Articles

Carpenter Insurance

One of the most common forms of carpenter insurance is public liability.

This is the insurance that will save your back if you cause property damage or personal injury to another person.

Whilst public liability certainly isn’t the only form of business insurance a chippie should consider, it is arguably the most important.

In this guide we’ll take a detailed look at public liability insurance for carpenters.

If you’re just looking for some quotes, click the button below.

Public Liability Insurance QLD Quote

What does it cover?

Public liability insurance will protect a carpenter in the event that their negligence results in property damage or personal injury to another person.

Whether you damage someone else’s property whilst on the job, or cause injury to that person, your public liability will respond.

Your policy will generally also cover the cost of defending a claim.  For example if someone tries to sue you for negligence, even if you are eventually found to be in the right, your policy will cover your legal expenses to get that outcome.

Claim examples

When it comes to carpenters and public liability, there are small claims and there can be big claims!

Small claims typically involve property damage.  For example you might be in a client’s roof and you put your foot through the ceiling.

The plaster repairs and painting could cost a couple of grand, which is enough to wipe out the week’s profit, but not enough to be life changing.

This type of event would be covered by public liability, saving you potentially a couple of grand.

At the other end of the scale we have the big claims, which more often involve personal injury.

An example here could be that you’ve built a deck for a house and that deck subsequently fails, resulting in serious injury or death to those on the deck.

If you are found to have been negligent in some way which contributed to the accident, you could be up for hundreds of thousands – if not millions – of dollars in damages.

Your public liability insurance policy would also respond in this case.

Public liability claims are rarely black and white, and the above examples would be subject to all sorts of issues, but it does give you an idea.

Is it mandatory for carpenters?

Unlike electricians and plumbers who typically have mandatory public liability insurance requirements for their licence, chippies do not.

Whilst the government might not have any insurance requirements for carpenters, building companies often will.

Many builders will require that all trades – including carpenters – show evidence of their public liability insurance before being allowed on site.

Evidence is generally in the form of your certificate of currency, which outlines the details of your insurance.

Regardless of whether or not you are required to hold public liability for your licence or through a building contract, it is still an incredibly important form of cover for any self-employed carpenter.

How much does it cost?

Carpentry is seen as a fairly low risk when it comes to public liability insurance, which thankfully means the cost is very low.

For the minimum $5 million cover, premiums start from around $400 per year depending on the insurer.

The cost can rise depending on a number of factors including the size of your business and any work considering high risk, or in high risk locations.

Examples of high risk locations include mine sites, airports and other similar sites.

If your trade is a carpenter but you’re really undertaking the work of a builder, you’ll need to insure yourself as such.  This will typically be a little more expensive, but it’s far more important to be properly insured in the event of a claim.

More information

To obtain further advice or quotes on carpenters insurance the best option is to speak with an insurance broker.

A broker can compare multiple quotes for you, as well as providing advice on what types of policies are best for your carpentry business.

Flooring Contractors Insurance

A flooring contractor may require a range of different insurance types depending on how they operate.

Public liability is certainly one of the most important forms of cover, but it’s not the only one.

For self-employed flooring contractors, public liability will be a must, whilst almost all contractors can benefit from tool insurance and income protection.

In this guide we’ll run through the needs of flooring contractors and how an insurance broker can make the insurance process easier and more affordable.

Flooring Contractors

The term flooring contractor is quite broad, and covers a large range of occupations and business types.

Some of the common activities which are covered under flooring contractors insurance include the following:

  • Installation of carpet and vinyl floors
  • Floating timber floors
  • Polished concrete floors
  • Floor repairs
  • Timber floor polishing
  • Commercial flooring

Virtually any business activities which fall under the flooring contractor category can be insured, however if you undertake any activities which are a little ‘out of the ordinary’ it’s important to let us know.

Insurance Types

There are three main types of insurance which flooring contractors can benefit from, however depending on the size and structure of your business you may require additional cover.

Whilst our website does focus on public liability insurance, it’s important not to limit yourself to a single policy.  Insuring all of your risks is vital.

The three main forms of cover are detailed below.

Public Liability

No matter what your trade is, the most commonly required form of insurance is public liability.

Public liability insurance will cover you in the event that your flooring activities result in property damage or personal injury to another person.

A typical personal injury claim could involve an incident where you have left some flooring materials in a walkway without sufficient marking, and a member of the public has tripped over them and suffered an injury.

A typical property damage claim could involve something as simple as breaking a window whilst carrying materials or equipment through a client’s premises.

Public liability is primarily for business owners, contractors and subcontractors.  If you are working as an employee on wages you should be covered by your employer’s policy.

For more information about this cover please view .

Tool Insurance

This is another common form of tradies insurance for anyone operating in the building and construction industry.

Tool insurance will cover your gear in the event that it is stolen, damaged by fire or damaged in a vehicle collision or rollover.

If you are leaving gear on site overnight, such as large timber or concrete floor polishers that aren’t easily transported each night, you can also obtain special cover for these.

More information about tool insurance can be found by following the links on our website.

Income Protection

The last of the ‘big three’ form of trade insurance is income protection.

Regardless of whether you’re a business owner or an employee, income protection is an important way of protecting your income in the event that you cannot work for a period of time due to illness or injury.

A proper income protection policy must be obtained via a financial adviser rather than an insurance broker.

Other Insurances

If you work on your own and don’t operate from your own premises, the three basic forms of insurance listed above will take care of most of your needs.

But if you are operating a larger business, perhaps with a few staff and running from your own workshop, then you’ll need to consider additional forms of cover.

Some of these covers include contract works insurance, business interruption and property damage cover.

Advice and Quotes

The job of an insurance broker is to help you to protect yourself, your business and your family with the right insurance to suit your needs and your budget.

They can assist flooring contractors with anything from basic quotes through to comprehensive advice on their overall insurance needs.

To obtain quotes on your insurance please click here.

Qld Stamp Duty Changes to Insurance

From the first of August 2013 the stamp duty charged on insurance by the Queensland Government will be increasing.

These changes were announced as part of the 2013-14 budget handed down by the Treasurer earlier this month.

Previously most business insurance policies, including public liability insurance, attracted stamp duty of 7.5%.

Other forms of insurance, including professional indemnity insurance, attracted stamp duty of just 5.0%.

With the changes coming in August this year, all forms of insurance (with the exception of CTP) will be charged stamp duty of a rate of 9.0% including GST.

As far as business insurance goes, the changes represent a 20% increase for public liability and a whopping 80% increase for professional indemnity.

Although this seems like a fairly hefty increase, a letter issued to businesses by the Office of State Revenue was quick to point out that the new rates are equal to those charged in NSW and lower than those charged in all other states.

It is certainly a kick in the guts for Qld small businesses, and there is a risk that it will lead to more businesses choosing to operate with either no insurance or inadequate insurance.

In reality the increase in dollar terms will be fairly minor, but in small business every single dollar counts.

New Stamp Duty Rates

The insurance stamp duty rates from 1 August 2013 are as follows:

  • Class 1 General Insurance – 9.0%
  • Class 2 General Insurance – 9.0%
  • Compulsory Third Party Insurance – 10c per policy

Note:  Insurance stamp duty is charged as a percentage of the premium paid and includes GST.

Previous Stamp Duty Rates

The insurance stamp duty rates prior to 1 August 2013 were as follows:

  • Class 1 General Insurance – 7.5%
  • Class 2 General Insurance – 5.0%
  • Compulsory Third Party Insurance – 10c per policy

What’s the Difference Between Class 1 and Class 2?

This question is somewhat irrelevant now since class 1 and class 2 general insurance are both charged stamp duty at the same rate, but here is the answer anyway:

Class 1 – All general insurance types other than class 2 general insurance and CTP insurance.

Class 2 – All general insurance types relating to the following:

  • Professional indemnity insurance
  • Personal injury insurance relating to aircraft travel
  • Motor vehicle insurance other than CTP
  • Home mortgage that is a first mortgage
  • Life insurance riders

More Information

For more information about the Qld stamp duty changes and how they affect your business insurance please contact the Office of State Revenue or your insurance broker.

Public Liability Insurance Cost

If you’re looking at public liability insurance one of the first things you’ll likely want to know about is the cost.

The cost of public liability for your business will depend on a variety of factors, and in this guide we’ll run through them in more detail.

All businesses want to save money on their expenses, and by knowing what affects your insurance cost should be better equipped to get the best deal.

Your Occupation or Business Type

One of the biggest impacts on the cost of your insurance will come from the type of business that you are running.

The changes of your business type making a claim, and the potential size of the claim, will affect your insurance cost.  The higher the potential risk, the higher the cost will be.

Looking at tradesmen as an example, a low risk trade such as a residential carpenter will have a much lower premium than a high risk trade such as an underwater welder.

It is important to give the insurer (or broker) a good description of your business activities to ensure that you’re being charged the right price and are properly covered.

The Size of Your Business

Often the factor which can affect a premium the most is the size of the business being insured.

Some insurers measure the size of a business by its revenue, some measure it by the number of staff and some use a combination of the two.

Generally the larger your business, the larger your public liability cost will be.

If you have unusually high revenue for the number of staff you employ, or visa versa, you may find that different insurers will have dramatically different costs depending on how they ‘size’ a business.

Special Factors

Aside from the size and type of business, there are many other smaller factors which can affect the final cost of the insurance.

These factors include the locations your business operates in, especially high-risk locations such as mines, quarries, railway stations and airports.

Whether or not you employ subcontractors or use labour hire can also have an impact on your insurance cost.

Level of Cover Required

The final factor we’ll look at is the amount of insurance you require.

Public liability is generally available in amounts ranging from $5 million to $20 million.  The more insurance you need, the more it’s going to cost you.

The good news is that the cost won’t increase directly in line with the amount of cover.  By doubling your cover from $5 million to $10 million the cost will increase, but it will be far from double.

Regardless of what the cost of your insurance comes in at, it’s fair to say that public liability offers very good value for more businesses, and can provide you with serious protection in case things go wrong.