Why a Public Liability Policy is a must for all Tradies

tradewise insurance

This post has been written in collaboration with Tradewise Insurance

There are no ordinary days on the job when you’re a plumber. Everyday is different and every job has its own set of challenges. The only constant is the procedure for every job action which has a safety plan outlining the steps to perform the particular task without risk of damage, injury or death. Failing to follow the step by step plan would certainly end in either or all outcomes, so it’s a requirement for plumbers to know the safety plan and to follow it. And most do because it’s second nature – it’s common practice to do so.

We had a procedure for coring holes through a cement slab. This task requires three people. The plumber – who marks out where the core hole needs to go as per the plan and checks for any obstructions like an air conditioning ducts and etc, the engineer who checks the location of the core hole to ensure it won’t be drilled through a support beam in the building and the core hole driller who drills the hole. The plumber waits aptly under the floor below holding a bucket through the ceiling to catch the cored piece of cement.

One morning, my dad got a call to say the boardroom table in a conference room had been smashed because our plumber onsite had miscalculated where the cored piece of concrete would fall. Our plumber was waiting in the adjacent room. Thank goodness there was no meeting being held in the conference room because someone could have got hurt. The poor boardroom table didn’t fare well and needed to be replaced costing our plumber $1200 which he put through his public liability insurance.

Some months later, my dad went to enter a building on Edward Street where he wanted to check out a new job that was up for tender. Dad wanted to check if the plans were right and would often see if there was a cheaper way to completing the job as opposed to what had been drawn up on the plan. Most consultants would draw up designs against old as built drawings instead of visiting the site to see if their design could work. I stayed in the truck because there were no loading zones and drove around the block until he was ready to come down.

It only took one block to see that Dad was waiting for me on the footpath.

The building manager wouldn’t let my dad onsite because of his name. A plumbing company that my dad had previously worked for had kept trading under my dad’s name and they had worked in this particular building and caused $20million worth of damage because of work they had done in the building. Even though we could prove that the $20 million was not claimed on our insurance policy, because my dad had the same name as this plumbing company, and they shared the same trade, we were blacklisted from working in the building and subsequent buildings owned by this property manager. That’s why having a unique business name is important when you’re a tradie and why it’s not always great practice to use your name as a company name.

Having a Public liability policy is a must for all tradies, especially plumbers. These days, you can’t win a tender unless you have a certain amount of public liability insurance. Tradewise Insurance offers public liability insurance for all tradies including large commercial firms to the sole-trader.

plumber with a leak
No safety plan will mop up this mess

It pays to insured because accidents can happen unexpectedly, no matter how close you follow the safety plan.

As a consumer, it’s important to check that your plumber has the right insurance, because if their work causes damage to your property, their insurance will ensure the damage is rectified. Using a plumber with no insurance can mean any accidents now and in the future aren’t covered and you will be forced to put it on your home insurance policy which is a hassle you shouldn’t have to deal with and an excess you shouldn’t have to pay.

Have you ever checked to see if your tradie is insured before engaging them to do work on your property? And if you’re a tradie, ever caused damage to a property without meaning to?

This post has been written in accordance with my disclosure policy.