Do Builders Need Insurance

Do builders need insurance? Of course they do! Being a builder, your work activities are going to involve a lot of risks and potential accidents that just can’t be prevented. Especially when your job consists of working close to members of the general public. This means that Public Liability Insurance for Builders is absolutely essential; even more so than with most trades where accidents are less likely to occur or less likely to be as serious.

Construction is a high risk industry. According to Eurostat, the most dangerous land-based work sector in Europe is construction, with a massive 23.1% of work-related fatalities in the EU-28 in 2011 taking place in the construction sector. This astoundingly high figure isn’t due to incompetent builders but the nature of the dangerous work environment. Britain’s largest industry is construction, with an estimated 2.2 million workers. Although accounting for only about 5% of employees in Britain, the construction industry accounts for 10% of reported major/specified injuries according to the UK government’s Health and Safety Executive’s latest statistics.

When working as a builder, safety should be at the forefront of your mind at all times. But despite the precautions you take and how careful you are, accidents happen and often cannot be prevented. And whether it’s you, someone you’ve employed or a member of the public, sometimes people just get hurt due to unforeseen circumstances.

What Insurance Do Builders Need?

There are three types of insurance that builders are recommended to have, depending on their situations:

  • Public Liability Insurance
  • Employer’s Liability Insurance
  • Contractors’ all-risk cover

As stated earlier, public liability insurance is crucial for builders. In fact, some people won’t even employ a builder unless they have public liability insurance. Citizens Advice Bureau advise the public against employing a builder who doesn’t have the insurance cover. Employer’s Liability Insurance is a legal requirement if you intend to employ workers, and will provide cover against any accidents and injuries that occur whilst on the job. Contractors’ all-risk covers the project that the builder is working on, for example an additional room being built or the remodelling of a room. Other covers that could be added to your builders insurance include contract works cover, goods in transit cover, plant cover and tools cover.

Common Liability Claims and Accidents for Builders

  • A tool may accidentally fall from scaffolding and hit a pedestrian. That person may hold you liable for the injury and demand compensation.
  • Accidental damage may be caused to someone else’s property whilst you’re visiting on business. For example, you may accidentally knock something expensive over in the living room, or crack the sink by accidentally dropping a heavy tool.
  • Someone may trip over your toolbox or building equipment that you left on the floor, and suffer a serious injury.

If you employ builders outside of your family, Employers Liability Insurance is a legal requirement and your responsibility as an employer. If a builder working in your employment suffers a work-related injury, or becomes ill whilst working for you, they may claim for some kind of compensation from you. Builders are particularly susceptible to work-related injuries considering the essence of the construction industry. Here are the latest statistics of injuries in construction during 2013/14:

Over-7-Day Injuries to Construction Workers

Over 7 Day Injuries In Construction

Data taken from

Major/Specified Injuries to Construction Workers

Major Specified Injury In Construction

Data taken from

Do you need Builders Public Liability Insurance?

3 Responses to Do Builders Need Insurance?
  1. Our neighbors require their builder access to our property. What insurance would you recommend? We are concerned that we are vunerable for any damages that may ensue.

    • We would recommend checking that the builder in question has adequate public liability insurance in place before the work commences. It is common for them to show proof of cover before certain jobs so just ask your neighbour to get this from them.

      • Thank you. I thought this was the case. Our neighbour tells us that the contractor’s insurance is “Private and confidential”!


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