Most tradies and trade business owners know they need public liability insurance.

But knowing you need it, and knowing why you need it, are two different things!

So we’ve put together a top five on why you should be shelling out hundreds, or in some cases thousands, of dollars each year on public liability insurance.

1.  You damage someone’s property

When you’re working with power tools, moving building materials and just going about your work, there is always a risk that you’ll damage someone else’s property.

No matter how careful you are, the risk is still there.  We see it here at Trade Risk.  Tradies who haven’t had a claim for ten years, then one day a little slip ends up causing ten grand worth of damage.

Insurance Claim

Having public liability insurance in place means that you’ll only be paying a few hundred for your excess, rather than the full ten grand for the claim.

Things can get a lot worse too.  We’ve been told about a claim for an electrician (not one of our clients thankfully) that could climb into the millions.  Without public liability, such an event would easily bankrupt most businesses.

2. You injure someone

If you think damaging someone’s property could be costly, causing personal injury can take things to a whole new level financially.

Again you might think you are super diligent and careful in everything you do, and that you would never hurt another person whilst plying your trade.

But it can happen, and we see it happen to good tradies all the time.

One of our largest claims was for a flooring contractor.  There was an issue with some flooring installed in a restaurant, and a customer of the restaurant tripped and suffered serious injuries.

After months in court, the total damages awarded was over $300,000 and our client was found to be partially responsible.  Their portion was over $100,000 plus legal costs.

Thankfully they had the right public liability insurance in place and did not have to dip into their own pockets to pay the claim.

3. You need it for your licence

Depending on your trade and which states you operate in, you might need public liability insurance in order to obtain your licence.

Electricians and plumbers are the trades most affected by this.  Most Australian states will require evidence of public liability insurance before you’ll be able to get your licence.

Some states have even stricter rules, such as Queensland where Qld electrical contractors must have a special form of public liability before they can even apply for their licence.

4. You need it to get on site

Many builders and project managers are all too aware of the dangers on construction sites, and as a result they require that any trade entering their site must have public liability insurance.

This won’t apply to employees who will be covered by their employer’s insurance, but if you’re a subcontractor or otherwise self-employed, you’ll need to show evidence of holding the right insurance cover.

Even if you’re not working on a typical “site” you might still need cover.  For example if you’re doing work for real estate agents or property managers, they will generally need you to hold public liability before you’ll be able to enter any of their properties.

5. You care about your clients

The first four reasons are really all about you.  They’re about saving your bacon or allowing you to get the right licence or worksite access.

This last reason is more about your clients.  If you’re serious about your business, and serious about your clients, you should never work without the right insurance.

Why?  Think about this…  Say you doing some work for a client and a freak accident causes serious injury to your client.  Or maybe your client’s children.

They’re going to need money for their recovery, for their rehabilitation, to replace future earnings.  All sorts of things.

They could go through the court process and maybe a judge will award them $500,000 in costs.  Money which they need to continue their lives.

If you have insurance, it will pay out and that family can carry on life, whilst you can move on.

But if you don’t have insurance, and you don’t have a spare half-million, you’re going to end up bankrupt.  Than means you’re stuffed, and so are the family that suffered the injury.

So now on your conscience it’s not just the initial event, but also the fact that you’ve left the family in financial difficulty because you worked without the right insurance in place.

We can get you covered

Given that most single-person trade businesses can get $5 million cover for well under $500 a year, it’s simply crazy to work without public liability insurance.

At Trade Risk we insure over 3,500 trade businesses and would love to help you out too. For an instant quote on public liability insurance please click here or call our team on 1800 808 800.  We can get you covered quickly with no paperwork and a super-sharp price.

Tradies Need Public Liability Insurance