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Knowledge Hub

Knowledge Hub

5 min read

Reasons Why Tradesmen Need Specific Types of Business Insurance

Business made easy September 13, 2022

Could you afford to replace your expensive tools or settle a public liability claim against you as a tradesman? If not, you will be glad to know that specific types of business insurance are tailored to help tradesmen like you.

Not only is Dialdirect concerned about the success of your trade, but we also want you to know the ins and outs of the tradesman insurance. It’s obvious that not all trades or small businesses are the same or have the same needs. This article gives you the relevant information and knowledge before selecting the right type of tradesman business insurance for your specific needs. Most importantly, you’ll know why having business insurance for your trade is crucial.

What is the role of a tradesman?


The world would be a diminished place without the skills of tradesmen. Whether we’re talking about electrical installations (such as lighting), bathroom installations, home building, manufacturing, or kitchen installations, the tradesmen (and women) working in all these spheres are essential in many ways.

Although a tradesman doesn’t require four years of university education, he or she has the crucial skills required in many industries. Vocational and on-the-job training empower tradesmen with these necessary skills. Are you a tradesman? Take a look at some of the following categories:

  • Industrial tradesmen: These individuals work mainly in manufacturing and technology. For example, a welder designs and builds metal products such as steel gates, fences, security doors, and windows. Other types of industrial tradespeople include paving equipment operators, tool and die makers and ironworkers.

  • Construction tradesmen: The construction world is one area where many different tradespeople ply their trades. For example, plumbers install amenities such as water lines, toilets and sinks. Other popular construction tradesmen include electricians, bricklayers, carpenters, painters, roof installers and tilers.

  • Medical tradesmen: The medical industry also uses the services of tradesmen. Medical tradesmen enter the health industry after acquiring the required certification, which can take as long as two years. Examples of medical tradesmen include paramedics, nursing assistants, dental assistants, sonographers and pharmacy technicians.

  • Mechanical tradesmen: These individuals offer mechanical trade services. They can also offer their services in construction, manufacturing and car repair. Popular examples of mechanical tradesmen include machinists, air-conditioning installers, auto mechanics, locksmiths and elevator mechanics.

What does tradesman insurance cover?


As a tradesman, you might work for someone else or yourself. Irrespective of your type of employment, your trade exposes you to risks and hazards that could ruin you financially. 

When employed by someone else, you probably don’t have to worry about getting tradesman insurance — a type of business insurance that covers your tools, third-party liability claims, and personal injury — because your employer will have it. However, when self-employed, a lot can go wrong and threaten the survival of your business. For example, you could damage your client’s property and be held liable to repair or replace it at a huge cost, depending on the property type and the damage's extent.

Tradesman insurance, like home insurance, is an umbrella term to indicate insurance that covers various aspects of your business. Whether you’re a plumber, electrician, auto mechanic, carpenter or air-conditioning technician, business insurance can provide you with peace of mind and stop you from worrying about what bad event might happen.

Typical types of business insurance for tradesmen to consider investing in include:

  • Tradesman tool insurance

Tools make every tradesman’s project go ahead smoothly. Irrespective of the type of tradesman you are, some of the tools are very expensive. For example, a plumber’s plastic pipe automatic cutter and thread-cutting set can cost between R3,000 and R10,000, respectively.

Imagine losing equipment due to theft or damage. Would you always have the cash to replace them at short notice? What if you lose all your tools in a robbery or automobile accident? If you have tradesman tool insurance, you won’t have to worry about the loss. Moreover, this type of insurance might even cover the tools you hire. Make sure to check with your broker about what your specific policy covers.

  • Tradesman public liability insurance

It isn’t mandatory to have tradesman public liability insurance, but it’s one of the types of business insurance strongly recommended. Here’s why. You may be working on scaffolding when a heavy tool falls and hurts your client. Since you’d be responsible for the injury, you might find that you have to cover the cost of their medical attention. The client might even elect to sue you for negligence! In that case, you’d have to defend yourself legally, which could be very costly. Having public liability insurance would lighten the financial burden you’d face.

Other types of business insurance for tradesmen to consider investing in are business vehicle insurance and personal accident cover. 

Why do tradesmen need insurance?


There’s nothing as satisfying as seeing your small business making a lot of money. For that to happen, you must keep finding large or small jobs. Did you know that tradesman insurance can help you when you need jobs? Here are four reasons to have this type of business insurance.

1. It protects you against damage to someone’s property


If you’re not yet convinced that tradesman insurance is necessary, consider this scenario. A landlord hired a plumber to install a shower at one of her properties. When the tenants returned from work, they found that the landing carpet had sustained marks and burns. Obviously, the tenants and owner wanted the plumber to reimburse them for the cost. 

You might not be a plumber, but something like this could happen when you work with clients. Having tradesman insurance will help fix or replace someone’s property if you’re liable, whereas paying out of pocket might be beyond your financial means.

2. It protects against injury or personal injury


While on duty, you might suffer an injury or cause an injury to someone else. If you are injured, your business might struggle to finish the project it’s working on at the time, and you would be in breach of contract. Possibly, the injury could keep you away from work for weeks, which could negatively impact your business’s cash flow. If you cause injury to someone else — a customer or member of the public — your tradesman insurance will protect you against third-party injury claims.

3. It may be required to get certain jobs


If you want to keep working and generating an income for your trade business, this could prove a huge benefit of having tradesman insurance. Certain jobs, especially large corporate projects, require you to have tradesman insurance as per quality regulations. The type of tradesman insurance you might require is public indemnity cover. You might also have to prove that you’re in good standing with the Department of Labour concerning the Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases Act.

There are several different types of business insurance[1] you may need before you can apply for a job or tenders. This is particularly common in the building industry and government sector. Not only will having the right tradesman business insurance protect your company, but it can also help it to thrive.

4. It can replace lost, or damaged tools


Burglary is one of the major crimes in South Africa. Although burglary. This poses a risk to a tradesman's tools. Fortunately, tradesman tool insurance can protect against the theft of your equipment. Additionally, tradesman insurance protects against damage to your tools, helping you keep the wheels of your business turning.

Get a business insurance quote from Dialdirect


It could be expensive to replace your tools or pay the damages from a lawsuit if you injured someone. You can protect yourself and your business with Dialdirect. Get a quick and obligation-free tradesman business insurance quote online.


[1] iol.co.za - Brave new world of work: understand your insurance needs


Disclaimer: Dialdirect Insurance is a licensed non-life insurer and financial services provider. Terms and Conditions online. The information in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as financial or legal advice.

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