Claim-time pitfalls – is your tradies’ insurance up to the task?

Like most tradies, you probably have some form of insurance cover to help you get back on your feet if you experience theft, accidents, or liability issues. It’s your safety net, covering those unexpected costs so you can get on with the job.

The last thing you want is to discover at claim time that your insurance isn’t going to pay out. Why does this happen? Often, it’s down to not having enough insurance, or not having the right insurance. Let’s look at some examples:

  • You’re driving to site in your personal vehicle, with all your tools in the boot, and you’re involved in an accident. You assume your personal motor vehicle insurance will cover you. However, your insurance company declines your claim because you’re using your vehicle for business purposes.

  • One morning, you wake to discover all your tools have been stolen from your locked garage overnight. When you make your insurance claim, you discover that the sum you insured them for is well below the current cost to replace everything, leaving you thousands of dollars out of pocket.

  • You pour the slab for a house and inadvertently allow concrete to enter the stormwater drain, blocking it. The blockage causes the property to flood every time it rains, and the owner sues you for faulty workmanship. When you claim against your liability insurance, your claim is declined because your policy doesn’t have a faulty workmanship extension.

  • While plumbing in a dishwasher for a client you discover there is no suitable power point, so you wire one in to complete the job. Later, this powerpoint shorts out, causing a small fire and several thousand dollars worth of damage to the kitchen. Your liability insurance claim is declined because you only notified the insurance company of your work as a plumber.

  • During a house painting job, your sub-contractor falls and breaks his neck, which results in him becoming a quadriplegic. You are found to be at fault and ordered to pay $300,000 in reparations (over and above the ACC payout). However, your statutory liability insurance cover is only $100,000.

As you can see, every trade faces different risks and a one-size-fits-all approach isn’t sufficient to cover everyone adequately. All of these non-payout situations could have been avoided with the correct cover in place at the right value.

So how do you make sure you’re properly insured? The answer is to consult an experienced insurance adviser, who will know which products you need to consider and any hidden pitfalls you should be aware of. By learning about you and your business, they’ll be able to help you cover all your risks. And because they know the products so well, if the worst happens, they’ll be able to help you claim for everything you’re entitled to.  

If you have any insurance inquiries or you think that you could be getting more out of your cover - don’t hesitate to keep up the phone and give us a call (09) 365 5901