The United Kingdom's largest industry is construction with over two million
building employers and employees working in the trade. Those who own their
own building companies know that even with the best planning in the safest
working conditions accidents can occur. Unfortunately, they happen
frequently in the building business and often lead to damages, injuries
and illnesses. It is very important for any self-employed, contract
builder in the UK to have insurance to cover these unfortunate mishaps and
other legal situations that could literally destroy a business.
Public Liability Insurance
Since potential accident situations are frequent in the building industry Public Liability Insurance, although not mandatory, is a must for a builder. Public liability offers protection against injury or damages to anyone who is not an employee or to their property, whether they are clients or not. We live in a compensation culture and if someone files a claim, whether justified or otherwise, this insurance should cover any compensation and legal expenses involved. It allows a builder to be prepared for the worst case scenarios, covering the company's legal liability for damages to possessions or property, injury or death to any member of the public caused because of activities engaged in by the company.
As an example, an employee is working on a roof and accidentally spills
tar, which drops on a car below, a blowlamp causes a fire, a passer-by
falls into an excavation - public liability insurance should cover the
claim and legal expenses if any are involved. If a builder has a small
company, generally £2 million Public Liability Insurance is the norm,
but this should be thought about very carefully - depending upon the
type of jobs that are taken on this sum may well not be enough,
particularly if possible personal injuries are a possibility
Employers' Liability Insurance
It is a legal requirement in the UK that if any employer has more than one employee,
standard Employers' Liability Insurance must be obtained to cover
employees in the event or injury, illness or death whilst on the job. Any
expenses and costs incurred by the injured or sick employee are covered
as well as any legal fees. An employer is also usually covered for expenses and costs
compiled for defence of prosecution that relate to an employee's welfare
as stated in the Health and Safety at Work Act of 1974.
These provisions are subject to change so it is
always best to check the latest situation.
Other Insurances Recommended For The Building Trade
Product Liability Insurance covers builders from liabilities from third parties other than employees that might be injured or have damage occur on their property because of something supplied or sold to them. Many builders manufacture and supply goods for their clients, and there are cases when a slight defect in a product has caused damage or injury to a third party. Product Liability Insurance can protect a builder from circumstances that are unforeseeable in manufacturing quality like a small defect that went unnoticed. If the product or services are truly poor quality, any claim will be denied, but if it's legitimate, Product Liability will cover the claim and expenses involved.
Builders' Tools, Plant and Equipment Insurance protects your equipment, tools and gear from theft, damages, destruction or loss whether on or off the building site. Builders usually have a lot of money invested in tools, and for a small amount of money great peace of mind can be gained.
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