We were recently asked to answer some questions specifically relating to insurance for electricians.

The questions along with our answers are detailed below.  If you have any of your own questions relating to electricians insurance please get in touch with us.

I’m a full time employee for a company so I know I’m covered under worker’s comp. Do I need personal insurance as well?

Most electricians on wages will assume that they have no need for personal insurance, but this is not the case.

Sick leave is great, but it’s going to run out after a matter of weeks, or maybe months if you’re lucky.  As for worker’s comp, it only provides limited protection.

Illness along with injuries suffered away from work can cause just as much financial hardship as workplace injuries, yet your worker’s comp will provide no assistance in these cases.

Only income protection will provide full protection for accidents both on and off site, as well as illness that keeps you off the tools.

I pay less than $7500 in annual wages. Should I fork out for worker’s comp anyway?

The rules for worker’s comp vary between the different states, but we’ll assume this question relates to NSW since a figure of $7,500 has been mentioned.

In NSW employers are not required to take out workers compensation if their annual wages bill is no greater than $7,500.

It’s important to consider what’s included in that $7,500 limit, especially in the building industry where the use of subcontractors is so common.

Payments made to some contractors may still be deemed as wages for the purposes of worker’s comp, even if the ATO doesn’t class them as employees.

If you employ an apprentice or trainee, you will be required to hold worker’s comp regardless of your wages bill.

I’m a sole trader. What should I look for in a personal accident and illness policy?

The cover provided under these policies can vary hugely from basic to comprehensive, but it can be difficult to tell the difference without doing hours of reading.

A proper income protection policy is going to give you the most comprehensive protection, and these are generally only available via financial advisers.

When it comes to tradies, there are two features in particular that we find are of great benefit.  These are commonly known as ‘specified injury benefit’ and ‘day 1 accident cover’.

Look out for any exclusions with regards to existing conditions, especially when it comes to your back.  This is a huge issue for tradies and can seriously impact a claim.

What’s the difference between accident and injury and income protection policy? Does it matter which one I have?

It’s easy to assume these two policies are somewhat similar, but in reality they are very different.

For starters, the accident and injury policy is not going to cover you for illness, whilst the income protection will.

Some electricians, especially the younger guys, might not be bothered by this, however a huge number of claims relate to illness rather than injury.

Another major difference is that an accident and injury policy will generally only pay benefits for up to five years, whilst income protection has the option to keep paying benefits all the way to age 65.

Which policy you have will make a huge difference when it comes to making a claim.

I run a business and employ five people. How much public liability should I have?

It’s a common question, but not necessarily one with a straightforward answer.

The amount of public liability you require generally has more to do with the projects you’re working on rather than the size of your team.

Your contracts will generally stipulate how much cover you require.  Many will stipulate at least $10 million, and if you’re working on shopping centres it will increase to $20 million.

Increasing your cover isn’t too expensive, and could be worthwhile for peace of mind.

For a typical electrician the price increase from $5m to $10m will be around 20%, and around 15% more again to go to $20m.  This is great value considering you’re doubling your cover each time.

If you have any questions about electricians insurance please contact us via the website or call us on 1800 808 800.

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