Business insurance – Building Contractors & Tradesmen. How do you know you are getting the right insurance policy?

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The most important thing when buying business insurance is to get the correct cover.

It is amazing how many business owners think they have saved money on their insurance bill when in fact what they have purchased is a piece of paper that will be useless if a claim occurs. Businesses should get the right cover in place or not buy insurance at all. Buying the wrong insurance policy = spending money and not being insured – the worst of both worlds.

Some examples of this are as follows:

1. Client was a roofing contractor. He came to Martin Insurance for a quote. We reviewed his previous policy and discovered that he was insured as a building contractor – not a roofing contractor. So this particular contractor was paying €000s every year, for nothing! We arranged cover for his business and the business description on his new policy was as follows: ‘roofing contractor & plant hire contractor’. The reason we added plant hire was that the contractor informed us that he had recently started hiring out plant to other contractors. So we amended the policy to reflect this additional business activity.
2. We reviewed the insurances of a formwork contractor. Whilst discussing the current contracts, we discovered that his company was working on bridges. This is a specific exclusion on a standard contractor’s policy so no cover was in place for this work. Fortunately we were able to arrange a policy with a suitable extension for this work.

Other common mistakes include:

1. Not checking the insurances of subcontractors when your policy specifically requires you to.
2. Not informing your insurer/broker of an accident which was considered to be a minor incident at the time. Months later a solicitors letter arrives in the post but because you have not informed your insurer/broker at the time of the accident, you have not acted in accordance with the policy terms and conditions.

How do you make sure you get the right cover? Here are some suggestions:

a) Talk to a broker who understands your business.
b) Make sure that the business description in the policy accurately describes all of your business activities.
c) Make sure that all the information declared on the ‘proposal form’ or ‘statement of fact’ is 100% accurate especially details of previous claims.
d) Take some time to read the policy document and make a list of questions. Then go back to your broker and ask him/her to explain what you do not understand.

At Martin Insurance, we are delighted to be able to provide competitive contractors insurance quotations.

If you would like a quotation, please call us on 049-4332944, e-mail or complete our online enquiry form.

Disclaimer: The material contained is this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute professional advice.

James Martin
James Martin
James Martin has 16 years of experience as a general insurance broker. He is a member of the Chartered Insurance Institute and has completed a Diploma in Corporate Finance.

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