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Look after your Tools, Tradesman!

If you are a gardener, mechanic, plumber, electrician, handy man, or work in any other industry that requires tools, you’ll know the importance of them to your business. It’s your tools that keep your business going, this is why you need to get a decent tradesman insurance policy that can help you keep your business going if your tools should be lost or stolen.

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Photo by Ross / CC BY

Without your tools, you’ll struggle to get your jobs done on time, or even get them them done at all, they are a massive part of your business.

Tradesman’s Insurance

You need to get the correct insurance to protect your tools and equipment from the unfortunate event of theft, so you can continue working without added costs to your business. Power tools and equipment are expensive business assets and if taken the cost of replacing them could damage the businesses finances.

Tradesman’s insurance protects all equipment and hand power tools from theft, and there is no limit set to how many you can insure. This will ensure that should anything be stolen you can have it replaced quickly.

Worried About Costs?

When you have to pay for your vehicle, building and liability insurance you may feel you can overlook cover for your tools, but we’d implore you not to, because of the time and financial damage that could be caused without it in place.

There are many protection plans in place, and with Think you can have the insurance made to fit you.

We advise all mobile tradesman to get their tools and equipment covered. Leaving any tools overnight in a van will put them at risk of theft, even if it is properly locked and alarmed, this will not guarantee their safety.

Don’t get your stung by the loss of your tools get the appropriate cover in place. Tradesman’s insurance will cover your tools and keep your business going.

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5 Major Risks of Operating Your Business Without Insurance

To be a successful business in any field you must first have insurance cover in place. This will make sure that your assets, customers, workers and suppliers are protected should an accident occur.

By Moyan Brenn / CC BY

By Moyan Brenn / CC BY

Every business is at risk to the smallest claim, and if you are uninsured you may find your business is vulnerable to them. The risks you could incur start from financial losses and could escalate to legal trouble, which in turn would lead to more financial losses.

Protect Your Customers

With public liability insurance in place you are protecting your assets and your customers should they get hurt or be in an accident whilst in your business. Should they make a claim your business will be protected and your customer looked after.

Theft and Property Loss

All businesses have assets, whether they be stock to sell, tools and equipment, furniture or even the interior decorations. All of these will be at risk of theft, fire, general damage or water damage. Should they need to be replaced, it could be very costly. To make sure your business does not suffer have insurance in place so that your finances aren’t affected.

Breaking the Law

By law all businesses with one employee or more must have Employer’s Liability insurance in place. Running a business without this in place means you are breaking the law. Employer’s liability insurance will protect your staff, should they get hurt in an accident.

Loss of profit

Businesses without insurance cover are much more likely to suffer losses in profit as they are susceptible to financial risks. With insurance in place businesses are more likely to succeed. Some insurers even offer compensation for businesses that do not profit, should they have a valid reason.

Business Interruptions

If your business should suffer an interruption that causes your business to temporarily close or halt, your business will be losing profits. This could happen because of a fire, flood or electrical failure and might keep your front doors closed for an indefinite amount of time. Your business will then be unable to make any money, your staff will need paying and stock may expire. The business will need to pay for it all, whilst not making money. Should you have business interruption in place, you can claim compensation for these losses.

If you are in need of business insurance please contact Think Insurance.

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Thinking of becoming a private hire or taxi driver?

If you are thinking of becoming a private hire or taxi driver, you may be surprised to learn that the rules and regulations differ according to which city or town you are applying for a licence in. It maybe that you are required to take and pass the Driving Standards Agency assessment for private hire vehicles and taxis.

If you have decided to become a driver then there are 3 types of assessments you may need to take:

1. The standard driving assessment.

2. The enhanced assessment, which includes a handling of wheelchairs exercise.

3. The third one is an upgrade from the standard driving test if you wish to include the wheelchair exercise.

The initial assessment will last for around 40 minutes and will most likely begin with the eye test:

You will be asked to read a new style number plate from a distance of 20 metres or 20.5 metres for an old style of number plate. If you do not pass the eye test you will be unable to take the driving part of the test.

The next part is a practical assessment that includes:

· Roughly 10 minutes of driving without the tester giving any directional instructions.

· Pulling over and stopping at the side of the road as if you were collecting or dropping off a passenger.

· Driving and manoeuvring the vehicle so that it ends up facing the opposite way round.

· You will be asked questions that are appropriate to the line of work you wish to pursue when becoming a driver, such as “What would you do if a passenger left their belongings in your vehicle?”

· You will be tested on the Highway Code and asked questions about road markings and traffic signs

To pass the test you will need to make 9 or less mistakes; however, 1 serious mistake could also result in a fail.

If you wish to obtain the enhanced assessment then you will be required to take the wheel chair test as follows:

· First of all you will need to make sure that your vehicle is able to carry a wheelchair inside.

· Show that you are able to load and unload the wheelchair in a safe manner.

· You will need to show that you can competently use the brakes on the chair and then release them.

· Show that you can use the safety harness or fasten the safety belt.

· Secure wheel clamps or belts fitted to the vehicle.

If you have been thinking of becoming a private hire or taxi driver, or are ready to take any of the tests, you will need to make sure your vehicle is road worthy and the private hire plate is the same number as the one inside the motor. On passing the test you will receive a pass certificate with a copy of the test and the examiner will include an overview of the test. Your local council can advise you on the next steps needed to become a fully authorised driver.

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The Legal Perks to Having Public Liability Insurance

It doesn’t matter what business you run, public liability insurance can save your fortune. What many people don’t realise is that a claim against you means you are legally responsible to pay, whether you have adequate cover in place or not.

Understanding Public Liability Insurance

In order to understand why this level of cover is so important your business, it’s a good idea to understand what is there for. This level of cover is designed to protect you should someone be injured or should damage by caused as a result of your actions.

The first example is customers arriving at your property, all it takes is a customer to injure themselves, maybe they trip over some packaging tape or they slip in a puddle of water, which leaves you with a claim against you.

You will be legally responsible for this can which can amount of thousands including loss of income, medical expenses and mental distress caused by the incident. As you can imagine is very difficult for an exact price to this.

What many business owners don’t realise is that in the event that they don’t have adequate cover, they are legally responsible to pay the balance and should do not have the money their assets can be seized to pay the shortfall.

Another example is of your business requires you visit customers properties in order to carry out work. Maybe building a wall on the outside of the property which collapses on to a neighbour’s car. You will be responsible for this and will probably receive a claim against you.

Perhaps you are a plumber who has been called out to someone’s home, during the repairs water pours through of the top floor flooding the home. This again will result in a claim against you and when you are legally responsible for.

The Legal Side

The legal side of this cover is that without it you are vulnerable. You can be putting your business in jeopardy and your financial situation on the edge.

As I mentioned before, you will be legally responsible for any claims against you and this is why it’s so important to ensure that you have adequate cover. Often many companies choose the bare minimum when it comes to discover to keep the premiums as low as possible.

Not having adequate cover will result in you having to pay in the balance of the claim, or worst case scenario you will find your assets being seized in order to pay the balance. Not a situation you want find yourself in. So if you’ve ever wondered what the legal side of public liability insurance is, this isn’t. You are legally responsible.

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Employing and training staff

Whether you are a sole trader or a limited company, there may come a time where you need to think about expanding your business. You may need to provide your services to a wider range of customers or find yourself unable to cope with the increased demand for your products. At this point you may need to think about employing and training staff to join your growing company.

When you employ people in your business, you not only spread the workload, but also have the opportunity to introduce new skills and expertise other than your own.

Training existing staff members

If you already employ staff, then you could improve morale and performance by offering either internal training courses or by utilising outside schemes and organisations. The Sector Skills Councils Alliance and Investors in people are 2 organisations you may wish to look at.

Mentoring

Business mentors are there to share skills and impart their knowledge, hopefully in an area that is relevant to your line of business. They may be able to share important contacts and see areas where you are able to grow your business. “Mentorsme” is a site specifically aimed at small and medium businesses and offers help with finding mentors throughout the UK.

If you are employing people in your business and you have not done so before, then there are some rules you are required to follow:

· First of all you will need to be sure that the people you employ are allowed to legally work in the United Kingdom. There may be other areas you need to look at such as previous employment.

· You may have an idea already of the figure you wish to pay someone or you may be willing to negotiate their annual wage. In Britain there is a minimum wage that employers have to meet and pay employees.

· As soon as you move into the area of employing people, whether it is 50 people or 1 single employee, you are required to have employers` liability insurance cover. It must cover you for a minimum of £5 million and has to be from an authorised insurance company.

· You must inform the HMRC and register as an employer. This can be done up to 4 weeks before you need to pay your staff.

· You must send terms and conditions of the job and any details involved to your employee; this needs to be done as a written document. If the period of time you employ someone is more than 1 month, then the written statement needs to be given to them within the first 2 months.

· Staff must receive a payment statement from you that shows any deductions you have made; these are for things such as National insurance and tax etc.

Employing and training staff can be both exciting and daunting at the same time. Take your time to understand each new procedure you may need to implement and don’t be afraid to seek free advice and help; there is plenty out there to guide you.

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