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Here at Trade Risk we are very proud to assist thousands of tradies every year with their insurance needs.

Not only is it a good thing for the tradie to be protected, but it’s also very important for their clients to have the ability to claim if they suffer a loss due to property damage or personal injury.

Whilst we and many other similar insurance brokers do our best to promote insurance to tradespeople, unfortunately there are still many out there who are putting Australian families at risk by working without insurance.

Isn’t insurance mandatory?

Surprisingly, for most tradespeople it is not mandatory to hold insurance that protects the general public in the event of personal injury or property damage.

There are certain trades such as electricians and plumbers who must hold public liability insurance, but the majority of trades have no requirements in place when it comes to insurance.

Many of the large building and construction companies have their own minimum insurance requirements for their tradespeople, but this does not apply to tradies working outside of the big worksites.

Our research

Over the last ten months we have been surveying tradies who request quotes from us, but subsequently choose not to take out any insurance.

The results of the survey, which was conducted during 2012 and 2013 and included over 240 respondents, revealed some startling results.

Of those tradies who chose not to take out any insurance at all, either through Trade Risk or anyone else, 28% of them did so because they believed they did not require insurance.

For over a quarter of respondents to believe that they don’t need insurance to protect their customers is definitely concerning, especially when the majority of people surveyed are either running their own businesses or subcontracting to others.

What is even more concerning is that all of the tradies had come to us at some stage for an insurance quote before deciding they didn’t need it.

Who knows how many more tradies are out there operating without insurance who never even bother to get a quote? We believe the number would be much higher.

A further 19% of tradesmen agreed that they needed insurance, but chose not to take out any cover due to the cost being too high.

We totally understand that costs are an issue for all business types, but when you consider that adequate insurance would cost around $40 per month for most of these tradies, there is just no excuse for putting clients at risk by working without insurance.

As for the remaining 53% of respondents who selected ‘other’ there were a range of manual responses given. Some of these were reasonable, whilst others were quite concerning.

One of the most concerning responses was from a tradesperson who believed their car insurance covered them for public liability.

Whilst car insurance does include public liability cover, this is only in relation to damage caused by the vehicle and provides absolutely no cover for a tradesperson’s business activities.

Overseas experience

Whilst we couldn’t find any local research on the effects that uninsured tradies are having on householders, we did find some information from the UK.

The oddly named insurance website confused.com reported that research conducted by Sainsbury’s showed up to 1 in 5 tradespeople operating in the UK are doing so without public liability insurance.

They also reported that up to 590 million pounds worth of damage is caused by uninsured tradespeople in the UK every year.

Half a billion pounds is an extraordinary amount of money, and it would be safe to assume that the vast majority of those costs must be met by the homeowners rather than the tradies who caused the damage.

Risks for homeowners

The risks for homeowners who use uninsured tradespeople are considerable.

Whilst a tradesperson will be financially liable for any property damage or personal injury they cause whilst working, without insurance it can be difficult for a homeowner to obtain any form of compensation.

Using the courts is one option for seeking compensation for the costs of repairs or medical expenses, however there is nothing to stop a tradesman from declaring bankruptcy in the face of a large claim against them.

What does the insurance cover?

The specific form of insurance we are talking about here is public liability, which is the most commonly held form of cover by tradies.

This insurance will cover the costs of a claim if a tradesperson’s work activities result in damage to your property or personal injury to you, your family members or guests in your home.

Defective or faulty workmanship is covered, but only the resulting property damage or injury. The costs associated with rectifying the defective work are not covered by public liability.

The costs covered by the insurance can include anything from repair or replacement of damaged property, through to medical, rehabilitation and other forms of compensation in the event of injury or death.

Is an uninsured tradie a bad tradie?

There is no research we know of that links being uninsured with performing work of a poor standard.

I personally have spoken with a handful of tradies over the years that take a huge amount of pride in their work, but refuse to take out insurance because they believe they will never need to claim.

These are generally the older and more experienced tradesmen, but as I say to them, things can go wrong no matter how skilled and careful you are.

One mistake on a job which puts someone in a wheelchair for the rest of their life will wipe out everything you’ve ever worked for if you don’t have insurance in place.

Whilst there is nothing to say that all uninsured tradies are bad tradies, it is probably a safe bet that most ‘bad’ tradies don’t bother with insurance.

Checking a tradie’s insurance

If you’re a homeowner looking to have work performed on your home by a tradesperson, it is absolutely vital to ensure they are properly insured.

Checking a tradesperson’s insurance is as simple as asking them for a copy of their certificate of currency and checking that the details match up.

Any good tradie will be more than happy to provide you with a copy, and if they refuse your request, then you need to seriously question whether or not you want this person working in your home.

Most good tradesmen will have the right insurance in place, and confirming their insurance coverage will give you peace of mind knowing that you and your family will be looked after financially if something goes wrong.

Tradies Love Trade Risk

In 2017 Trade Risk was awarded a Gold Trusted Service Award for the amazing service we offer to thousands of tradies from around Australia.

  • "The price was on point and the service was also great."
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Excellent customer service and easy payment options"
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "The team always helpful."
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "They were pleasant to deal with when I first took the policy out and I am happy with their service."
    Gary Rodney Latcham | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Easy to use, heaps of advance notice for when insurance is expiring. Great communication."
    Ricky Gan | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Price is great Some emails and returning my calls were non existent even after asking a second time I rang for different premiums with increased excesses, spoke to someone, received no reply, rang again and left message but was not rung back"
    Richard WIlliam Morris | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Pretty good .. jus t let us know the insurance is goin up if ur automatic do it"
    Ben Andrew Kerkham | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Everyone I spoke to was helpful friendly and informative. But the computer system was down so I was not able to apply online myself or pay immediately over the phone. But I cannot fault the staff who did all in their power to help make insurance simple and easy as possible. Thankyou!"
    James Cameron | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "TradeRisk just make it so easy with their online tools."
    Alister Andrew Campbell | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Easy to renew insurance"
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "My renewal quote was significantly less expensive than other companies could offer. The renewal process was simple and efficient. I've (thankfully) never needed to make a claim on a policy so cannot comment of the procedure here. I hope I never have to."
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Yes I would recommend them, very efficient and prompt."
    Alan Sharpe | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Quick and easy....Good value."
    G.a Turner & T.l Turner | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Great trade insurance A+"
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Very helpful good value and friendly would recommend"
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Good experience."
    KNR Services Pty Ltd | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Excellent service and nothing was a problem and a pleasure to talk to"
    | Tradesman Insurance |
  • "Great service and knowledge by the team, perfect for tradies wanting to get insurance cover knowing that its specialised for tradesmen."
    James Mott | Tradesman Insurance | Sydney
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