As an Aussie tradie, having your work covered means more than know-how and elbow grease; insurance cover for tradies should be one of the most important tools in your kit. Whether it’s yourself, your employees, your tools and equipment, vehicles or even the public, there are risks that need to be covered if your business is to keep motoring.
Keep reading as we drill down into the different business insurance products that can help protect you as a tradesperson and how Hunter Broking Group can assist.
What is Tradies Insurance?
‘Tradie Insurance’ might not be the most technical of terms, but that doesn’t mean it lacks importance. Tradesperson Insurance refers to a variety of different insurance products available under business insurance policies to help protect the risks of operating as a tradie.
At Hunter Broking Group, we offer a range of insurance solutions that cover:
- Motor vehicles
- Accidental damage
- Tools of trade, including tool theft
- Public liability
- Product Liability
- Environmental liability
- Contract works
- Design and construct
- Management insurance
- Cyber insurance
- Income protection
- Other business cover and more
Do I need insurance if I’m a tradie?
Not all insurance is mandatory if you’re a tradesperson. Still, given the costs and consequences of the endless risks that come with operating a small business in trade, all the top tradies consider it a no brainer to hold adequate cover.
Let’s go over some of the main forms of insurance available to you:
Tool Insurance or General Property Insurance
Tools Cover is the insurance that most tradies probably know of — because there’s no building a home or plumbing a drain with bare hands, and every tradie knows that. Mostly, Tools of Trade Insurance covers tool theft but may also provide some coverage in the event of accidental loss or accidental damage to your equipment. Tradies tools and general property can rack up to tens of thousands of dollars worth and are therefore some of the most valuable items to their business. We often find most tradies carry all tools in a tool trailer, which if stolen, can be a catastrophic loss to any business.
Construction Equipment Insurance
Tools aren’t the only equipment essential to your business operation; heavy equipment such as construction equipment is vital to many tradies. Construction Equipment is often hired in, however can be purchased by a business if used on a regular basis. Construction equipment can be anything from elevated working platforms to excavators or even concrete mixing equipment.
Commercial Motor Vehicle Insurance
There’s no getting to and from job sites without your ute, truck or van, so it’s sensible to cover the wheels that keep you moving. Unlike standard car insurance, commercial motor vehicles can be covered for the accessories you’ve added to your vehicle to work as a tradie, such as toolboxes, fixed GPS units, tow bars, bull bars, canopies and even signwriting. Similar to standard motor insurance, coverage is often required for theft, accidental damage, replacement hire vehicle costs and also windscreen replacement.
Contract Works Insurance
Contract Works insurance is as simple as it reads, cover that is required for work that is undertaken with respect to a designated contract. Some construction projects can take many months to complete, and cost millions of dollars in materials and labour. Contract works insurance is designed to cover work in progress, should something happen to a project prior to completion. Contract works insurance can also factor in covers such as Public Liability, Minor Tools, Heavy Equipment, Principally Supplied Materials, Pre Existing Structures, Defects Liability and even Materials in Transit / Storage. Contract Works insurance is most commonly utilised by Building companies.
Public and Products Liability
Some tradies can fall into the trap of taking out tool insurance without considering their additional insurance needs, such as covering them for the legal liability that can arise from working with the public. Public and Products Liability Insurance helps cover you for the legal costs and payments of compensation that may result from injury or property damage sustained by your client, members of the public or contractors, if caused by you or one of your employees. One of the most common types of Public Liability claims are injury to contractors, also known as Worker to Worker claims.
Most states of Australia require tradies to hold Public Liability Insurance in order to get their trade licence. If you’re self-employed or a subcontractor who’s tried to get onto a construction site, you’ve probably been asked to show your Public Liability Insurance before being allowed to step out of the site office. Electrical Contractors (Domestic) in Queensland have even stricter rules, needing a special type of Public Liability Insurance encompasses Consumer Protection insurance, before they can even lodge their trade licence applications.
Based in Brisbane, Hunter Broking Group are experienced in sourcing Public Liability Insurance for Queensland tradies.
Management Liability Insurance
Management Liability Insurance for tradies offers more than the obvious Tool Insurance. Management Liability Cover is there to help provide cover for trade business owners against liability that comes with running a business. If you’re alleged for wrongdoings or mismanagement (outside your product or workmanship), then management liability provides coverage for the costs to investigate or remediate the allegations.
We recently wrote a helpful guide on our top 8 management liability tips, which may come in handy.
If you suffer a personal accident or illness that keeps you off the tools for longer than you can afford, personal insurances such as Income Protection can provide funds to cover the bills until you’re back in action. Income Protection insurance is not considered as much as it should be, as it is not only designed to protect you but also your family and financial commitments.
Design & Construct Professional Indemnity
As trade businesses grow and develop, business owners will often become more involved with other professional and subcontracted services. If your business undertakes or outsources and professional services, such as design, testing or certification, you should obtain further advice on Professional Indemnity insurance. Clients who are tendering for larger projects often invoice the client for all services involved within a project. As they have invoiced for this work, this may bring them into the firing line of a claim that relates to those services, even if they didn’t perform them directly.
How can I find out what Business Insurance I need?
Knowing which Business Insurance you need can be tricky if you’re not exactly sure what your biggest risks are, or what’s available to you. Your financial situation or needs aren’t going to be a carbon copy of every other tradie in Australia, which is why it’s important to have commercial insurance brokers like Hunter Broking Group on your side.
As experienced insurance brokers, we are qualified advisors who act for you, not an insurer. This means we can provide technical advice and recommend insurance solutions that will appropriately suit your needs through accessing hundreds of different insurance companies. We can also help guide you through the entire claims process if you ever need to make a claim.
Money can be tight in the trade world, and we understand that many think they’ll be wasting money by having different types of insurance covers, however forgoing insurance now to save a few dollars could turn into coughing up millions in the event that a claim is made against you, putting you in a financial situation that your business cannot recover from.