Compare tradesman insurance options

Find the right insurance whatever your trade

Get the right insurance for your trade – with flexible cover for tools, injuries, accidents and more.
logo

Get tradesman insurance

Find your ideal business insurance in just a few minutes
1
Answer a few simple questions about your business
2
We’ll match you with the business insurance policies you need
3
Get insured in less than 10 minutes
Fact checker
Last updated
December 19th, 2023

What is tradesman insurance?

Tradespeople don't live in a risk-free world. Whether it's accidents, spills, injuries or even theft - there are plenty of potential problems that could stop you from working or eat into your profits.

That's exactly what insurance for tradesmen is meant to protect you against. The right cover will help you out of all manner of problems, including:

  • Providing the funds to allow you to replace key bits of kit, 

  • Paying wages in case of problems with a job 

  • Covering the cost of compensation if someone sues you

The good news is you can find tradesman insurance tailored to the line of work you do.

Most tradesman insurance costs from [1]
£5.86per month

Why do I need tradesman’s insurance?

If you employ anyone - even on a temporary basis - employers’ liability insurance is likely to be a legal obligation. The only main exception is if you just employ immediate family. In which case it’s not a requirement.

In any case, traders’ insurance is all about protecting yourself against risk. By risk we mean pretty much anything from accidentally damaging someone's property to problems that delay a job. It could cover a legal case for negligence or the risk of injury to you, your colleagues or a third party while working on a job.

Insurance is all about protecting yourself against risk.”

What insurance do tradespeople need?

Public liability

Public liability insurance can protect you against work-related compensation claims for damage to property or injuries to other people. Some clients will ask for evidence you have this before agreeing to work with you.

Employers' liability insurance

If you have anyone working for you who isn’t immediate family - even apprentices or temporary staff - you’re likely to need employers’ liability insurance. Without it, you could be fined £2,500 a day. This cover can protect you from claims made by staff if they get sick or injured on the job.

Tools and equipment cover

Tools insurance can pay for repairs or replacements if your equipment is lost, stolen or damaged. It can be purchased as a standalone cover or as part of a more comprehensive policy.

Contract works insurance

Contract works cover is there in case something beyond your control - for example fire, theft, water or wind damage - stops you from working. It can cover the cost of materials and labour already used up to the point of claim. With this cover in place you get the property repaired and back up to the point you were at before the job stopped.

Personal accident insurance

An injury can leave you unable to work for some time - perhaps even permanently. Personal accident cover pays a cash benefit in the event of certain injuries to offer some protection against that risk.

Stock cover

Stock insurance covers materials such as wood, paint and tiles - letting you replace materials needed to finish, or even start, a job. Just like tool insurance, you need to make sure the materials are securely stored. Overnight van cover is available as an extra.

What insurance do tradespeople need?

Public liability

Public liability insurance can protect you against work-related compensation claims for damage to property or injuries to other people. Some clients will ask for evidence you have this before agreeing to work with you.

Employers' liability insurance

If you have anyone working for you who isn’t immediate family - even apprentices or temporary staff - you’re likely to need employers’ liability insurance. Without it, you could be fined £2,500 a day. This cover can protect you from claims made by staff if they get sick or injured on the job.

Tools and equipment cover

Tools insurance can pay for repairs or replacements if your equipment is lost, stolen or damaged. It can be purchased as a standalone cover or as part of a more comprehensive policy.

Contract works insurance

Contract works cover is there in case something beyond your control - for example fire, theft, water or wind damage - stops you from working. It can cover the cost of materials and labour already used up to the point of claim. With this cover in place you get the property repaired and back up to the point you were at before the job stopped.

Personal accident insurance

An injury can leave you unable to work for some time - perhaps even permanently. Personal accident cover pays a cash benefit in the event of certain injuries to offer some protection against that risk.

Stock cover

Stock insurance covers materials such as wood, paint and tiles - letting you replace materials needed to finish, or even start, a job. Just like tool insurance, you need to make sure the materials are securely stored. Overnight van cover is available as an extra.

Which trades are covered?

The beauty of trades insurance is you can pick and choose the cover you take out depending on your business needs.

That means if all you want is tools cover, that's all you need to take out, but if you want a wider set of protections then you can add them in too.

The only non-negotiable insurance is employers’ liability cover, which you usually need to have if you're employing anyone from an apprentice or a temporary worker all the way through to full-time staff.

However, if self-selecting seems a bit much, providers often produce pre-built packages of insurance for specific trades.

Some of the most common pre-built packages are:

  • Builder's insurance

  • Electrician’s insurance

  • Gardener's insurance

  • Plumber's insurance

  • Roofer's insurance

  • Cleaner's insurance

  • Painter and decorator’s insurance

  • Carpenter's insurance

  • Dog walker's insurance

  • Handyman’s insurance

How much does tradesman insurance cost?

Most trades insurance starts at £6.19 a month, but the price can vary quite a bit – with factors such as the covers you choose, your location, employee count and turnover affecting how much you’ll pay.

Here are some real-life examples of quotes for tradesperson insurance:

FactorsScenario 1Scenario 2Scenario 3
Number of Employees113
Turnover£50,000£100,000£250,00
Public Liability£1,000,000£2,000,000£2,000,000
Employers' LiabilityN/AN/A£10,000,000
Commercial Legal ProtectionN/A£100,000N/A
Contract WorksN/AN/A£250,000
ToolsN/A£2,500£5,000
Monthly Cost£6.19£20.58£57.22

Superscript - 10% of tradespeople paid £6.19 a month or less for their business insurance between April and June 2023.

These are real quotes given to Superscript customers for traders' insurance.

What should you consider when looking for trades insurance? 

Every business is different, meaning certain elements of tradesman insurance will be more relevant than others. If you have staff, employers’ liability cover will probably be a must. Tool cover also tends to be taken up, not least if you typically work at different sites, where the chances of equipment getting lost or stolen is greater.  

Public liability insurance is also a popular choice, as many tradesmen’s work puts them in the vicinity of other people and their property. A scaffolding joint could fall on a passerby or a can of paint get knocked over, ruining a carpet. Accidents can happen, and they can be expensive to make right. 

When looking for protection, make sure you get enough to cover any potential costs. Only you will know what this is likely to be, but if you’re unsure, speak to an insurer or broker, providing as much information about your typical job, where you work, your turnover and staff set up.


When looking for protection, make sure you get enough to cover any potential costs."

How to find cheaper tradesman insurance quotes

Decide what cover options you want

Work out what you'd like to be covered for. For example, you won’t need employer's liability cover if you're self-employed and work alone.

Decide on your cover levels

How much public liability cover do you need? What will it cost to replace your tools? While underestimating could leave you in the lurch, there's no point paying for more cover than you need either.

Check your policy excess

The excess on a policy is how much of any claim you have to pay yourself. A bigger excess can mean cheaper quotes, but will mean you have to pay more if you do claim.

Learn more about our business insurance partner

Superscript Logo Full 2x

We qualify, quantify and offer insurance using data, analysis and technology, and we serve a wide range of business types — from dog walkers and dieticians, to landlords and locksmiths. Enro Ltd t/a Superscript is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

Why Superscript?

We make it quick and easy to find, buy and manage your business insurance.

benefit tile 0
Customisable cover for 1000s of business types
Superscript will help you find the different types of cover that are right for your business.
benefit tile 1
Adjust your cover as you grow
Amend your cover with no admin fees, to address your evolving needs as your business grows.
benefit tile 2
Simple claims process
Our customer portal allows you to enter the details we need to get your claim processed.

Tradesman insurance FAQs

Can tradesman insurance cover freelancers?

Yes. In fact, several parts of tradesman insurance - including personal accident cover and tool cover - are particularly useful for self-employed businesses.

Is tradesman insurance a legal requirement?

If you employ anyone, even as an apprentice or on a temporary basis, you need to have employers’ liability insurance. The main exception is if you only employ direct family members.

No other sort of cover is legally mandated, however, clients may request proof of covers, such as public liability or professional indemnity, before offering contracts. You may also need certain covers in order to join trade associations or professional organisations.

Are tools and materials stored in a vehicle overnight covered?

Overnight van cover isn't often included as standard, but can frequently be added to your policy for a bit extra. You’ll generally need to make sure the van is locked and parked in a secure location overnight if you opt for this benefit.

Will I be covered if I work abroad?

It depends on the policy you choose and where you're working. For example, some may cover you for working in Europe as standard. With others you may have to pay extra for overseas cover. Always check policy T&Cs.

Am I covered for the actions of my employees?

Many insurance policies will cover claims that result from the actions of your employees – but you should check the policy wording to be certain.

Related business insurance guides

Find out more about how business insurance works and what you might need
How to register a business?
How do I register a business?
People considering a business loss
How to claim on your business insurance
Confident woman smiling as her male colleagues panic about what to do
What is business interruption insurance?

About the author

James Andrews
James has spent the past 15 years writing and editing personal finance news, specialising in consumer rights, pensions, insurance, property and investments

Customer Reviews

Rated 3.8 out of 5
by 1,057 people

References

1. Superscript customer data: 10% of tradespeople paid £5.86 a month or less for their Superscript business insurance between January and March 2023.