As a carpenter there a number of different insurance types you might need.

Which ones you need depends upon how you operate, and particularly on whether or not you’re self-employed.

If you’re reading this guide presumably you are working for yourself, so that’s what we’ll focus on.

Select the option most appropriate to your carpentry business to jump straight to the relevant section:

If your business structure doesn’t fit the options above, get in touch with one of our friendly brokers to find out what insurance you need for your carpentry business.

We’ve insured over 10,000 tradies since 2010, many of them carpenters, so you can be assured we know what we’re doing!

Subcontractor / Sole Trader

If you’re subcontracting to others or working as a sole trader on your own small to medium projects, there is really no difference in the insurance you need.

The main type of cover you will need is public liability insurance.

You can get an instant quote for carpenters public liability by entering your details below, or continuing reading if you’re not ready for a quote yet.

If you ‘d just like to speak to someone, please call us on 1800 808 800 and our award-winning team will be happy to assist.

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If you’re subcontracting to others you may well have been asked for a ‘certificate of currency’ at some point.  This would be related to public liability.

Some subcontractors believe they are covered by the builder’s public liability, but this is very rarely the case, so we recommend checking with the builder.

Public liability covers you in the event that your negligence results in property damage or personal injury to a third party.

The minimum amount of cover is $5,000,000 and there are also options for $10m and $20m.

As a self-employed carpenter you should also consider income protection.

Without access to sick leave or worker’s compensation you’ll be on your own in the event that you suffer an injury or illness that leaves you unable to work for a period of time.

Subcontractors working on certain worksites will need to provide evidence of income protection before being allowed on site.  This is generally only the case with larger building companies.

Regardless of whether or not you need it to get onto the site, income protection is a very good idea for any carpenter not on wages.

This type of insurance will cover a large percentage of your income for a period of time whilst you are unable to work due to injury or illness.

Another important form of cover for any carpenter is tool insurance.

Unfortunately there are plenty of low-lifes out there willing to take other people’s gear, and the power tools commonly used in carpentry are prime targets.

What these thieves don’t understand (or don’t care about) is that they’re not just stealing a chippie’s tools – they are stealing their livelihood.

A good tool insurance policy will cover your gear in the event of theft following forced entry, along with damage caused in a fire, vehicle collision or rollover.

Company – without staff

If you’ve made the step up from subbie or sole trader to a Pty Ltd company there may or may not be some changes to what insurance you need.

Ultimately the main three – public liability, income protection and tool insurance – are still going to be required.

The only real difference is that the policies will be in your company name rather than your personal name.

If you’re taking on larger projects it might be time to consider contract works insurance.

This type of insurance is similar to public liability in many ways, but goes further in terms of providing protection for building projects you are responsible for.

If you have your own workshop you’ll need to look at insuring the premises (if owned) or any plant, machinery and stock that may be kept on the premises.

Once you’ve gone beyond the standard self-employed carpenter we strongly recommend speaking with one of our trade insurance experts about your needs.

Whilst we’re looking after plenty of chippies with basic needs, we can still look after you as your business morphs into more of a building or construction company.

Company – with staff

Having staff generally doesn’t change a great deal when it comes to the main types of insurance.

You’ll still need to protect your company with public liability, and no doubt you’ll still have plenty or gear to protect with tool insurance.

In addition to the insurance types already mentioned in this guide you’ll also need to take out workers compensation insurance.

Sometimes known as workers comp or work cover, this type of insurance is mandatory in all Australian states if you employ staff.

Depending on which state you’re located in, sometimes this insurance is looked after by the state government (eg. QLD) and in other states it can be looked after by your broker.

Management liability insurance is also worth considering once you get to the point of having staff on the books.

Although Trade Risk doesn’t provide online quotes for some of these types of insurance, we can certainly still assist with them.

Other insurance types

Aside from what we’ve already listed above there are some other insurance types worth considering.

Insuring your ute, van or truck is obviously a given, and at Trade Risk we can assist you with these regardless of whether you have a single vehicle or a fleet.

On the personal side you might want to consider life insurance and TPD insurance, especially if you have debts or dependants to look after.

We don’t look after life and TPD insurance directly, however we do have a referral partner who looks after hundreds of our tradie clients.

Trade Risk – The carpentry insurance experts

So now that you know what insurance a carpentry needs, who should you trust to look after it all for you?

Obviously we think Trade Risk are the right choice, but don’t take our word for it!

We have hundreds of testimonials from our carpentry clients which number close to one thousand.

You can view all of our testimonials right here.

If you’d like more information or advice on carpenters insurance please get in touch with us.

We can provide you with an instant quote on your public liability and tools via our website, or we can have a more in depth chat over the phone if you have more complex needs or just prefer to talk.

Author: Shane Moore.  Last updated: 29/06/2023.