Electricians need a range of insurance coverage, from public liability to tools cover, to protect their business. As an electrician you’ll be very much aware of the dangers electricity can create for you and your customers. It’s essential to make sure you’re protected from the risks you’ll face on a day-to-day basis, and a quality Electrician’s insurance policy can help you stay covered at all times. While every insurance policy is different, there are a few different coverages you’ll want to be aware of before taking on any work.
Employers’ Liability is a legal requirement for any business employing staff, whether they’re full-time or part-time, employee or contractor. It’ll protect your business if an employee has become unwell or sustained an injury while working for you and believes your business is at fault. Employers’ Liability will cover both legal fees from defending yourself and any compensation a court may award against you.
Public Liability isn’t a legal requirement, but most customers will not hire you if you don’t have a policy, so you should almost treat it as a must-have. Electrician’s Public Liability will cover you if a third party (customer, the general public, other business on-site) incurs damages as a result of your work. It’s often sold with Product Liability, which protects you if a product you’ve sold/installed is faulty and causes damages or needs repair/replacement.
Professional Indemnity will cover you if a client believes your service or advice was negligent. If you’re advising customers on how to fix issues over the phone, helping clients to blueprint plans for the wiring of a new building or providing training/certification to other electricians, then you’ll need Professional Indemnity to cover you in the event of a claim.
Plant/Tools cover will, as the name might suggest, protect your Plant or Tools if any of it is stolen, damaged (fire, flood etc.) or lost accidentally. It isn’t a legal requirement, but you should consider your clients’ impact if your toolbox did go missing – would you be able to quickly replace the lost tools without there being a negative impact on the agreed completion date?
Finally, anybody working as a tradesman should consider Personal Accident coverages to protect their income if they’re unable to work due to injury or illness. And if you’re using a vehicle to support your business, perhaps carting your tools from one customer to the next, you’ll need a Business Use insurance policy to protect your car or van against the additional risks of business-related driving.
Electrician Public Liability insurance
Public Liability for Electricians provides insurance if a customer, member of the public or other affected third party incurs damages or injury due to your work. It typically comes in levels of £1 million, £2 million, £5 million or £10 million, although higher levels are available if required. Still, you’ll likely need to ask your insurer specifically and are unlikely to find as many quotes online.
£2 million worth of Public Liability is likely to set you back in the ballpark of £85 to £100. Still, it can vary depending on many factors such as your experience in the industry, your age and whereabouts you’re based, so quotes can come out cheaper or more expensive. For reference, £5 million will probably set you back between £120 to £135, so not an enormous amount more – if you’re going to be working on higher-value projects it is well worth considering.
Electrician Tool insurance
Tools insurance can help protect the equipment you use on a day-to-day basis from theft, accidental loss or damages from unavoidable incidents, such as fire or flooding. It’s important to remember that Tools insurance isn’t designed to replace the warranty your tools came with, so if there’s a defect with the manufacturing you’ll need to contact the business you purchased the item from, nor will it cover any damages due to the wear and tear that all tools are exposed to.
Tools coverage usually costs around £50 annually for £2,000 worth of cover – assuming you leave your tools in a secure location overnight (business premises, home). If you leave them in your van overnight, then the price nearly doubles, to around £90 annually – so if you’re looking to save money the simplest way is to take your tools home with you at night.
Professional Indemnity Insurance contractors
Professional Indemnity insurance will cover a contractor if a customer makes a compensation claim, believing that your professional negligence has caused them damages. This could include any designs, blueprints or specifications you’ve drawn up for a client or any advice you’ve provided a client on how to fix an issue or a recommendation you’ve made.
Even if you haven’t charged a fee – perhaps you’ve provided the blueprints as a favour for a friend – you can still be sued if your blueprints are found to be inadequate or cause later damages. Even though you weren’t paid, Professional Indemnity will still cover you, so you’ll never need to worry about offering out your advice/knowledge as a favour.
If you’re a contractor who works from other people’s designs/specifications then you’re unlikely to be found liable if you followed the design correctly – the customer would need to seek compensation from the person who had put the design together and couldn’t blame you for only following the instructions you were given.