Check Your Tradesmans Liability Insurance Before Employing Them


If you employ a tradesman to carry out any sort of work on your property it is essential that you check that they have the adequate liability insurance cover in place.

Failure to check whether a tradesman is bona-fide and insured against all his trades liability risks, has in some extreme cases, cost the homeowners employing tradesman, their houses.

There are many risks that a tradesman will expose a homeowner to during the course of their work, and as a result of their work. All these risks involve injury to members of the homeowners family, or the public or the tradesman's employees. The type of accident and injury that can occur which could lead to a tradesman being sued for damages, varies according to the trade.

For example, you as a homeowner are responsible for the condition and safety of your property's roof. You recently employed a local roofer to carry out some repairs to the house roof and replace some roof tiles. You were satisfied with the work and paid him.

Some time later these same tiles dislodged in a mild wind and fell, seriously injuring a passer-by who subsequently sues you for his injuries which are critical.

You contact your insurance company to advise them of the claim against you. The home insurance company after sending round an assessor, refuse to pay out arguing that it was the proximate cause of the work of the tradesman you employed and you will have to pursue your claim against him.

You establish that the roofer did not have insurance and who claims that you were satisfied with his work at the time and signed it off by paying him. Your lawyers inform you that as the roofer does not own any property and consequently it is not economic to pursue the claim against him. You will have to bear the costs.

In the meantime the costs of the claim are mounting as the claimants legal teams add thousands to the claim against you.

You do not have enough money to settle the claim out of court and are forced to sell your property.

This nightmare scenario has happened to too many people, simply because they did not check the state of the tradesman's liability insurance before they employed them.

All good tradesman will have a minimum of £1 million public liability insurance which protects them against claims from the client and public. If they employ any staff they are required by law to have employers liability insurance for which a certificate is always issued.

Before signing or verbally agreeing to employ any type of tradesman you should ask to see the copy of either the policy schedule outlining the public liability indemnity cover or the employers liability certificate if the tradesman has any helpers. Take a copy if you can, or at least check the policyholders name is the same, take the insurance company details and policy number and check that the date is valid.

If the tradesman is unwilling to provide these details, then it is highly advisable to pick up the yellow pages and look elsewhere.
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