A quick guide to insuring your business

A quick guide to insuring your business

If you are in the construction trade, no doubt your tools and equipment are essential to running your business. Often built up over a number of years, seeing your tools stolen or damaged can be devastating. Which is why having proper insurance is essential. Not only will the right level of cover protect against theft or damage but it can also protect the public against injury caused by any work you undertake.

Insurance is an annual cost that (hopefully) many of us will not see the benefit of, however, accidents and theft happen every day. Van theft alone accounts for £152 million in lost assets according to the Police Crime Survey who also state that around 47,000 vans are stolen, along with their contents, each year in the UK.

Clearly, insurance is a must, but the choice can be overwhelming. When it comes to choosing insurance, there are a number of comparison websites available that can search for the best policy to meet your needs, and find it at the best price. Before committing, do be sure to read exactly what the policy does and does not cover. If your requirements are specialist, or you require high-levels of cover, talk to an insurance agent or broker before buying. With every insurance policy, you are entitled to a ‘cooling off’ period. This two-week time frame is set to allow you time to read through the policy detail and decide whether it meets your needs, if it does not you have the right to cancel and will be refunded any premiums you have paid.

If you are unsure of the type of insurance you need, as a minimum you should have -

Public liability insurance. This will cover you against injury, or worse, to a third party person or damage to a third party property, caused by the work you have undertaken. Without this key cover, builders could find themselves with a large bill to cover compensation and legal fees.

Employers’ liability insurance. If you employ staff, even just one or two, you will need employers’ liability insurance. This covers you if employees are injured at work or if they develop a medical condition believed to be a result of your working practices. This insurance is compulsory and a certificate of insurance should be displayed where all staff can see it.

Buildings and vehicle cover. A big cost for most construction firms is the cost of tools and equipment, and the total invested can quickly add to thousands of pounds. Items such as drills, concrete mixers and other such equipment should be covered for every eventuality, so you will require both buildings cover (to cover them while they are stored) and van insurance (to cover them while being transported).

You can help deter would-be thieves by always emptying your van of valuables every night. A sticker advising that no valuables are kept inside overnight is also worth a try. Also, ensure your van is parked in a secure location, a garage is ideal, if this is not possible, try reversing your van very close to a wall or another vehicle so there is no room to access the van from the rear. Lockable van boxes can store a wide range of small tools and feature anti-drill locks. Bolted to the van floor, these boxes are going nowhere! Fitting an alarm and a steering wheel lock could also deter thieves, who are on the lookout for easy access vehicles.

To add to your equipment and tools, check out the comprehensive range of construction, forestry and landscaping products available from Red Band. For advice on the right equipment for your next project, call the knowledgeable team on 0116 260 2601.