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As with every aspect of life since the coronavirus pandemic began, everything about working as a tradesman has been upended in order to accommodate for social distancing measures to control the virus. Under these circumstances, insurance is more important than ever, according to Darragh Timlin, underwriting director for Tradesman Saver, who takes a look at the coverage installers might consider taking on board.
The days of safely working in close quarters are over, and even in the messy surroundings of a site, hygiene will be more important than ever. If you’re really taking safety precautions seriously, even asking for a cup of tea could compromise your well-being.
Most importantly, you’ll need to make sure that no one in your household, or the home in which you’ll be working, is showing any symptoms of the virus. And now that wider lockdown restrictions are being lifted and more tradesmen are able to return to work, ensuring you, your team, and your clients are as safe as possible remains critical.
That’s why having a solid, comprehensive insurance policy in place is more essential than ever. After all, working as a tradesman comes with its risks at the best of times, so having traditional forms of cover in place can protect your business from financial issues during an already unprecedentedly precarious time. Here are the main forms of cover tradesmen should have in place.
This is an essential form of cover at the best of times, providing financial protection in the event that a customer or third party is injured or has their property damaged as a result of the work you complete. However, in context of Covid-19, it’s particularly beneficial. Considering the short notice given when lockdown measures were introduced, any unfinished works would have been fraught with sharp surfaces and scattered detritus which could have led to someone being hurt. And even during the sustained period of time where you may have been left unable to do your job, it’s possible that you were forced to abandon a site you were working on. As such, having this policy in place would be especially beneficial if another lockdown — local or national — comes into effect.
Again, this is an extremely useful policy to have in place when you’re on a regular work schedule, but even if you are weeks away from your next job, or have been furloughed by your company, tools and equipment cover has its benefits. This insurance entitles you to a payout in the event that the gear you need to do your job gets damaged, lost, or stolen, and while it may seem less likely if it is securely stored in your home, that isn’t a guarantee. Similarly, if you are hiring any plant — whether that be a digger or a forklift — you probably would have had to leave it on-site, providing even more potential for damage or theft to occur. Consequently, you should consider taking out a specific plant insurance policy to prevent any risk of having to pay for any problems which may befall the machinery.
As we noted earlier, one of the biggest issues facing tradesmen working during the Covid-19 pandemic is having to adapt to new ways of working to accommodate social distancing measures. This has forced contractors to reduce the number of people on site at any given time, leading to more potential for trips, slips, and more serious accidents to occur. Personal accident insurance provides much-needed financial protection in these and other circumstances in which you or your team may sustain an injury on the job. Should somebody get hurt, your insurer will be able to provide you with a payment to cover any earnings you are forced to miss if you or your staff are rendered unable to work. However, you will need to make sure that every member of staff is individually named on the policy, otherwise they will not be entitled to these payouts in the event of a claim.
About Darragh Timlin
Darragh Timlin has more than 20 years of experience in the insurance industry. He is currently the Underwriting Director for Tradesman Saver, a trusted insurance company specialising in providing all forms of insurance to British tradesmen for over 30 years. In this position, Darragh manages the relationships with the insurers and has overall control of binding authorities.