Trade Skills 4U’s quick guide on insurance for electrical contractors

When it comes to obtaining insurance for your business, it can be a minefield to find the right policy that suits your requirements. Getting the right insurance cover is important, it needs to cover you for essentials like public liability if you have unexpected accidents whilst working in your clients home.  It is always worth checking out specialist cover for electricians as this will often provide additional benefits such as tool cover, EICR/PAT testing cover and working at height. The key thing to make sure of is whether or not a policy provides sufficient cover for the needs of your business in the event of a claim.

What’s the difference between public liability and employers liability insurance?

Public Liability Insurance
The type of insurance cover you need will depend on your working arrangements.  If you are a sole trader working on your own then it is highly recommended that you have public liability insurance cover in place as this protects your business if property becomes damaged during the course of your work there or if you have an accident which requires you to take time off work to recover.  There are several levels of public liability insurance available up to £5M so you can be sure that you will be protected financially in the unlikely event of a serious incident occurring.  If you are thinking about not bothering with public liability, consider, for example, how you will meet the cost of potential property damage.

“The largest public liability claim to date within the NICEIC Insurance Services was £110k due to fire damage at a property where a contractor was working.  Think about how you would meet such a cost if this happened to you.”

Employers Liability Insurance
Employers liability cover is required if you employ other people in your business.  Employers liability is compulsory as it is your duty to protect the well-being and safety of those who you employ within your business.  Fines for not having employers liability cover in place are in excess of £2500 per day.  Employers liability insurance cover can protect you up to £10M in liability so you can have the peace of mind that you have sufficient cover in place.

“The largest employers liability claim to date through NICEIC Insurance Services was for £352k.  This claim was the result of a sub-contractor falling off a ladder.”

Optional Extra’s You Should Really Consider

Tools in Transit Cover
Before you purchase your insurance cover, it is worth checking over the optional extras.  It is all too easy to overlook them in favour of cheaper cover, however of claims made to date through NICEIC Insurance Services 29% have been for theft. 78% of these claims relate to theft of tools, particularly from a van.  Having tools stolen from a van is one of the biggest bug bears among electricians and it can be very costly to replace them if they are stolen, not to mention lost days when you cannot work. As such it is worth considering some optional tools in transit cover to your policy so you are covered should you have to deal with this.  

Fee for Intervention (FFI) Cover
It is worth comparing different policies to find out what you are actually covered for.  A more expensive policy may actually cover you for items which are optional extras in another quote.  If you hold your insurance with NICEIC Insurance Services, you will also be covered for “Fee for Intervention” (FFI). If your insurance doesn’t cover you for this currently you may like to read on.

Since 1st October 2012 HSE have been operating a Fee for Intervention (FFI) cost recovery scheme.  This scheme means that under the Health and Safety (Fees) Regulations 2012, those that break health and safety laws are liable for the recovery of HSE’s related costs including inspection, investigation and taking enforcement action.

At a cost of £124 per hour, this could prove to be very costly to electrical contractors who are involved in HSE disputes.

To help avoid this, NICEIC Insurance Services now provide limited cover up to £1000 as standard with their Public Liability Insurance.

Getting Covered
If you don’t currently have any insurance cover, Trade Skills 4 U recommends obtaining a quote today and get covered before you carry on working.  It is also a good selling point to your customers who are far more likely to use your services if they know you hold the appropriate insurance cover.

If you are currently covered, now is a good time to review your insurance to ensure it matches up to the statistics mentioned in this article.

Spending a little time now on perfecting your insurance cover can save you a lot of problems in the event of something going wrong.

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