Does A Carpenter Need Insurance?

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Yes, quality insurance is the sign of any good carpenter. Accidents can happen, even if you take appropriate precautions, and when they do, they can be an expensive, unexpected and unwelcome cost. Take public liability insurance, for example – the average settlement is over £10,000. When you consider that the average cost of £2M worth of public liability is just £84 annually, per NimbleFins’ analysis of carpenter insurance, it’s well worth making sure you’re covered.

Carpenters insurance doesn’t need to be overly complicated or expensive, but there are a few different coverages you’ll want to consider.

Public liability insurance is a must-have for anyone working in the carpentry/joinery industry. It’ll protect you if your work causes damages or injury to third parties, such as your customers or members of the general public. While there is some confusion online, public liability isn’t technically a legal requirement. Still, almost all customers will require you to hold a policy before they hire you – so don’t be surprised if some clients refuse to bring you in if you opt to work without a valid policy.

Suppose you employ any staff, whether full-time, part-time, employee or contractor, you’re legally required to hold an employers’ liability policy in most cases. It’ll cover you if your employee sues you, believing you to be at fault for them becoming injured or unwell due to work. You’ll be protected both for any compensation you may owe and any costs you incur as a result of your legal defence.

Your tools and equipment are absolutely vital to your ability to complete your work to the highest standard. It’s worth making sure they’re covered from theft, accidental damage or loss – and a tools/equipment insurance policy will do just that. You can cover as many/few of your tools as you need and are especially useful for anybody with important/specialist tools that they’d struggle to do their job without. Consider the impact on the existing customers of your tools going missing – a tools insurance policy can help mitigate a lot of the damage.

If you’re using a vehicle to support your business, then you’ll need a form of business vehicle insurance. It’ll cover your car, van or truck from the additional risks of driving for non-social purposes, such as driving on unfamiliar roads and often spending more hours behind the wheel than the average driver. Keep in mind that it’s illegal to be on the road in the UK without the correct insurance, and it’s worth making sure you’re properly protected.

Finally, income protection and personal accident coverages are an effective way to dampen the impact of having to take time off of work due to injury or illness. If you’re self-employed or unsure how you’d cover essential bills and expenses if you were off work for an extended period, then it’s well worth considering – annual coverage costs under £80 per year when attached to a public liability policy.

What does carpenters insurance cover?

Carpenters insurance is designed to cover the most common and dangerous risks that carpenters and joiners might face on any day at work. Public liability insurance, for example, is designed to cover you from the risks of encounters with customers and the general public (amongst others), such as causing property damage or injury – say, dropping your toolbox onto a vinyl wood floor and damaging it. Employers’ liability will protect you from claims by your workers if they feel you’ve caused them to become unwell or sustain an injury – perhaps due to faulty equipment you provided.

Business use of vehicle insurance will protect you while on the road. While it comes in different levels, ranging from covering damages to other road users right the way through to comprehensively covering any costs you or others incur, it’s ultimately designed to protect you and other drivers from the potentially expensive aftermath of an accident.

Tools and equipment insurance is often included too – regularly sold alongside goods in transit, which will cover your tools while you’re on the move – and does what you’d expect, insuring your tools and equipment from accidental damage, loss or theft. And finally, personal accident (and similar) coverages can help keep the money rolling in if you need to take any time off of work.

Carpenters public liability insurance

Public liability insurance for carpenters will help keep you covered if a member of the public, customer or other affected third party is injured or incurs property damage as a result of your work. It is most commonly sold at 4 limits – £1M, £2M, £5M and £10M, but more/less is available depending on your requirements.

It’s considered a must-have by most in the industry, and potential customers will not hire you if you don’t have a valid policy. So while it isn’t technically a legal requirement, you may as well consider it one, as you’ll need a policy if you want to be considered as an option by most clients.

How much does carpenters insurance cost?


A basic carpenters insurance policy of £2M worth of public liability starts from just under £85 annually. A more comprehensive policy, including £2M of public liability, personal accident cover and £2,000 worth of tools insurance, would likely cost from £260 for the year.

Things get more expensive if you want to bring an employee on board for two primary reasons. The risk of something going wrong naturally goes up (two people are more likely to make a mistake than one), and you’re required by law to take out an additional coverage – employers’ liability insurance – to protect your employee in case they’re injured or become unwell while working for you.

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