Business insurance for roofing contractors.

Being up on roofs all day is risky business, so it’s vital to have the right protection in place.

We’ve been helping roofing contractors for over a decade, and have put together our ultimate guide on roofers insurance.

If you’re just after a quote of advice, please call us on 1800 808 800 or hit the button below.

In this guide we’ll look at the different types of business insurance for roofers, what they cover and which ones you might need.

If you have any questions please contact our friendly team of experts on 1800 808 800.

What is roofers insurance?

Whilst there is no one specific policy called “roofers insurance”, the term is generally used to describe the different types of insurance available to roofing contractors.

Which policies you need for your roofing business will depend on a number of factors that we will cover off below.

Essentially, roofers insurance is just a blanket term for any forms of business insurance that a roofing business may require.

Types of roofers insurance

For a typical roofing contractor there are three main types of insurance to get started with:

  • Public liability insurance
  • Personal accident insurance
  • Tool insurance

We’ll cover these three in more detail shortly, but essentially these three covers are about protecting your business in the event of mistakes, protecting your own income and protecting your tools.

As your roofing business grows you may need various other types of insurance.

For example if you grow to the point where you have a warehouse and hold your own stock, you’ll need to insure those premises as well as the contents and stock.

Industry links:
Metal Roofing Industry Association Queensland
Roofing Industry Association of NSW
Metal Roofing and Cladding Association of Australia

Public liability insurance

For any trades business, public liability insurance is going to be the cornerstone of your insurance package.

Not only is it vitally important for protecting your business, but you’ll often find it is required in your contracts if you are subcontracting to builders or other companies.

Public liability insurance responds in the event that your roofing business causes property damage or personal injury to a third party.

This damage or injury could be caused by you or your staff, and would be suffered by a third party such as the homeowner or a member of the public.

Property damage example:

You’re replacing some sheets on an existing metal roof.  Two of your staff are carrying some sheets up the side of the house, when a gust of wind results in the sheet scratching down the side of the homeowner’s vehicle.

The scratch is significant and results in a $3k repair job.  As your staff are responsible for the damage, and the damage is a result of their negligence, you would be liable for the repair costs.

Your public liability insurance would respond in this case.

Personal injury example:

This time you’re replacing some broken tiles on a client’s existing roof.  You have a little stumble and lose grip of a tile, which slides down the roof and over the edge.

A case of terrible timing sees the homeowner walking past and is struck on the head by the falling concrete tile.

As your actions resulted in the injury to the homeowner, you would be liable for their medical costs and any lost wages during their recovery.

Again, your public liability insurance would response in this case.

In either of the examples below, a lack of public liability insurance could see you liable for thousands – if not tens of thousands – of dollars.  Insurance can protect you and your roofing business from this exposure.

Personal accident insurance

Working up on roofs all day can be hazardous work.  There is the ever-present risk of falling from a roof, or simply injuring yourself whilst carrying sheeting and equipment around all day.

And sometimes we just get sick and can’t undertake any manual activities until we’ve recovered.

As a self-employed roofer, if you can’t work you most likely can’t earn any income, especially if you’re a sole trader or small subcontractor.

Personal accident insurance can help by covering a large percentage of your income for a period of time whilst you’re unable to work.

You’ll sometimes hear this form of insurance referred to as income protection insurance.  Whilst the two are very similar, there are some key differences that our team can talk through with you.

Whether you are personal accident insurance or income protection insurance, ultimately they are both about covering your income whilst you can’t work due to injury or (optional) illness.

Each policy will have a benefit amount, a benefit period and a waiting period:

  • The benefit amount is the amount that the policy will pay you each week.
  • The benefit period is the length of time that the policy will pay you for, whilst you’re unable to work.
  • The waiting period is the amount of time you must be unable to work before you become eligible to receive benefits.

Each of the above options will have an impact on the cost of the insurance.

Of course, we all want the highest benefit amount, the longest benefit period and the shortest waiting period, but this also gives us the highest cost!

Our expert insurance brokers can run through different options and quotes to give you the right balance between cost and coverage, based on your budget.

Roofers Insurance

Tool insurance

As a roofer you’ll need a decent collection of power tools to keep your business running.

These portable power tools are a massive target for thieves, and unless you’re willing and able to replace them all out of your own pocket, tool insurance is a must.

Tool insurance can cover you tools against a range of risks including theft, fire and damage caused in a vehicle collision.

When it comes to theft – which is the most important aspect for most tradies – it’s important to know that most policies will only cover theft following forced entry.

This means your tools must be stored securely, and the thieves have had to break in to gain access.  This could be into your car, your trailer, your warehouse or even your home.

Other types of roofers insurance

We’ve covered off the three most common forms of business insurance for roofers, but there can be many others depending on the size and complexity of your business.

An obvious one is commercial motor insurance for your vehicles.  Many tradies insure their vehicles through a direct insurer such as AAMI or NRMA, but we can package these together with your business insurance.

If you have grown your roofing business to the point where you’re operating from premises you’ll need to insure those premises (if owned) as well as the contents and stock, plus any machinery.

As you grow your staff numbers you may want to consider management liability insurance, and if you’re providing professional advice or reports to clients, you may need professional indemnity insurance.

With so many different potential risks and exposures in a roofing business – or any trade related business – it’s important to seek advice from expert insurance brokers such as Trade Risk.

Roofers insurance cost

The cost of roofers insurance can vary from under $1,000 to over $100,000!  It all depends on the size and complexity of your business.

For a single-person roofing business that only works on domestic homes and only wants public liability insurance, the cost is likely to be under a thousand dollars.

If you’re a larger business with a big team of staff, and you’re working in higher risk areas such as mine sites or airports, the cost will be significantly higher.

The only way to get an accurate idea of the cost of roofers insurance is to seek detailed quotes from an insurance broker or direct from an insurance company.

Roofers insurance quotes

At Trade Risk we’ve helped hundreds of roofing business over the last decade.  From small start-ups through to larger operations.

Our experienced and qualified insurance brokers can run through your business details and make recommendations on which types of insurance you may need.

They can then research the market to find which policies are going to provide you the most appropriate coverage and the best price.

If you choose to go with Trade Risk, that same broker who quoted you will stick with you.  Any time you need to make changes, ask a question or make a claim, your dedicated broker will be here to help.

To take the next step please call our friendly team on 1800 808 800, or click the orange button below to submit your information online.

Roofers Insurance
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