The Public Liability Insurance Blog

Tricks of the tradesman insurance

planningGetting your public liability insurance in order as a tradesman isn’t always something you have much choice over. It’s not a case of the law imposing this on you, but instead your clients will demand that you have a certain level of cover in place before you set foot on their property.

Although this is especially the case with large corporate clients, it is equally the case with many smaller residential customers. Part of this will be a general awareness of what can go wrong and some of it might even be because they have had their fingers burnt before.

There is one very simple and overwhelming reason for you to get public liability insurance as a tradesman that falls outside of the usual doom and gloom but-you-might-cause-an-accident talk.

It inspires confidence.

Suspicious minds

You might very well be the most professional and the most skilled tradesman in all the land. If you’ve taken the time to click through to a blog about insurance, we would suggest that you’re probably in the top percentile of responsible tradesmen. However, even if you are an ace builder or perfect plumber with a client list so long you’re fully booked for the next five years, but that doesn’t matter on a first impression before you’ve done any work for someone. To a new client, you are just another tradesman who might be about to ruin their life.

Is that fair? Not really, but the innocent-until-proven-guilty thing doesn’t really wash in the professional world. People fear what they don’t understand and most of the time people will not understand the nuances of your particular trade. If they did understand it, it is unlikely they would have called you after all. Accompanying this fear is a client’s ability to recall half a dozen stories from friends of friends or from television shows about tradesman who have left leaky roofs, used cardboard instead of wrought iron, built houses backwards and accidentally buried the dog in concrete.

You’re not going to do that and you might have an incredible track record when it comes to well-performed jobs, but to them, you might as well be a court case and a filming schedule for “Builders From Hell” just waiting to happen.

The ‘It Will Be Ok’ certificate

planningA public liability insurance policy doesn’t completely remove the suspicion that a new client will have, but it does offer them the reassuring knowledge that there is a safety net stretched out underneath whatever disaster they are currently imagining in sickening detail.

Making an honest living in anything is getting increasingly difficult with cowboys and charlatans inhabiting every corner of any profession, but we would argue that tradesmen probably have the hardest time in fighting off negative stereotypes and apprehension. That insurance certificate is just another thing you can do to piece together the trust puzzle that your clients are trying to solve.

Other benefits

Of course confidence isn’t the only reason you should be considering public liability insurance. The main benefit to public liability insurance is of course covering yourself in the case that your negligence damages a third party and everyone is perfectly capable of making mistakes from time to time. If you’re not sure exactly what you can cover as a tradesman, have a look at our tradesman insurance product page.

The overall impression that having your public liability insurance in order can make is often overlooked. Nobody is suggesting that it should feature prominently in your marketing – that would indeed look like you were overcompensating – but if you can dismiss someone’s enquiries about whether you have it in place or not with a simple “of course” and be able to produce proof of cover before moving on to discuss quotes or timescales, that’s going to work hard towards establishing yourself as a true professional.

Written by Richard King for YOUR Insurance.