10 Common Exclusions on Tradesman Insurance

Insurance policies cannot cover every eventuality, and tradesman insurance is no exception. All insurance policies come with terms and conditions, commonly known as exclusions and limitations, that place restrictions on your working activities. As a tradesman, you need to be aware of common insurance exclusions and limitations to protect your business.
Luckily, our insurance partners are here to help. Towergate Insurance have highlighted the most common exclusions that come with tradesman insurance.

Public Liability Cover Limitations

Public liability refers to claims made against you by a member of the public. On most policies, public liability cover for tradesman starts at £2 million. This is the minimum requirement to gain SafeContractor accreditation. If you’re working on a public sector contract, you may need a higher amount of cover. At Towergate, we’re able to source up to £10 million of public liability cover. 

Height Exclusions

There is often a height limit on tradesman insurance policies. This could be a serious problem if you do roofing or external work on high buildings. A typical height for the exclusion to kick-in is 15 metres, but restrictions differ from policy to policy. Make sure you are fully covered by your insurance policy if you work at height. 

Depth Exclusions

If you work underground, you need to be aware of any depth limits. Activities such as laying foundations or digging up pipes could break possible depth restrictions, leaving your insurance policy invalid. A typical depth limit is 2 metres, but it is worth checking your policy for the exact specification.

Exclusions on Trades Which Use Heat 

This exclusion depends on your trade. If your trade uses heat on a regular basis, it is likely that you will have cover. For example, plumbers often carry out welding, so they would usually have heat cover applied to their policy. On the other hand, if it isn’t typical for your trade to use heat you may be at risk of exclusions. In this case you must inform your insurer if you need to use heat at work. They can look into applying additional terms which will allow the use of heat within your policy.

Industry Exclusions

Towergate Insurance can provide cover for over 200 different trades. A tradesman can be anyone from a tree surgeon to a brick layer. Some trades are more difficult to cover, including railway workers and crane operators. But that isn’t to say these trades can’t get covered, as Towergate are specialist insurance providers, they will go to market and try to find suitable insurance solutions for you.

Site Location Exclusions

Working on a site you don't usually work on, could invalidate your insurance. This could happen if you usually work in residential buildings but take a job at an airport, as working in an airport carries more significant risks. If you plan on working in a location that is unusual for you, contact your insurer in advance. This is especially important if the location is high risk, like a hospital operating theatre. If you are not covered for a location, your insurer can look into adding additional cover.  

Tradesman Tools and Equipment Exclusions

Tools and equipment cover does not come as standard on tradesman insurance policies, so you must request to include this cover. If you have selected tools and equipment cover, there are certain restrictions you should be aware of. Many policies are invalidated if you leave tools in your vehicle overnight, so be wary of this unless you know you have cover. In addition, most insurers set a maximum limit on the value of any one tool. Say this is £500, tools above that value will still only be covered for £500.  You’ll usually be able to adjust this so make sure you ask your insurer, or check the policy schedule for details. 

Asbestos Exlcusions

Unplanned contact with asbestos is usually covered by standard tradesman insurance. Intentionally working with asbestos is different, and will invalidate standard tradesman insurance. Before accepting work that involves asbestos exposure you must contact your insurer. Specialist asbestos cover can then be applied to your policy.

Exclusions with Working Abroad

If you are planning to work outside of the UK, you should inform your insurance provider in advance. They will let you know which countries you are covered in. Different insurance providers place restrictions on different countries, so you may need additional cover. For example, Towergate do not cover work in America and Canada as standard, but these can be added to your policy if required.

Commercial Legal Expenses

Commercial Legal Expenses for tradesmen can help to minimise the cost of defending claims against you, as well as paying for awards or damages you may have to pay resulting from the course of your work. Under this section you can be protected against things like employment defence and awards of compensation, taxation proceedings, criminal prosecution defence, damage to premises, to name a few. It’s important you ask your Towergate advisor for further details. There are significant exclusions and limitations to this section and they will be able to explain these in detail for you. 

For more information about Towergate Insurance Services for Tradesmen, click here. 

Post date: 17 Feb 2017

Back to listing page