We’ve been helping Victorian plumbers with their insurance needs for over a decade.

We know what you need, we know the VBA requirements and we can get you sorted with minimal fuss.

In this guide we’ll run through the insurance requirements for a Victorian plumber, but if you’re just after a quote, call us on 03 7003 5885 or click the button below.

Trade Risk Press Victoria

Whether you’re a sole trader working on your own, or you run a large plumbing business with dozens of staff, we have the award-winning team to help.

Now back to the guide…

Victorian plumbing insurance requirements

The basic requirements for your plumbing license are as follows:

  • Public Liability Insurance: $5,000,000 (minimum)
  • Plumbers Warranty Insurance (domestic): $50,000
  • Plumbers Warranty Insurance (non-domestic): $100,000

You don’t require three separate policies though.  The plumbers warranty insurance is only available as an option on a public liability policy, and typically both domestic and non-domestic limits will be included.

You can choose to take a higher limit of public liability cover, with $10,000,000 and $20,000,000 being the most common options.

If you are undertaking work on larger projects you will likely need a higher level of cover, but this is stipulated under your contract and is not set by the VBA.

The level of plumbers warranty insurance is set and does not change, other than the two different amounts for domestic and non-domestic work.

The insurance requirements for plumbers in Victoria are set via Ministerial Orders.  You can view theses orders on the VBA website by following the link.

Is this requirement the same for all Australian states?

Each state throughout Australia sets its own licensing rules for the trades, and whilst virtually all Australian states require public liability insurance for plumbers, Victoria has gone a step further.

The VBA requires that your public liability insurance must be accompanied by Victorian plumber’s warranty insurance.

There is no stated reason (that we’re aware of) on why Victoria have set their own unique requirements, but ultimately the cover is to provide extra protection to consumers.

Victorian Plumbers Warranty Insurance

If you’re paying for this extra form of insurance, you’ll probably want to know what it covers!

Public liability insurance is relatively well known in terms of what it covers.  It covers you in the event that you cause property damage or personal injury to a third party.

For example, if you’re undertaking plumbing work and damage someone’s property, or injure them, and they sue you for damages, your insurance policy would respond.

Plumbers warranty insurance is different to this.

The following comes directly from the VBA website, and keep in mind it’s written for the consumer, not for you as the plumber:

The required insurance coverage includes:

  • Rectifying defective plumbing work that does not comply with plumbing standards
  • Trade practices liability
  • Consequential loss and non-completion. For example, if you suffer a loss because the work was not completed due to the plumber passing away or having their licence suspended, or if you ended the contract because the licensed plumber wrongfully refused to complete the work
  • Public liability, where the work carried out results in personal injury or damage to property.

It’s also important to know what types of work require you to have insurance in place.  Again, this comes directly from the VBA website:

  • Any plumbing work that has a total value of $750 or more, including labour, materials, appliances and fixtures, regardless of who purchased them
  • All work carried out on below ground sanitary drains
  • All work involving the installation, relocation, replacement or conversion of any gas-using appliance
  • All work involving the installation, modification or relocation of consumer gas piping
  • All work involving the construction, installation, relocation, alteration or replacement of cooling towers.

As a licensed plumber you’ll no doubt already know those works require a compliance certificate, but it’s also worth knowing that these are the types of works the insurance is required for.

* The bullet points above were retrieved from the VBA website 28/06/2023.  If you are relying on this information we recommend visiting the VBA website yourself to check for any changes.

Melbourne company, Metropolis Solutions, have put together an interesting guide called Plumbers Warranty Explained. It’s worth a read to get another viewpoint of this form of cover.

Does my policy meet the VBA requirements?

It’s important to know whether or not your policy meets the requirements.  If it doesn’t, the VBA will know and they won’t approve your licence application or renewal.

A public liability insurance policy, even if it has you listed as a plumber and your address in Victoria, won’t automatically meet the requirements.

The policy needs to specifically include the plumbers warranty extension, and not all insurance companies offer this cover.

You can read through the policy to check the wording, but a better option is to simply use an insurance broker who specialises in the trades and understand the insurance requirements.

Here at Trade Risk we’ve been helping Victorian plumbers with the insurance requirements for over a decade, so you can feel confident that we know what we’re doing!

Every one of our team are aware of the VBA rules, and as soon as we see that you’re a plumber located in Victoria, we’ll be including the warranty cover in any new policy or renewal.

If you’re unsure, simply ask as and we’ll answer any questions you have about the plumbers warranty cover, or about the public liability insurance more broadly.

Plumbing insurance claims

Victorian plumbers have yet another unique feature when it comes to their insurance.

Usually with insurance it is up to you to deal with your customer in the event of a dispute, and if the event is likely to become a claim, you would then lodge the claim with your broker or insurer.

But for Victorian licensed plumbers, things are a little different…

Because you have to provide your insurance details to the VBA when obtaining or renewing your insurance, they hold the insurance details for every plumber licensed in the state.

Your customer can request your insurance details directly from the VBA, which may allow them to contact your insurance broker or insurance company directly.

Other plumbing insurance types

Whilst public liability and plumbers warranty are the only types of insurance required for your licence in Victoria, they are not the only policies worth looking at.

Two other major insurance types for plumbers are tool insurance and personal accident insurance.

Tool insurance is an obvious one, especially with the value of some plumbing equipment such as water jetters and your various power tools.

For self-employed plumbers, personal accident insurance is vital.  Without sick leave, this is the insurance you’ll be relying upon in the event you’re unable to work due to illness or injury.

There are plenty of other insurance types, and whether or not you need them will depend on various factors such as the size of your business and the assets you hold.

As experienced insurance brokers we can help with a lot more than just the minimum requirements for your plumbing licence.

Our brokers can undertake a full review of your business and make recommendations on which types of insurance might be right for you.

We’re always happy to provide quotes and information, and we’ll never push you into anything.  Our job is to provide the information and the costings, and you decide what you’d like to run with.

Next steps

Although there are websites that allow you to purchase insurance that will meet the Victorian requirements, we’re strong believers in not taking the DIY approach to insurance.

As a licenced plumber you know that DIY is never the best option.  It’s the same with business insurance.

Our team have spent over a decade helping plumbers, builders and other trades with their business insurance needs.

Whether you’re a sole trader applying for your first licence, or a large state-wide operation reviewing your insurance needs, we have the team to assist you.

Call our office on 03 7003 5885 to speak with one of our friendly brokers, or click the orange button below to start an online enquiry.

Our team have assisted over 10,000 trade businesses over the last 10+ years, we’ve helped through hundreds of claims, and we’d love the opportunity to help you too.

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