Tradesmen are masters of their art, and people seek them out every day to solve the problems in their lives. The tradesmen umbrella is a large one – but whether you are a plumber, electrician, handyman, or painter – you’re undoubtedly experienced in your field and end up pouring your soul into your business.
This focus tends to leave other areas of your business neglected or unintentionally exposed to risk.
Minor missteps have led trade businesses to incur a significant injury that has negatively affected their operations. Avoiding small confusions now in your policy or planning can save you the nightmarish landscape of facing a claim without the aid of insurance cover.
We’ve listed out the five biggest mistakes you can avoid as a tradesman and steer clear of the errors that have led us all to a better understanding of the importance of insurance cover.
Not detailing your business operations fully
Insurance for tradesmen is often a combination of various covers, and it is important to pay close attention when filling out your business activities when seeking quotes and securing your policy.
Because the online method has made the insurance process simple, it’s easy to miss a check box or fail to disclose important information about your business operations. Take the time to read through everything and ensure you have fully listed out every relevant detail that could affect your ability to settle a claim.
The responsibility ultimately lies with you as the business owner to disclose all relevant and important information to your insurer and to carefully read through the terms of your policy to ensure all your business activities have been listed and are covered.
For example, you may say to your insurer that you’re an electrician but fail to elaborate on your primary contracts and expertise in industrial work. This is not a standard, and your insurer will need to know the specifics of your trade and business activities.
Not fully disclosing such details will ultimately lead to an event that will shake the foundations of your operation and leave you unable to cover a claim.
Failing to update business activities upon renewal
A good machine is a well-maintained machine. The careful plans and details you made when securing your policy are a great milestone for you as a tradesman and your responsibility to monitor over time. As your business changes and expands or you take on new forms of work, your first policy will most likely become negligent in its cover.
It’s imperative to update your cover as your work changes, and upon every policy renewal, ensure that you have included any new business activities or liabilities.
Employing new staff, taking on larger contracts, or even working out of province can alter the terms of your policy. Make it a rule to compare every new activity to the terms of your policy. If you’re aware of a new liability, you can make the necessary changes.
Always check with your insurer when taking on new forms of work. A small claim can be made against you in an environment that’s not listed in your policy and will lead to expenses that won’t be covered due to the lack of disclosure.
Only thinking about your bottom line
The nature of all business is to cut your costs most effectively and save in the long term. Although it is tempting to secure the cheapest insurance possible, it’s handy to think of it as you would other aspects of your business.
Is it better to invest in the low-quality tools and equipment you need for your trade? Often the least expensive route leads to consistent failure, and the same is applied to a trade company’s insurance policy.
Price is an important factor, but leaving your business exposed to accidental damage or injury will always cost more. Some insurers will offer the lowest price on the market, but the cover provided may not suit your business needs as a tradesman.
Your work situations are often specific and require specific types of cover to suit your business needs. Before buying any type of insurance, always read the policy wording to ensure your business activities are all covered.
Missing a claim by not knowing your range of cover
You will never miss out on future claims if you are always familiar with your policy wording. Take the needed time to read through the details, and seek out your insurer for any questions you have regarding your policy and range of cover.
As a business owner, there is nothing sweeter than an unworried mind. Power is in understanding, and you’ll never miss a claim if you are well versed with the type of cover you have.
Not Having the protection of insurance cover
Of all the errors tradesmen have made, this is the most dangerous. Not having any measures in the case of accidents and injury could eventually lead you down a dark financial road.
Working as a self-employed tradesman (this would include sub-contract work by someone else) without any form of business insurance leaves you exposed to incredible risk.
When you are found liable without insurance, the financial risk ranges in the hundreds of thousands, or even millions of rands, depending on the scale of your operations. Serious injury or damages to property and equipment on-site and at a client’s premises could lead to damages that cost you more than you can pay.
Do you have R100 000 in your account to settle claims made against you? Almost everyone will answer no as well – which is why business insurance is so crucial for any tradesmen.
Your Trade Is Important Enough To Protect
Business insurance for tradesmen is designed to give your business the protection it needs and peace of mind knowing that you have a safeguard in place when things don’t stick to the plan.
Business insurance is a phrase that once caused many to cringe – but the age of the internet has made a massive difference for business owners.
The missteps and stress of confidently insuring a business is now a straightforward process you can undertake online, which has finally bridged the gap between the insurer and the insured.
You can get instant online quotes available 24/7 – for purchasing insurance, making changes to your policy, or getting documents. Our website is mobile-friendly, so you can even add cover while on the move.
*This is general information only and does not take into account your financial situation, needs, or specific objectives. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions, and exclusions contained in the policy wording.