Insuring your trade business
By Mr Leigh Smith, Senior Leader, Commercial Portfolio, GIO Business Insurance
If you’re a self-employed tradie running your business from the back of your ute or van, there are certain insurance policies you should prioritise over others. These are some of the key coverage options you should consider.
What happens if I cause an injury or property damage?
Public and Products Liability is perhaps the most critical policy available to a tradie and usually you will be required to have liability cover up to a set amount before you can enter a worksite or take on a job.
Public and Products Liability covers your legal liability for injury or damage that you, or your employees, cause to other people or their property.
Bear in mind, you could be responsible for injury or damage caused by defects on any products you have worked on or installed in the course of your business. This can be the case even if you’re not the manufacturer of the product or you are one of several contractors working on a worksite.
It’s also important to remember that you shouldn’t cancel your Liability cover after a job is completed or if you take a holiday break. You can still be exposed to compensation claims and would be uninsured if something occurs after your cover is cancelled.
How do I cover my tools?
General Property can cover your tools for theft and accidental loss or damage.
General Property (also known as Portable & Valuable Property) covers any portable business items carried in the course of your business for theft and accidental loss or damage. Aside from tools, this includes items such as mobile phones, tablets, cameras and other equipment that can be critical to your work. It can also include copper products, such as wires and pipes.
There are some important conditions to this cover that can determine whether your tools and equipment are covered in the event of a claim. Speak to your Insurance Adviser for more information.
Importantly, items stolen from an unlocked vehicle are generally not covered. If you have a ute, you must put your tools in a locked box that is securely attached to the vehicle, chain them up to the vehicle itself, or lock them inside the cab.
What if someone steals my cash?
General Property does not normally provide cover for any cash stolen, lost or damaged, either from your vehicle or from you personally.
To cover cash, you need the specific Money policy. This is an important cover if you handle a lot of cash transactions.
You can elect to insure your cash during business hours, outside business hours, in transit and at your private residence. However, cash stolen from an unattended vehicle is generally not covered.
Of course, there are a number of other policy options available that may apply to your business, depending on your circumstances. For more information visit gio.com.au/tradies or speak to a GIO expert at DesignBUILD on 28-30 April 2015