1300 542 573

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Tradesman small business insurance

If you work as a tradesman, tradie or subbie the nature of your everyday work presents a number of risks.

Wherever you are in Australia, as a self-employed, sole trader or contractor tradesman, its important you get suitable and affordable tradesman insurance to protect yourself and your business from potential claims that may arise from your work activities.

Types of insurance cover for a self-employed tradesman to consider :

  • Public liability insurance – may protect tradies against claims from harm to other people or their property caused from your work activities ; work at site including unauthorized access, attractive nuisance, liability for sub-contractors, vicarious liability for sub-contractors.
  • Product liability - may protect a tradesman when products you have supplied, repaired or manufactured cause harm, injure someone or cause property damage.
  • General property insurance – may cover damage or loss to tradie’s business equipment such as tools, mobiles , computers , power equipment , or stock such as timber or frames.
  • Business insurance pack – you may be able to combine public liability and other covers in a specially designed policy for a small trade business. Ask your SMART broker for details.
  • Marine cargo – cover for tradies if you receive or send goods such as building materials via post or freight.
  • Commercial motor – may cover any vehicle - car, van , light truck - that you own and use mainly for your trade business.
  • Income Protection – to protect your personal income if you can't work for an extended period.
  • Life Insurance – to protect your family.
Trying to work out what insurance your tradie business needs?

Sole trader or contractor tradesmen may choose public liability , often with or one two specific covers or a business pack.

Tradies that employee several staff or engage several sub-contractors typically face more risks that sole traders so may require public liability and a combination of the above covers.

We may be able to assist you determine what covers you need for your trade business risks.

Wherever you are in Australia when you contact SMART, your friendly business insurance broker may be able to help answer your questions and find you suitable and affordable insurance for your trade business.

Talk to a SMART business insurance specialist on 1300 542 573 to discuss tradie business insurance cover TODAY.

1300 542 573

TALK to a SMART Business Insurance adviser

Business Hours:

Monday – Friday 8.45 am - 6.00 pm AEST

SMART business insurance pro tip for tradies:

Disclose ALL of your work activities to your insurance broker no matter how infrequently you perform that type of work. For example, if you view yourself primarily as a painter do you also undertake scaffolding ? If you call yourself a chippie are your activities restricted to carpentry and cabinet making or are you undertaking broader building activities ? Insurance policies are priced according to risk. Failure to disclose any type of work you perform means you will not be covered if an incident occurs while undertaking an undisclosed work activity.

How much does tradies insurance cost?

So, how much will tradies insurance cost you?

The core cover for self-employed tradies in Australia is public liability.

Public Liability Insurance cost for some tradies , such as painters acting as a sole trader, or self-employed contractor starts from around $480*

As insurance policies are priced according to risk each different trade is “rated” as a unique occupation by the insurers and will attract its own cost.

For example;

Below is a table of popular tradesman occupations and the approximate starting cost for $5 million dollars Public Liability Insurance cost for the tradie occupation for a sole trader, or self-employed contractor.

  • Plumbers from $650*
  • Landscape and Gardener Insurance from $560*
  • Carpenter Insurance from $550*
  • Electrician insurance from $550*
  • Handyman Insurance from $590*
  • Labourers Insurance from $560*
  • Insurance for Painters and Decorators from $480*
  • Insurance for Bricklayers from $490*
  • Insurance for Concreters from $770*
  • Insurance for Tilers from $550*
  • Insurance for Plasterers from $540*
  • Insurance for Glaziers from $560*
  • Insurance for Lawn Mowers from $480*
  • Insurance for Flooring Installers from $550*

*Please note:

  • While cheap Public Liability cover can seem attractive on the surface it is important to ensure the policy covers you for the full business activities you undertake and the policy and company will respond as intended when there is a claim.
  • The above price is indicative only and pricing may vary significantly from the above based on your size, clients, experience and specific trade business activities.

For tradies that:

  • undertake broader building work
  • have employees,
  • are looking for costs and quotes on other covers you may need; such as product liability, business insurance pack, general property, commercial motor, or any of those above:

Please TALK to a friendly SMART broker who may be able to assist on 1300 542 573.

What is tradies insurance ?

Often when tradies talk about “tradies insurance” they are referring to the core self-employed tradie insurance of public liability.

It is strongly recommended that NO tradesman that is a sole trader, subcontractor or small business operator work without public liability.

As a tradie, without public liability insurance you may personally be responsible for any damage you cause to a third parties person or property.

In the most serious cases, public liability damages can result in millions of dollars of payments; which would bankrupt most tradies that are sole traders, contractors and many trade based small business owners.

A further reason for tradies referring to public liability insurance is that in many instances you will NOT be allowed access to a site or permitted to do a job without showing your public liability certificate of currency.

Tradies personal accident or income protection can sometimes also be required by subbie tradies to get on site ; and hence, can also be referred to as tradies insurance.

What can tradesman insurance cover ?*

Tradies may cover damage to a third parties person or property via tradies public liability insurance.

For example, if in the course of your trade works, you damage your clients' furniture , destroy part of their home or building , cause some damage to a neighbouring property, or inflict personal harm on your client, visitors, neighbours or passers-by , public liability insurance may cover you. In the most serious cases, public liability insurance may cover you where your trade business activities result in the death of a person.

Tradies public liability insurance may also be able to assist with paying damages and/or legal fees for any claims made against you as a result of your trade business activities. There are many instances of claims made against tradies that are sole traders, contractors and small businesses who did not think they were at fault.

SMART coverage tip for the Sole trader tradie*. Sole traders tradies will at least require public liability. They may also wish to include in a business pack, business interruption and tools cover. Commercial motor, marine transport and personal accident may also be able to be protected.

SMART coverage tip for trade based companies with several employees. In addition to the above covers de cyber insurance, management liability and professional indemnity should be considered.

SMART overage tip for trade based businesses responsible for insuring commercial property: consider at least public liability, and a business pack containing business interruption, product liability, general property, machinery breakdown, stock , glass, flood, money. Depending on your circumstances more or less cover may be required.

  • Trying to work out what insurance your tradesman business needs?
  • We may be able to assist.
  • Wherever you are in Australia when you contact SMART business insurance , your friendly business insurance broker may be able to help answer your questions and find you suitable and affordable insurance for your trade business.

Tradie Insurance Broker quotes

TALK to a SMART Business Insurance broker on 1300 542 573 or email us at info@smartinsurance.com.au for suitable and affordable insurance quotes for your trade business.

1300 542 573

TALK to a SMART Business Insurance adviser

Business Hours:

Monday – Friday 8.45 am - 6.00 pm AEST

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Did you know?

Insurance brokers can help you with your claims.

With policies placed directly with insurance companies you are on your own when it comes time to claim.

Do tradies need to declare sub-contractors ?

As a tradie it is essential you declare sub-contractors to your insurance company or insurance broker.

Why do tradies need to ensure their sub-contractors have their own public liability insurance ?

As a tradie, it is vital that your sub-contractors have their OWN public liability insurance so that they may be covered for any damage they cause to a third parties person or property while sub-contracting to you.

As a contractor they are responsible for any damages they cause.

As a tradie, your public liability policy covers your trade business.

Each business, including all sub-contractors require their own public liability insurance.

It is recommended that you obtain a current public liability certificate of currency from all sub-contractors that perform work for you.

Does workers compensation cover sole trader tradies ?

No. If you are a tradie that is also a sole trader workers compensation will NOT cover you.

Workers compensation provides cover for your employees.

As a tradie that is a sole trader you may require income protection or personal accident insurance.

Note: Sole traders may have up to 20 employees

Please click here for our most commonly asked insurance questions from tradesmen