldn’t feel comfortable operating without it. It’ll protect you if a customer, member of the public or other third party incurs damages or injury as a result of your work.
If you hire any staff, then employers’ liability is a must-have. It’s a legal requirement in the UK for any business that employs staff, and the penalties for not having a policy can be severe – up to £2,500 per day that someone works for you without coverage.
Next, professional indemnity insurance will help cover you if a customer believes your advice or service wasn’t up to standard. It’s especially important if you’re offering your knowledge/guidance to customers as part of your services, perhaps drawing up blueprints for them or recommending materials. This type of coverage is less common for handymen than public liability insurance.
Suppose you’re using your car or van to support your business. In that case, you’ll need to upgrade your vehicle coverage to business use (to insure driving to multiple places of work like client sites) or get a commercial policy (say, if you also want coverage for tools in your vehicle). It’ll help protect your vehicle from the additional risks that business driving can create, from driving in unfamiliar territory to spending long hours on the road each day.
The electrician’s insurance market is a competitive one, so there are a few things to look out for when selecting a provider, too. Make sure to check out their reviews on TrustPilot to see how other people found their services – take special notes of any comments regarding customer service or the claims handling process.
Price is another obvious factor, too – while you should never cheap out on coverage, it’s easy to shop around, so consider a few providers (or use an aggregator) when signing up. Finally, ask around – your fellow tradesmen might have good recommendations for quality providers (and some you might want to avoid!) so see what they’ve got to say.
Electrician public liability insurance
Public liability insurance for electricians is designed to protect you if a third-party is injured or has their property damaged as a result of your work. ‘Third-party’ is a fairly broad term, but includes:
- Other businesses you’re on-site with
- Members of the general public
Essentially, public liability will cover you if somebody who isn’t employed by you (if injured, they’d be covered by employers’ liability) incurs damages while you’re working.
Injury Example: While carrying tools to your van, you bump into a member of the public in a car park and cause them to fall. They injure their back, and can’t work for 4 weeks. They sue you to cover their lost wages.
Property Damage Example: While walking through a customer’s home, you knock over an expensive vase, which breaks. Your customer sues you to cover the cost of replacing the vase.
It’s often sold together with product liability – this will cover you if a product you’ve used (say a faulty plug socket) causes damages after your work is complete. These might make up part of your larger electrician insurance policy, which could also include employers’ liability, professional indemnity and tools coverage, amongst other things.
Electrician tool insurance
As an electrician, your tools and equipment allow you to do the best job you possibly can. It’s important to ask yourself what would happen if they were stolen, lost or damaged? If you’d struggle to find replacements or cover the unanticipated costs, tools insurance might make sense for you.
As the name suggests, it’ll cover the cost of replacing your tools if they’re stolen, lost or damaged. It’s important to note here that it won’t cover wear and tear or manufacturing defects (which your manufacturer’s guarantee should cover).
Tools coverage goes hand in hand with goods in transit, which covers your equipment while you’re transporting it from A to B. The two are often sold together (and you may find some providers even include goods in transit complementary with your tools insurance). If you’re looking to make sure your tools are covered at all times consider combining the two.
Electrician public liability cost
£2M worth of public liability insurance starts from around £90 per year for electricians, although you may find policies for less. £5M worth of coverage is only slightly more expensive, coming in around £130 annually – well worth the added expense if you work on expensive projects or high-value properties.
You’ll find your costs considerably more expensive if you opt for any additional extras (tools, personal accident, professional Indemnity) or if you hire any staff – adding just 1 employee can triple the cost of a well-rounded electrician’s policy, due to the extra cost of employers’ liability. At the same time, it might seem like an excessive additional cost, keep in mind that bringing someone onboard without it is illegal, so definitely not worth the risk.