With freedom comes responsibility: Tradies public liability

Tradies public liability

If you’re a small business owner or sole trader, you probably enjoy the freedom of being your own boss. Being in direct contact with your customers and in control of the quality of your work can be very rewarding.

But as you well know, with freedom comes responsibility. In the event of an injury or damaged property in the course of your business activity, you could be responsible to clients, employees, suppliers and the general public. It’s a lot of risk to shoulder in an unpredictable world. That is why, it is important to ensure your business for tradies public liability.

Let’s look at some of the kind of claims that tradies can face:

A swollen-headed renovation project

Let’s say you’re working on a renovation project in Sydney. Your client invites a friend over to view the progress on his project. He can’t wait to show-off the new extensions he has planned, so he calls his mate over for a beer and a view. The visitor is walking through the site when his foot catches the edge of a ladder and it strikes him on the head. Your client claims because the ladder was propped up against a wall, you are responsible for the emergency medical and other claims of his visitor, like lost income due to being off work for the next week or so.

Waterlogged in Sydney

Imagine that a plumber with over a decade’s experience in Sydney is called out to assist in solving the leak on your ceiling and has to disconnect certain pipes. While the leak is resolved and the ceiling is painted over, months pass only to find another leak because the plumber did not tighten a bolt or two using enough force. Over time, the leak causes enormous damage to the ceiling and the rest of the property. Because the plumber was the last to work with the property’s plumbing, it is easy for the client to claim that the plumber is the one responsible for the water damage.

Sparkies are human too

What would happen if an electrician with a perfect track-record is picked to install lighting for a commercial project because he is known for his meticulous attention to detail. But everyone is capable of mistakes, or we wouldn’t be human. This job in Sydney is the first one ever for this sparky where a small mistake led to the building being decimated due to an electrical fire. The first mistake in his life-long career is suddenly in the news due to the extent of damage in a public space.

Garden tools and excited kids

Insurance

Picture this scenario: a landscaper is beautifying a client’s Sydney garden and is almost done when the kids arrive home from school. When the tradie’s back is turned as he is packing away his gear, the kids rush out to explore their new garden. One trips over a tool that has not yet been removed, breaking his leg. The mother claims the contractor is responsible for medical bills.

A wooden situation

A well-known local carpenter is working on chest drawer for a client in his workshop while a customer browses around. However, a loud bang is heard followed by a scream. When everyone reaches the scene of the incident, one of the customers has been hurt by a cupboard that fell from its hinges and hurt the customer. They have cuts on their arms and legs and claim that the carpenter is responsible and should pay for treatment and emotional damages.

Your skills aren’t in question, but the lawsuit could ruin your business

In all of these cases, neither the experience nor the quality of workmanship could protect the tradies against the unfortunate and unpredictable events that led to injury or property damage. None of these claims are particularly far-fetched. Some are based on true stories.

Can you imagine what it would do to the career, income and future work prospects of any of these traders if they weren’t protected by public liability insurance? Even with a good defense, the lawsuit would need to be paid out of their own pocket, and possibly the property damage and medical bills too.

Tradies Public Liability Insurance

If you’re a tradie working in Sydney, would you really want to trade without this insurance? You may be confident in your work, but it’s still a big risk. A typical public liability insurance will cover third party damage claims, but be aware of gaps and the extent of some of the claims.

It is worth noting that standard public liability covers may not take into account your specific trade and the kinds of risks that you face. Each trade is different. Go Get Insurance policies are designed for tradies and may include cover not found in standard policies.

Common exclusions in standard policies

Some common exclusions can leave you stranded, and don’t make sense if you are working in a particular environment. If you’re a mobile mechanic, for example, the exclusion of claims related to the operation of a registered motor vehicle won’t be sufficient in a standard policy because that may be one of your primary risks. There are many such examples of exclusions in typical policies that won’t help you when you need it, so choose a policy that is specifically designed for your trade.

Growing Sydney demand for trade skills

As house prices continue to rise in Sydney, tradies are the backbone of renovation projects and sprucing up properties for their owners. Add this to a country-wide trade skills shortage and we’re pretty sure you are very busy.

Go Get Insurance understands the needs and risks of the self-employed. We are insurance brokers who offer insurance for tradies in Sydney, ensuring that you get the most competitive rates and tailored or comprehensive policies based on your needs. We aim to make the process as quick and efficient as possible, so that you don’t get delayed with lots of paperwork and small print.

To the extent that any material in this document may be considered advice, it does not take into account your objectives, needs or financial situation. You should consider whether the advice is appropriate for you and review any relevant Product Disclosure Statement and policy wording before taking out an insurance policy

Post Author: Jennifer Slegg

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