A Guide To Professional Tradesman Insurance Cover

Tradesman insurance is an umbrella term for any business or person who works performing a trade or service to the public. Yet with hundreds of different trades, how do you know what cover you might need? Our guide will help you understand liability insurance for trades, the different cover required and the types of trades we can insure

What is tradesman insurance?

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Tradesman insurance is a business insurance policy for professionals in their field that covers several different important aspects, including your equipment, cover for your ongoing works, compensation costs following a legal claim against you and other optional extras depending on the work you do.

To qualify as a tradesman, you must be deemed as a professional in your field of work and be over the age of 16. Generally, tradesman insurance is designed for people working in their own homes, outside, or on their clients' property, so if you own or rent a specific business premises you may need to enquire into full business insurance. 

What does tradesman insurance cover?

The level of cover can be tailored to suit your needs and therefore the different things covered ranges depending on the cover you choose. Tradesman insurance can cover:

  • Public contracts
  • Private jobs
  • Consulting
  • Quoting
  • Working abroad
  • Working onsite

What does tradesman insurance include?

Your adviser can help you understand the different covers and the exact levels you might need during a quotation but we have listed some of the main features below. Our policies can be tailored to your business needs, so we can help you find the policy that is right for you.

Public liability for tradesmen

This cover protects your business should a member of the public suffer an injury, loss or damage to themselves or their property through some type of negligence.

Employers' liability for tradesman

This is a legal obligation to all businesses with any number of staff members, including those who are unpaid or contracted staff. This cover will protect you and your employees should they become injured while working for you.

'Own plant' cover and 'hired-in plant' cover

If you own and/or hire equipment for you job your will be liable for their replacement should they be damaged or stolen. Own plant cover is insurance for the equipment you own. Hired plant cover is for that which you hire. It is possible to get yearly rates on hired in cover so if you make regular hires in a year, speak with your adviser about which might be the best option for you.

'Contract works' cover

This provides cover against an uninsurable event that stops you fulfilling a contract. An example would be when a storm destroys a structure being built. Contract works will only cover the parts of the building that you are working on, not the existing structure. The builder is liable for the materials, labour and extra time to finish the work.

Optional tradesman cover

With hundreds of different types of trade there are a variety of different optional insurance features, including the below:

Jury service

This will protect your income if you are called up for jury service during a contracted job.

Personal accident

If you run your own business, a sickness or injury that stops you from working can be a worry. Personal accident insurance covers you for these eventualities and can even include personal injury and death. There are many different levels of cover, for more information speak to your insurance adviser.


Cover for your business against theft, damage or loss of tools. You also have the option to cover them when left in your vehicle overnight. 

Efficacy cover

This protects you against an insurance claim from a customer where the product that has been sold, or service that was provided, failed to do the job it was intended for. For example, if you install security alarms and a faulty installation led to a successful burglary of the property, you could be held liable.

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Tradesman insurance policies for specialist work

If you take on specialist projects or work in higher risk locations, you may need to extend your tradesman insurance policy in order to make sure you are adequately covered. These are some common exclusions you should look out for.

There are a wide range of options when it comes to tradesman insurance and it is possible to build up a bespoke policy to suit your needs. Speak to a specialist adviser today to find out more about tradesman insurance.

About the author

Mike Stephens FCII is a respected senior industry professional and Fellow of the Chartered Insurance Institute (CII) with well over 40 years’ varied experience in the commercial insurance sector as a director, underwriter, and operational improvement manager.