Do roofers need public liability insurance?

Everyone who works in the building trade has to accept that certain risks are involved with the business. There are many dangers to look out for in all the areas of expertise, but top of the list has to be the roofing trade. Working with hot bitumen, naked flames and asphalt puts it pretty much `up there` when it comes to dangers in the work place! This then begs the question – Do roofers need liability insurance?

Whilst roofers may need public liability cover, there is no legal obligation for them to obtain it. This may seem extraordinary when you consider the potential for accidental damage to both property and people. Should an accident occur involving anything to do with your workmanship or supplies, then you could be liable for a substantial claim. Adequate cover could give you the peace of mind to help you carry out your work safely and without added stress. Hopefully you will have many years of safe roofing work, and never have the need to make any claims or suffer any accidents to yourself or others.

Should you decide to set up your own business as a roofer, the incidents that could happen can vary from minor accidents that you will find in any trade business, right up to fatalities . If a roof were to give way and collapse, you will be held responsible for any damage caused; not to mention the possibilities of injury to any other persons.  The very nature of working at heights and with flames makes it a fairly dangerous profession (having had a father who was a roofer, the heights and naked flames were also part of the enjoyment of the job though!).

You may find that being able to prove to a client that you have adequate insurance cover, could make the difference between winning and losing the contract. In this day and age, more customers are wary of employing `rogue traders` and reassurance of your professionalism and credibility could go a long way to easing their mind about the work you are carrying out. Recommendation is by far the easiest and cheapest advertising.

There is no `set` policy to cover the roofing trade, this will be worked out depending on your individual requirements. This makes it custom made to your area of expertise: Do you carry out hot or cold roofing (tiling, slates etc)? Are you employing anyone or working alone? Are you contracting out the work?  Most likely you will need a vehicle to carry around equipment and materials; this can be included and covered at the same time.

Only employer’s liability and vehicle insurance is actually required by law, covering anyone who is working under your employment and allowing you to drive from job to job. There is no obligation for you to obtain any more cover, regardless of how precarious the working environment is. You may not need to have full cover, but when you ask the question – do roofers need public liability insurance? You may have to ask the question – can I afford not to?

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