person falling in water


Plumbers’ Insurance – What Are The Essentials?

August 18, 2016

plumber sink trap

We are constantly surprised at the extent to which otherwise prudent and competent tradesmen have deficient insurance cover. This article looks at the plumbing trade, and at the areas of risk that are often misunderstood, or neglected altogether.

What we generally find when we’re asked to look into plumbers’ insurance arrangements is that their cover isn’t precisely tailored to their business. Plumbers undertake a huge variety of work. Some work exclusively on new-build commercial projects, while others stick to residential work. Some types of work, such as repair have comparatively little inherent risk, while others, such as heating and air-conditioning, have plenty. Plumbers who give advice to customers, even though they may not have charged separately for it, may be liable for its soundness.

Plumbers who do not precisely specify the type of work they do when buying insurance may find that either:

  • They are covered for work they never do, and are paying too much for their cover, or
  • Their policy excludes types of work that they do perform, and they are underinsured.

How Can Plumbers Ensure Their Insurance is Adequate?

plumber eelThese days it’s possible to buy a general business insurance package which covers the risks that are common to most businesses. This will include elements like property insurance, workers compensation (where there are employees) and public liability. Packages like these are usually somewhat less costly than “piecemeal” insurance, and can be augmented to include risks specific to the business, such as the professional liability discussed above.

As we have seen, careful assessment of the scope of work is vital, and your insurance broker’s assistance in this will be invaluable.

Other Risks to Think of

Products Liability – plumbers may be liable for the products they install, or for faulty specification or installation of products.

Trailer and Tools – We too often see plumbers underinsured because they haven’t done a careful inventory of the tools they rely on for their trade.

Motor Insurance – writing off an underinsured vehicle can seriously damage a plumbing business. Your broker will help you determine the right cover for your needs.

If you think your insurance may be in need of an overhaul, talk to a Sydney Insurance Brokers consultant today.