June 19, 2024

If you’re working in the construction industry, either as a business owner or a self-employed contractor, then you’ll probably need some form of Construction Insurance Cover. What you’ll require will naturally depend on, among other things, the size of your operation, what risks you want to be covered for and how much you’re looking to spend.

If you’re fully employed by another business then you should be covered by their existing insurance policies, but it’s worth checking with a manager/director to see exactly what you are and aren’t covered for. For example, over 96% of construction workers report not having any health benefits provided by their employer, so if you’re unable to work for a long period you might lose all sources of income. A personal accident/income protection insurance could help to mitigate that risk.

If you are wondering what you might need, here’s a rundown of the best covers for construction workers:

 

Public liability insurance is a must-have for anybody working in the construction industry. It’ll cover you for any damages or injury you cause to third parties (members of the public, other businesses, etc.) and any legal expenses. It’s often sold with product liability, which will protect you if a product you’ve sold or recommended causes damages after the work is complete.

You’re legally required to hold a form of employers’ liability if you employ any staff in most cases, even if they are part-time, a contractor or an intern/apprentice. It’ll protect you in the event that the staff member feels you’re at fault for an injury or illness they received while working for you, and (just like public/product liability) will cover any compensation costs you incur and any legal fees accrued during your defence.

 

Professional indemnity is a must-have if you’re providing your advice or designs as part of your service. It’ll protect you if that a customer believes you’ve been ‘professionally negligent’ with the service you’ve provided, perhaps due to a mistake in a blueprint you’ve drawn up or an error in a material you’ve recommended. You’ll be covered for the client’s cost of repair (if the work needs fixing or needs to be redone) and any legal expenses you need to pay.

 

Personal accident/income protection coverages can help protect you (and your employees, if you’re a business owner) if an accident or illness leaves you unable to work. It isn’t compulsory but is highly recommended, especially in an industry as risky as construction. Consider what would happen if you were unable to work for an extended period – if you might struggle to cover your bills or rent/mortgage during time off then it’s definitely worth considering.

 

Tools/Equipment/Plant cover, as the name suggests, can help protect your tools, equipment or plant if they’re stolen, lost or accidentally damaged. Declaring business use on your vehicle insurance is also a legal requirement if you’re using a vehicle to support your business, perhaps driving from customer to customer, so make sure to upgrade your cover if you’re only on a social, domestic & pleasure policy beforehand.

And finally, if you want to condense all of these into one, convenient policy, then consider a form of construction all risk. It can help simplify the claims process (you’ll only ever need to contact one provider) and you may find providers willing to offer good discounts or complimentary coverages if you’re happy to take out larger policies through them.

 

Do self-employed construction workers need different insurance?

Self-employed construction workers should consider the same coverages that a larger business would use to protect itself. You might want to give special consideration to income protection coverages, as you won’t have the same income assurances if you’re unable to work due to injury or illness.

You might not need employers’ liability if you’re not employing any staff directly, but do keep it in the back of your mind if you decide to grow your business in the future. Similarly, check with the person or company who hired you as to what you are and aren’t covered for – while you may still need to source your own coverage, you may also be insured by other policies for anything that goes wrong on site.

 

Do construction workers need business use car insurance?

A construction worker using their car for business purposes, such as travelling to customer sites or offices, will need to declare ‘business use’ on their car insurance. It’ll cover you for the additional dangers that ‘business use’ driving exposes you to, such as journeys to new (and unfamiliar) destinations and potentially long hours on the road.

Social, domestic & pleasure (SD&P) insurance won’t cover this type of driving to multiple work locations, so if you are in an accident you risk your provider voiding your car insurance, which could lead to an expensive bill. Secondly, you’re also required by law to hold a correct and valid form of coverage, so if you’re caught without the right insurance you could face fines, penalty points and potential disqualification from driving. Simply put, it just isn’t worth taking the risk.

 

Does van insurance cover construction sites?

Regular social, domestic & pleasure van insurance will not cover you for travel to construction sites for business purposes. For this, you’ll require at least business use van insurance, if not a commercial van insurance policy that can cover tools as well. While upgrading to business use can be an additional cost, it’s well worth it – you can face fines, penalty points or driving disqualification if you’re found behind the wheel without the correct cover.