Potential clients are more likely to choose your company for building work if they know you're an insurance approved builder because it gives them peace of mind. Some may want to see proof of your insurance before they employ you, to ensure they are protected against any claims.

The cover you need will depend on the nature of your business; public liability insurance for self employed bricklayers, for example, is likely to differ to that needed by an employer.

There are several types of insurance that you may require:

Public liability insurance for builders

This insurance protects you against the cost of claims from third parties that incur damage caused by your business. A decent policy will pay out for claims relating to personal injury as well as damage to property or belongings. They'll usually also cover the legal costs for you and the third party, which can otherwise be very expensive.

Employers' liability insurance for building companies

The insurance required for self employed builders is different to building contractors insurance. Employers' liability insurance is required by law for anyone that hires permanent or temporary employees, as employers are responsible for their health and safety in the workplace. It will cover you against the cost of claims from employees injured or made seriously ill at work.

Other types of builder's insurance you might need

Many insurance companies will offer a generic tradesman insurance policy that can be tailored to the specific needs of your business. These generic policies will often cover your business property, tools and office equipment, but vehicles, your own plant, hired-in plant, and stock can all be covered as well. Business interruption insurance is also available on some policies; this covers loss of income caused by damage to your business' facilities.

You'll need to decide exactly what you need to be covered before you start comparing quotes.

How do you choose the right builder insurance policy?

Finding the cheapest public liability insurance for builders is important for keeping costs down and remaining competitive.

However, you will need to consider the quality of the cover, as well as the price - if your insurance doesn't pay out when you make a claim, you're not getting good value for money.

Make sure you check the exclusions (the conditions in which the policy won't pay out), the maximum amounts the insurer will pay for claims, and the excess you'll need to pay. You will need to find a balance between protecting yourself with cover that meets your needs, and minimising the cost.

Builders public liability insurance for self employed tradesmen is available on its own, but you could also consider a more general business insurance policy that gives you more comprehensive cover, especially if you need to protect your tools and require employers' liability insurance too. This can often prove cheaper than taking out several specific policies.

You can compare builders' insurance policies in our best insurance for builders comparison, then get quotes from insurers which offer policies that meet your needs.

You'll be able to choose the company that offers you the public liability insurance builders generally require in addition to the other types of cover you need for the cheapest price.